Forecourt Trader - 30 years at the heart of the fuel retailing community

Money Talk: Are you brave enough to try our end-of-year quiz?

1] Your accounts show total shop turnover for the year as £240,000 at an overall GP% of 19%. But your business plan was based on an expected GP of 23% on sales of £220,000. How far off-target is your gross profit against the business plan?

[a] Over by £8,000

[b] Under by £5,000

[c] Over by £3,000

[d] Nil same total profit, different reasons.

2] The wholesale price of your best-selling cigarettes has just increased to £6.75 per packet: you wish to make a minimum of 8% GP on each sale. What is the minimum retail price you need to charge?

[a] £8.81[b] £7.34

[c] £7.29[d] £8.35

3] Your bank manager looks at your accounts and sees that the total GP on fuels for the year was £265,500, but can't see any volume figures. You know volume was 4.5m litres in the year. She asks you what you made per litre:

[a] 3.6 ppl[b] 8.9 ppl

[c] 4.6 ppl[d] 5.9 ppl

4] Your current VAT quarter ends on February 28, 2015; what is the latest date by which you will need to file the online VAT return?

[a] 10th April[b] 31st March

[c] 7th April[d] 7th March

5] Your business plan for next year shows that you are expected to sell £90,000 of news and magazines at 20% GP. You know from experience that you're only likely to achieve 15% GP. How much more do you need to sell at that margin to earn the same contribution?

[a] £30,000[b] £35,000

[c] £40,000[d] £45,000

6] You are about to start selling postage stamps in the New Year, but which VAT rate or category should they come under?

[a] 10%[b] Exempt from VAT

[c] Zero %[d] 20%

7] Your business is run as a private limited company. Its latest financial year-end was November 30, 2014. What is the latest date by which you need to file your annual accounts at Companies House?

[a] 5th April 2015

[b] 30th November 2015

[c] 31st July 2015

[d] 31st August 2015

8] And what is the latest date for paying any Corporation Tax due on the company's profits for that year?

[a] 1st September 2015

[b] 6th April 2015

[c] 30th November 2015

[d] 1st January 2016

9] What is the current National Minimum Wage for employees aged between 18 and 21?

[a] £5.03[b] £6.31

[c] £5.13[d] £5.95

10] Your bank manager wants to renew your overdraft and is asking how many days' fuel stock you typically hold. You know your volume was 4.5m litres and that you typically keep 25,000 litres underground at any time, so you tell her:

[a] 2[b] 3

[c] 4[d] 5

11] She then asks you what your overall stock turn is across the shop. You know that your total turnover was £240,000 at 19% GP and your management accounts show typical stock values of £28,000. Your answer is:

[a] 11.6 times per year[b] 8.6

[c] 6.9[d] 12.0

12] Your business plan for the next 12 months shows expected shop turnover of £260,000 at 24% GP; your bank manager suggests that the shop stock-turn should be a minimum of 14 times per year. Therefore the average amount of stock on site should be:

[a] £24,500[b] £14,110

[c] £19,850[d] £18,575

13] Going through your management accounts you notice that you're only making a GP of 18.5% on alcohol sales of £36,000. The off-invoice margins suggest that you should be making 24%. Assuming that the shortfall is purely due to 'stock losses', what is the retail value of 'lost' booze?

[a] £2,376[b] £1,980

[c] £2,600[d] £3,280

14] Your bank manager suggests that before they agree to renew and extend your overdraft, you will need to inject some of your own funds back into the business to improve the 'liquidity ratio' to at least 100% from the current figure of 69%. Your accounts say that the business has current assets of £46,875; what is the minimum that they expect you to put back?

[a] £21,060[b] £24,680

[c] £25,750[d] £26,875

15] You still have personal tax to pay on the dividends that you took out of the business in the tax-year 2013-14. What is the latest date by which you need to settle this liability in order to avoid any penalties?

[a] 31st December 2014

[b] 1st January 2015

[c] 31st January 2015

[d] 31st March 2015

16] You receive an email telling you that there's a tax refund of £18,000 due to you, and you only need to complete the attached form with your bank details in order to receive the money before Christmas. Do you:

[a] Provide the details requested and reply immediately?

[b] Order that new BMW you wanted?

[c] Send your accountant a crate of Dom Perignon?

[d] Mark it as 'spam' and put in the junk email folder?

Answers:

1b;2a;3d;4c;5a;6b;7d;8a;9c;10a;11b OR c;12b OR d either/both are correct;13a;14a;15c;16d

How did you do?

If you scored:

12-16 You know your stuff, probably been reading this column for years ever considered a career in accounting?

9-12 Respectable at least you'll be able to have sensible conversations with your accountant or bank manager when they want to talk the numbers.

6-9 Not too bad, but perhaps it's best to keep your accountant's phone number on speed-dial and talk to them a bit more often

0-6 At the moment you're a danger to yourself; you need help. Urgently. Find an accountant who has some experience of the forecourt industry and listen to what they tell you!

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 18 September 2017
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East120.75128.55119.84
East Midlands120.29128.81119.63
London120.7558.57130.05119.82
North East120.2059.90129.98119.40
North West120.52128.62119.81
Northern Ireland119.2369.90126.85119.03
Scotland120.60128.18119.75
South East121.03130.63120.24
South West120.75129.31119.96
Wales120.35127.44119.57
West Midlands120.4262.90130.69119.84
Yorkshire & Humber120.1971.90128.67119.59

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