Retail Accounting

Retail Accounting news – brought to you by CounterBooks – www.counterbooks.com


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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 www.CounterBooks.com

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

Email: lshafer@counterbooks.com

Website: http://www.counterbooks.com


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PRESS RELEASE: CounterBooks Launches Newly Redesigned Interface

CounterBooks' Redesigned Interface

CounterBooks, a leading Online Retail Accounting Management Suite for the fuel, convenience and general retail industry, is pleased to announce today, the launch of the redesigned graphical interface of CounterBooks.

The focus of the redesign has been to improve the user experience from daily reconciliation through to real time reporting. This follows a series of exciting developments at CounterBooks including the introduction of the Retail Management Information System and the Billing Control System.

The same great features and benefits of CounterBooks have been maintained but navigation has improved with fewer clicks, easy to follow navigation (breadcrumbs), dynamic menus and enhanced drill down. The redesign is currently being rolled out to all CounterBooks’ fuel, convenience and general retail clients in the UK and across Europe.

John Roberts, Managing Director, CounterBooks said “Having launched the first cloud based version of CounterBooks in 2003 we started on a redesign in 2013 and I am delighted to be able to roll out the new system to all of our customers this autumn. With over 1000 files and 150 pages to modify, our IT team had their hands full and I’m pleased to say, they did a great job. Enjoyment and accounting systems use probably don’t go hand in hand, but I am sure our customers will love the improvements.”

To learn more about CounterBooks please visit www.counterbooks.com

About CounterBooks
CounterBooks was developed in 2001 – 2002 and launched on 1st January 2003 as the world’s first on-line full ledger accounting system designed specifically for retailers. CounterBooks was originally developed as a Pro-Retail MS DOS system 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: +44 207 099 1050
Email: lshafer@CounterBooks.com
Website: http://www.counterbooks.com


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Budgeting for Retail Franchises

budgetingIn the current economic climate, it is important to focus on business planning and financial budgeting to help ensure that retailers have the net worth and liquidity to survive. John Roberts, CounterBooks MD, explains why it’s important to stay ahead of the game.

For a retail franchise, where the day to day financial decisions are taken by the franchisee, it is vital for the franchisor and franchisee to agree on a business plan annually and to draw up a budget arising out of the plan. As an independent businessman the franchisee can subsequently decide to run the business along different lines but with a plan agreed up front. The franchisor can measure the impact of those decisions and the risks they might have for the brand.

The plan will outline:
•    changes that you want to happen in the year
•    changes to your market, customers and competition
•    people issues
•    objectives and goals for the year
•    financial outcome from the plan – the budget.

Any retail franchise that doesn’t have a business plan is planning to fail. So why is it so important? Business plans help franchisees to concentrate their resources on improving revenue, minimising costs, and increasing ROI whilst at the same time ensuring a satisfactory level of liquidity to allow the business to pay its bills on time.

For most franchise retailers the key elements of the budget include:

Operating Profit

•    Category sales volumes
•    Category gross margins
•    Labour costs
•    Franchise costs
•    Other fixed costs / overheads
•    Seasonality

Cash flow projection

•    Stock levels
•    Card reimbursements
•    Vat and other tax payments
•    Other creditor terms
•    Capital expenditure
•    Retailer drawings
•    Finance facilities
•    Seasonality.

Actual results in both profit and cash terms should be compared to budget throughout the year. By these means the franchisee and franchisor should be able to capitalise on favourable trends and take action to address problem areas.

Budgeting Do’s

–    Look at historical sales trends. POS systems should provide the seasonal data. Remember, high levels of stock do not necessarily result in higher profits and may result in a cash shortage.

–     Use the budget to incorporate incentives i.e. sales promotions. For example Spar launched a ‘Fresh for Less’ promotional offer in November to help boost sales in fresh foods. Factor in the increased sales but also the impact on margin.

–    Review your budget and plan regularly. The key is being flexible, checking actual expenditure and income in comparison to budget and analyse any trends. If a major competitor opens an outlet next door it could have severe implications.

Why it’s important for franchisors:

–    Insight and predictability throughout franchise chain.
An MIS system that collects financial information in a standard format from all franchisees  will be invaluable to the franchisor in determining whether actual results are coming out in accordance with plan or whether remedial action needs to be taken.

–    Benchmarking
Compare actual performance to budget of franchisees within the network to identify good / poor performance. Obtain a consolidated view of the entire network profitability and benchmark against the competition.

–    Improved risk management
Reports for the franchisor that show the net worth and liquidity of each franchisee are vital to assess the stores at risk.

CounterBooks, a leading online retail accounting management suite, integrates with many point of sale and back office systems, reports on actual against budget and gives  retail franchisors an up to date overview of the financial status of their whole network thereby improving performance and managing risk.