Retail Accounting

Retail Accounting news – brought to you by CounterBooks –

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CounterBooks launches Billing Control System at 2014 NACS Insight Convenience Summit – Europe

CounterBooks' retail accounting management suiteCounterBooks, a leading retail accounting management suite for oil companies and convenience retailers, launched the Billing Control System as a new module of the CounterBooks suite at the 2014 NACS Insight Convenience Summit – Europe in London, UK.

The Billing Control System has been developed after working closely with leading brand owners such as major oil companies and convenience retailers, which operate distribution channels such as franchises, dealers and other partnership variations.

John Roberts, managing director, said: “Many brand owners operate complicated and highly multifaceted financial models with their channel partners, which involve thousands of transactions throughout the year. It is business critical for both the brand owners and the channel partners to ensure that all necessary transactions have been executed, on time, to the correct party, for the correct amount, for the correct items under the correct terms. One small error can become highly material if replicated over a large retail network.

“Due to the nature of the deployment of CounterBooks, the database holds both sides of the transaction, which allows CounterBooks to reconcile and match each transaction so that exceptions can be reported for further investigation. We have been working with several brand owners and already identified numerous areas which require enhanced controls within their billing processes and procedures – these initial trials already demonstrate scope for substantial cost savings which would deliver a high return on investment.”

The Billing Control System is an extension of the powerful CounterBooks’ Retail Management Information System, which provides in-depth and accurate management reporting for brand owners across their channel partners to improve performance and manage risk.

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Park Garage Group Implements CounterBooks


Press Release

CounterBooks, a leading retail accounting management suite for forecourt, convenience, hospitality retail businesses, today announced that it is implementing CounterBooks across Park Garage Group’s (PGG) petrol station commission-operator network.

The commission-operators within the network will use the CounterBooks’ online general ledger accounting system to control their businesses.  The easy to use accounting system is hosted securely online and with petrol retail specific reports it quickly helps the commission-operator understand how their station is performing against plan. The commission-operator will also benefit from lower costs, save time and improve the accuracy of the data by integrating with the other forecourt systems.

The management team at Park Garage Group will use the CounterBooks’ online management information system which provides total transparency and control across their network. Whether it is an individual station, region or network, there are real time reports which allow the user to drill down to the underlying data, standardised reports, consolidated reports and full data analysis functionality to allow total financial control.

CounterBooks will provide accurate, comparative and real time information which allows informed decisions to be made by the management of Park Garage Group. This will allow Park Garage Group to drive performance and manage risk whilst continuing to innovate as a leading independent fuel and convenience store retailer.

Park Garage Group joins other petrol convenience store retailers such as Shell, BP and Esso all of which are satisfied users of CounterBooks.

Sunil Tandon, Managing Director, Park Garage Group said ‘Through our commission operators using CounterBooks, we are already seeing the tangible benefits. We have full transparency of the network at anytime from anywhere. This allows us to support our  operators while having control over business critical issues.”

Miles Harvey, Operations Director, Park Garage Group said ‘Over the past 6 months we have worked closely with the CounterBooks team who have been very supportive and helpful in implementing the changes.’

John Roberts, Managing Director, CounterBooks commented, ‘We were delighted when an excellent independent operator like Park Garage Group selected CounterBooks last year and have enjoyed working with Miles and his team on the implementation’.

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About CounterBooks

CounterBooks was developed in 2001 – 2 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



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Nisa Local Retailer Rav Garcha Trials Electronic Shelf Labelling


Award Winning Nisa Local Retailer Rav Garcha talks to Herbert about the Electronic Shelf Labelling solution on trial at his West Midlands Convenience Retail store.


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Creating a Fuel Retail Cloud-Based Ecosystem

Cloud-based EcosystemOne of the key benefits of using CounterBooks is its ability to integrate a number of (otherwise disparate) systems that the retailer already has access to.

When CounterBooks was first conceived and developed, it broke new ground by being the first major UK-based accounting product to be available over the internet.  This brought immediate benefit to our customers in that they became responsible for just the usage of the system, and did not have to worry about managing the installation and support of this key part of their business.  Being able to access their data from anywhere, anytime, was merely an additional bonus to many early adopters.

Several years after the initial launch, we introduced the ability for CounterBooks to import sales and invoice data generated by the existing Point of Sale and Back Office systems already in use at many of our customer’s retail sites.  POS systems that we have developed interfaces for include Wayne Nucleus, Torex Prism, Huth ITAS Vision, Background 2 Flow and Wincor.  This import process now accounts for approximately 80% of all data input into CounterBooks and not only saves our customer many valuable hours of book-keeping time, but improves data accuracy and reporting as well.

