Accounting for Retailers

Establishing and running a retail shop is both demanding and challenging. 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. The retailing landscape has changed and the GFC has coincided with an explosion of on-line sales. The relatively strong Australian dollar has made conditions for retailers even more competitive.

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.

Forecasts suggest that online consumer expenditure will reach $37.7 billion by 2013 and 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, the 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.

You probably also need to deal with various council permits and regulations not to mention your staff, OH & S issues and superannuation. Your retail tenancy lease can be extremely complex and given occupancy costs are often the second highest expense (after wages) in a retail shop we can help you negotiate the terms of your retail lease and liaise with your solicitor. Whether you retail clothes, shoes, computers or liquor in your shop, having an accountant who understands your retail business can mean the difference between survival and success. 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. These figures 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 our affiliate partners we can also help you source funding to finance your shop fit out, equipment, franchise fee, motor vehicle or van.

Marketing Your Business

For a retail shop, marketing can be the difference between success or failure and the world of retail is rapidly changing with the increase in online trading. It all starts with your branding and we can help you with ideas for your business name, logo and slogan. Next we’ll offer you advice regarding your website’s colour scheme, skin, functionality and content. We have worked with dozens of clients and liaised with graphic artists and our affiliate website development team to create inexpensive but quality websites for clients. 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 operation. On an operational level we’ll help you price your services and identify your break even point and provide advice regarding 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 shop specialists at Suntax offer you a full range of accounting, taxation and business coaching services including:

  • Start-Up Business Advice for Retailers  
  • Advice regarding the Purchase and 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 Finance Applications for your Bank Loan (if required)
  • 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 so much more than just tax accountants. We are ‘business and profit builders’ who offer you strategies and financial solutions. We genuinely care about your business success and retailers have become a niche area within our accounting practice. To get your retail shop off to a flying start or to grow your existing business, contact us today.

Suntax - Accountants & Business Advisors