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Accounting for Retailers

Courtesy of the internet, the landscape for retailers in this country has changed. Online sales have exploded over the past few years and the strong Australian dollar has also had a massive impact on trading conditions.

You need to be resilient to run a retail business and apart from the usual small business compliance issues of GST, BAS and PAYG you have to contend with extended trading hours, inflated rents and seasonal trade. Comparison shopping network group, Getprice surveyed 1800 Australian consumers and found that one in five of the consumers surveyed would shop less on overseas sites if the Australian dollar fell below US90 cents, while 16% would shop less on these sites if the dollar fell to less to US80 cents. More than half of the respondents identified broader product availability as a key factor for shopping on international sites while three out of five respondents prefer online retail over traditional retail shopping because of the price savings, special deals and discounts.

Online consumer expenditure is forecast to reach $37.7 billion in 2013 and with 97% of Australian internet users already having shopped online it's important for your retail business to adapt to the changing market conditions. Not only that, the days when a person would only tell five of their friends about a bad shopping experience are gone courtesy of social media. For example, Melbourne retailer Gasp recently asked three young ladies to leave their store and they tweeted and posted about their bad experience on Facebook. Their comments went viral and the story was picked up by television, radio and the press around the world.

Retailers often have to deal with council regulations and permits not to mention staff, OH & S issues and superannuation.  Whether you retail clothes, shoes, computers or liquor in your shop, having an accountant who understands your retail business can mean the difference between success and survival. Over the years, our team of accountants have mentored a number of retail shop owners through the various stages of their business life cycle from start up right through to sale. We offer you experience, technical knowledge and an intimate understanding of retail trade.

Thinking of Starting or Buying a Retail Shop?

If you are looking to start or buy a retail business there are numerous issues to consider. As a business start up specialist we can provide you with a comprehensive checklist of start up expenses broken down into categories including leasehold improvements, shop fit out, IT, marketing and signage, equipment and trading stock. These figures then automatically feed into an integrated cash flow budget to help you identify your start-up finance requirements. The budget can then slot into your business plan.

We’ll advise you on the most appropriate tax structure for your business taking into account income tax considerations, asset protection and future discount capital gains tax concessions. Next, we will help you select the most appropriate software for your business and factor in your business needs and level of accounting skill. Far too many people who open a retail shop make the mistake of buying sophisticated ‘double entry’ accounting programs that are beyond their needs and level of accounting skill. They end up creating financial records that can only be described as a ‘computerised shoebox’ and they lose focus on the important things including working ON the business. Stock takes become a nightmare and the wrong software leads to frustration and excessive accounting fees. Our brief includes helping you save money and it starts with the right advice.

Through one of our affiliate partners we can also help you source funding to finance your shop fit out, equipment, franchise fee, motor vehicle or van. Most retail leases are complex and we can liaise with your solicitor regarding the terms because occupancy costs are generally the second largest expense behind wages.

Marketing Your Business

For a retailer, marketing can be the difference between success and failure. In the digital age your website and social media strategy are critical as is your branding. We can help you with your branding and provide advice regarding your website’s features, functionality and content. We have worked with dozens of clients and liaised with graphic artists and website development teams to create inexpensive, quality client websites. If you need help with your corporate brochure, newsletter or want to harness the power of social media to win more referrals we can also provide advice and direction. We believe our marketing skills set us apart from other accounting firms.

Grow Your Profits

As accountants we can prepare some ‘what if’ financial scenarios so you know your business’ best and worst case scenarios. We can help you prepare a cash flow budget and project your profit and loss for your first year of trading. On an operational level we’ll help you price your services and identify your break even point and help you understand your profit margins. Using industry benchmarks we can analyse the performance of your retail business and compare it against your competitors so you know what is working in the business and what needs working on.

We recognise you want to grow your business, your profits and your wealth. For that reason we strive to help you ‘know your numbers’ and that includes understanding the 4 Ways to Grow Your Business. If you understand the key profit drivers in your business we can talk you through profit improvement strategies. Not only that, we can quantify the profit improvement potential in your business.

Our unique business approach is all about fast tracking your business success and the team of retail specialists at McHenry Partners offer you a full range of accounting, taxation and business coaching services including:

  • Start-Up Business Advice for Retailers  
  • Advice regarding the Purchase or Sale of your Retail Shop
  • Spreadsheets and Tools including a Start Up Expense Checklist, Templates for your Business Plan, Cash flow Budget, Letterhead and Business Card
  • Advice and Establishment of Your Business Structure
  • Tax Registrations including your ABN, TFN, GST, WorkCover etc.
  • Preparation of Business Plans, Cash Flow Forecasts and Profit Projections
  • Accounting Software Selection and Training (Bookkeeping, POS, Invoicing, Payroll etc.)
  • Preparation of Bank Finance Applications
  • Preparation and Analysis of Financial Statements
  • Bookkeeping and Payroll Services
  • Tax Planning Strategies
  • Marketing Audit including the establishment or evaluation of your branding, brochures, website and social media strategies
  • Advice and Assistance with the Development, Content and SEO of your Website
  • Wealth Creation Strategies and Financial Planning Services
  • Industry Benchmarking and KPI Management
  • Vehicle & Equipment Finance
  • Advice & Assistance with Pricing  
  • Advice regarding Claiming Motor Vehicle Costs
  • Recession Survival Strategies
  • Advice regarding Employee Relations and Workplace Laws
  • Business & Risk Insurances
  • Business Succession Planning

We are more than just tax accountants. We offer business owners strategies to build their business and grow their wealth and genuinely care about your business success, Retailers have become a niche area within our accounting practice and for more information contact us today on 1300 789 844.

We invite you to book a FREE, no obligation, one hour introductory consultation to discuss your business needs. You'll get practical business, tax, marketing and financial advice that could have a significant impact on your bottom line. To book a time, call us today on 1300 789 844 or complete your details in the box at the top of this page.

McHenry Partners - Accountants & Business Advisors
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