We have recently rolled out a further enhancement to this import process that allows us to autonomously collect data on the customer’s behalf and upload it into CounterBooks directly.  The retailer then simply has the responsibility to review and accept the uploaded data before it is saved into their accounts.

We have been able to do this because of recent developments in Cloud-Based ePOS systems that, like CounterBooks, are based on a central data store which is accessed over the internet by the retailer and are designed from the outset with the ability to exchange data with other systems.  These upgrades have also given us the ability to import data from the retailer’s biggest suppliers in a similarly centralised manner.  Providers that we currently work with can be seen here, and we are adding further names to this list on a continual basis.

The upshot of this is that we have enabled the retailer to become part of and to make use of an ecosystem that they may not have realised existed previously.  In fact the process is often so transparent that many of them no doubt remain unaware of its existence even once part of it!  Hopefully, though, all of our customers quickly appreciate the benefits we are bringing them in terms of reduced overheads and staffing costs, improved accounting practices and a better understanding of their business’ financial position.

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Retail Accounting 101: Retail Sales Metrics

KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are a type of performance measure.They help you to evaluateKey Performance Indicator Chart how well your retail company is doing within a particular activity. You need to have a good understanding of what’s important to your retail company in order to choose the right set of KPIs. However there are some key KPIs that may be useful in your retail organisation:

Sales per Unit Area
Sales per unit area is a standard measure of success within retail stores. It’s often expressed in square feet but increasingly it is now being defined in square meters. It can measure your retail stores efficiency in generating revenue with the amount of space available to your retail store.  The higher the sales per unit area the better your retail store is doing at positioning products and marketing. Apple for example has twice the sales per square foot of any other US retailer.  It also allows you to benchmark your retail store against your competitors. Such information can often be obtained from trade unions, annual reports or Companies House.  Remember, factors such as location, layout and amount of inventory can have an effect on your retail stores results.
How to work out sales per unit area:

It’s a simple equation which is often expressed as follows:

£ Sales per period  e.g. £200,000 = £100 per sq ft
Sales floor area           2000 sq ft

It’s a very useful comparison tool, particularly if you have a number of different stores of varying size as it allows you to compare performance.

Sales per Customer/Transactions
You can work out the actual sales for a certain period such (month or year) and divide it by the number of customers/transactions.

For example:

Total sales               = Sales per transaction
No. of transactions

Sales per employee
This is helpful in comparing labour productivity between different retail stores.  It can also help in determining the number of sales your retail store will need to make if you take on new staff. When working out sales per employee you will need to account for anyone who is working part-time. So convert their hours to the equivalent full-time hours.

You can calculate the sales per employee as follows:

Net Sales         =   Sales per employee
No. of employees

Sales per hour tells you the speed at with each individual salesperson is selling a product to a customer within your retail store. It’s a great comparison tool to see how well each salesperson is performing in comparison to everyone else.

It’s easy to calculate:

Actual sales         = Sales per hour
Employee hours


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Retail Accounting 101: Profit and Loss Statement

What is a Profit and Loss Statement?

Retail Profit and Loss Statement

Retail Profit and Loss Statement

A Profit and Loss (P&L) statement summarises the financial performance of a business over time. It is a useful tool to assess how well your retail business is doing. Essentially you are calculating your profit or loss within a certain period.

Key elements are:

Sales – The amount of money you have made from selling your product.

Cost of Sales – The cost of making the product or providing the service before anything else is deducted.

Gross Profit – The sales less the cost of sales.

Overheads – Operating costs of the business such as travel, advertising, phone etc.

Net profit – Net profit is what you have left over after everything has been deducted. This includes overheads and taxes.

Example Profit and Loss Statement

Sales 500,000
Cost of Sales 300,000
Gross Profit 200,000
–          Salaries 5,000
–          Advertising 10,000
–          Travel 100
–          Phone 70
–          Sundries 100
Net Profit (before tax) 184,730

It is important to assess your retail performance at regular intervals however the detail required will vary between retail companies.

What are the benefits to your retail business?

–          Compare your predicted performance with your actual performance.

–          Determine growth potential within retail.

–          Assess your retail business performance with retail industry norms.

–          Forecasting

What else do think is important for a retailer when reviewing their Profit and Loss statement? Please add your comments below.