Retail Accounting

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PRESS RELEASE: CounterBooks was shortlisted for the Association of Convenience Stores’ “Technology Showcase” event

CounterBooks, a leading Online Retail Accounting Management Suite for the fuel, convenience and general retail industry, is delighted to announce that they were shortlisted and presented at the Association of Convenience Stores’ “Technology Showcase” in Westminster, London.

The “Technology Showcase” was part of the Association of Convenience Stores’ ‘Heart of the Community Conference 2014’ which attracted convenience retailers, Members of Parliament and ministers from across the country who discussed various issues faced by the convenience industry.

Along with four other innovative technology suppliers, CounterBooks shared how it uses cutting edge technology to assist convenience retailers to reduce cost, improve performance and manage risk. The audience included members of the Association of Convenience Stores’ Independent Board and other highly experienced and knowledgeable convenience retailers.

The CounterBooks' Story

John Roberts, Managing Director, CounterBooks said ‘We were delighted to have been shortlisted for the “Technology Showcase”. The event was a great opportunity for convenience retailers and suppliers to discuss how to utilise technology. We really enjoyed contributing to the discussion.’

ACS Chief Executive James Lowman said: ‘Our Technology Showcase is a great opportunity for retailers and suppliers to share new ideas that are being developed for the convenience sector. We are delighted that CounterBooks was part of the event and able to share their innovations with those in attendance.’

To learn more about CounterBooks please visit

About CounterBooks

CounterBooks was developed in 2001 and launched on 1st January 2003 as the world’s first online full ledger accounting management suite designed specifically for retailers. It was originally developed by a frustrated computer-programmer-turned-retailer who struggled with traditional accounting systems which were not developed for retail businesses. His aim was to provide an easy to use system suitable for a retailer with no accountancy experience while still providing full easily understandable data reporting.

For further information about CounterBooks, including case studies, images or interviews, please contact, Laura Shafer – Marketing Assistant:-

Telephone: (+44) 0207 099 1050




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Oil and Gas: Mergers and Acquisitions Report

Oil and gas M&A activity in 2014 has centred on rationalising property mixes rather than expanding asset bases.Oil and Gas M&A

This free whitepaper from Deloitte takes an in-depth look at what’s affecting merger and acquisition activity.

In this whitepaper you will learn:

1. What’s causing the decrease in M&A in the oilfield sector

2. Which were the largest M&A deals for 2014

3. What’s driving an increase in M&A in refining and marketing

4. How the economic recovery has affected M&A

Access the whitepaper here.

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How can fuels retailers remain competitive?

by Zahra Bahroloumi

Retail trends are consistently pointing toward consumers’ hunger for a consistent, relevant and convenient customer experience. The time-constrained and tech-savvy social media-tuned consumer is driving consumption patterns in line with their lifestyle and daily working routines. Fuels retailers cannot afford to fall short in delivering basic customer needs, particularly when the leading hypermarkets can mobilize and respond to customer demand in increasingly sophisticated ways. Accenture believes fuels retailers should focus on three key aspects of their service to maintain their competitiveness in an ever-competitive industry:
  • Customer focus, to understand what a convenient and relevant offer looks like at every site in the network
  • Excellence in customer service provision, delivered at every site in the network, to confirm a consistent customer experience
  • Speed to market, to maintain relevance across the retail portfolio.
How can fuels retailers go the distance?
Rebuilding market share requires strategic planning and the ability to implement change. Accenture believes that providing greater value to customers means acknowledging environmental and internal blockers, and understanding how to manage them. The following graphic describes some of the key factors fuels retails must navigate to remain competitive:
The following graphic describes some of the key factors fuels retails must navigate to remain competitive
Highlights include:
  • Orientate toward the customer and understand how they can influence your brand. Put the customer at the heart of every business decision. Simplicity, ease and convenience are priorities in the era of digitization, smartphones and social media. Retailers can make the most of increasingly rich sources of data—information on sales, inventory, energy and space utilization, and customer through-flow—to gain new insights into ways to improve the business.
  • Use technology to augment the customer experience and capitalize on the need for convenience. Adopt agile architecture and leverage supplier relationships to support fast-changing customer needs and enhance business capabilities.
  • Pay attention to real estate. A strong physical presence, effective store layout and real estate analytics can drive savvy investment decisions and an appealing customer experience.

Business leaders need to identify the right combination that provides the greatest return on investment for their business and customer mix.

Beyond the 5 minute economy

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In 2014 Shell commissioned extensive research into consumer behaviour and expectations in four segments in convenience retail (fuel, convenience, technology and fashion).

The research examined the shopper behaviour of 6000 consumers across China, Germany, South Africa, Turkey, USA and the UK. 35 qualitative interviews with retail experts and business leaders were also undertaken.

The research uncovered a number of important findings:

1. The Gap: There is a significant gap between what consumers want and what they are receiving. Convenience retailers need to find a way to bridge this gap.

2. The Four Pillars – Efficient and high quality customer service, a variety of payment methods, a seamless omni-channel experience, and great partnerships delivering quality products.

These are the driving forces behind competition in convenience retail.

3. Time: In a fast paced world, time is in short supply. However, the amount of time consumers are prepared to spend in a store depends on the sector. For example in fuel retail, consumers are prepared to spend 1-5 minutes in the store, in contrast to technology stores where they will spend up to 26+ minutes.

Learning how to use this time effectively will be the key to convenience retailers’ success.

4. Convenience Cravers: This group (the millennials) represent 27% of consumers globally and are aged 25 – 34. They are driving change in convenience because:

  • They have larger than average disposable incomes
  • They are highly connected and influential
  • Act as brand advocates

Read the full report:


Watch a video overview of the findings:



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Will the c-store industry be part of the winning business model for the electric vehicle charging station?

Electric Vehicle Charging Station

According to the research company IMS Research, the number of electric vehicle charging stations may reach 4.8 million worldwide by 2015. The global number of EV charging stations now stands at 75,000 according to their research. The US Department of Energy says the number of EV charging stations in the US as of this blog entry is 5,894 (a 16% increase over six months ago).

The IMS research discusses the different possible business models for the EV charging stations:

  1. Monthly subscriptions that drivers pay to have access to a network of EV charging stations
  2. Free charges for consumers who purchase other goods or services provided at the station location
  3. Pay-per-use like the current fuel fill-up model at c-stores


For the third business model, the IMS research found that consumers would require a quick charge. Consumers reported they were willing to pay $15-17 for a 30 minute quick charge.

From a fuel management perspective, longer term strategy thinking for the fuels analyst needs to include whether or not to offer EV charging stations. Retailers outside the c-store space are already offering charging stations and have announced plans to expand. Will you be part of this emerging business? Can you afford not to be?

Thanks to Price Advantage for this great article:

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Where can you get the cheapest fuel in the world?

Where would you go to top up on fuel? Ever thought of Venezuela? Apparently that’s where you should be going as it’s the one of the cheapest countries in the world to buy diesel. With prices in Britain averaging £1.41 a litre, Venezuela seems like a good option with Diesel costing only 1p a litre!

world's cheapest fuel

For the full article see:

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Crisis in Syria causes rise in petrol prices

Petrolem RetailAs the situation in Syria worsens, UK motorists are to face a rise of 5p per litre for fuel. Crude oil closed at $115.8 a barrel, a rise of $8 since the beginning of the month, but still well below this year’s high of $118.9 in early February. No one can say how high the price of fuel will rise as it will take at least four weeks for the price change to come in to place.