All Money talk articles – Page 6

  • News

    Lonesome George and the fuel duty Balls-up...


    Throughout June there was endless speculation in the media over whether the government would stick with its planned fuel duty increase on August 1. At the same time, with crude oil prices having fallen from a peak of around $130 a barrel earlier in the year to around $90, pump ...

  • News

    Eggs, baskets and book-keeping systems...


    The panic in the lady’s voice was hard to miss. She had a VAT return to complete and file with HMRC in a matter of days, but all of her book-keeping data had ’gone’. Gone as in completely un-recoverable from a laptop PC that had been left sitting on ...

  • News

    Time for an ’OfPet’?


    The recent fuel-crisis-that-never-was proved interesting for a number of reasons. Government ministers advising consumers to buy jerry cans and hoard petrol at home was merely the most amusing but at least it served to highlight just how important the petroleum retail industry is to the normal functioning of everyday ...

  • News

    Forecourt stores are still really hooked on tobacco


    Every retailer has been aware for many months of the impending ban on tobacco displays in ’large’ stores those over 280sq m or 3,000sq ft which comes into effect on April 6 in England, and on October 6 in Northern Ireland. At the time of writing it was ...

  • News

    Money for nothing? Or a value-for-money service?


    The conversation started in a friendly enough way. The caller was a regular reader of Forecourt Trader and was quite complementary about the way this column regularly drew attention to some of the financial problems that affect retailers, especially the difficulties arising almost as casual by-products of fuel price inflation.He ...

  • News

    Dealers feel the squeeze as fuel prices rise (again)


    As we listen to our independent dealer clients, we’re hearing a particular comment that seems to be becoming almost routine. It’s "The bank keeps calling about our overdraft levels and we’re not sure why we seem to be out of cash so often". So we look at their trading figures, ...

  • News

    Keeping calm can get you through troubled times


    Welcome to January, the bleakest of months the darkness, the weather, and the bills arriving after that little extravagance at Christmas. And that was just in the good times. This year the economic and trading situation is likely to be the worst in most of our lifetimes, and the ...

  • News

    If you’re after a bank loan you’ll need a detailed plan


    In the same week as the government started to talk about a new £4bn scheme for state-backed lending directly to small businesses primarily because the earlier Project Merlin agreement for increased bank lending to business isn’t believed to be working it was quite interesting to listen to a ...

  • News

    EKW PAYEPeople Annual Forecourt Wages Report


    We live in an age where the buzzword is ’austerity’. Many readers of this column may not have seen a pay increase for several years. Indeed some may well have suffered a substantial reduction in their pay over the past few years, as their businesses have struggled to survive. However, ...

  • News

    Be careful what you wish for when it comes to help


    Almost every economic analysis published during the past few months has warned that the UK, the Eurozone, and probably the rest of the Western world, are on the brink of financial meltdown. Small-to-medium UK businesses in particular are being hit from all sides including: problems obtaining bank funding; poor payment ...

  • News

    The relevance (or not) of those crude oil prices


    Look at any discussion about fuel prices or dealer margins and you’ll find an immediate reference to crude oil prices and then, in slightly more specialist articles, a reference to Platts prices. There’s a general assumption that both are so obvious and/or well understood that no further explanation is necessary. ...

  • News

    Why expansion plans need not be a headache


    It’s always a pleasant surprise when clients tell you that they need a bit of help because their business is expanding rather than contracting. That’s because one of the trends in this industry over recent years has been consolidation, not just at the level of the (ever-fewer) major oil ...

  • News

    Director’s loan accounts need careful consideration


    A considerable proportion of our clients have financial year-ends running to either March 31 or April 30, in common with a lot of other small/medium businesses in general. In practice that means that around this time of year many accountants start seeing their clients’ end-of year paperwork come into the ...

  • News

    Big Brother wants lots more answers from you


    With most households having had to complete the 2011 Census forms just a couple of months ago, you’d think that the government had obtained enough raw data to keep the number crunchers occupied for at least a couple of years. Unfortunately, as many forecourt retailers have discovered recently, the official ...

  • News

    The actual and potential costs of health and safety


    One of the less sensational announcements within the March Budget related to the government’s aim of cutting so-called red tape and thereby helping small- and medium-sized businesses to avoid unnecessary costs. A particular target was the dreaded health and safety regime, which is one of those subjects that fills lawyers’ ...

  • News

    Budget - giving with one hand taking with the other


    And so we had the Coalition government’s first ’regular’ Budget on March 23, awaited for with much anticipation by fuel users and petrol retailers alike. First let’s just remind ourselves that as Mr Osborne got up to speak, typical pump prices were around 133.9ppl for unleaded petrol, and 139.9 for ...

  • News

    Will rising prices drive us to another ’fuel crisis’?


    Anyone reading the news pages of February’s Forecourt Trader can’t have missed the biggest topic of the month the imminent 1ppl fuel duty hike due in April. Of course, that ’penny a litre’ increase will translate into a rather larger figure at the pumps typically an extra 3-4ppl ...

  • News

    Paper trail


    KeepsakesWhenever the subject of accounts and record keeping crops up in this column, it tends to result in a bit of a yawn in some quarters. After all, everyone produces accounts in some form already, don’t they? It’s one thing to have ’accounts’ and we can’t imagine anyone in ...

  • News

    New Year, new VAT rate


    Brace yourself for the New Year...Back to the grindstone! You’ve survived the Christmas and New Year festivities, not to mention the first proper ’cold snap’ of the winter. Hopefully the more-than-seasonal weather will have sent some additional customers into your shop for the necessities, even if you didn’t have any ...

  • News

    Cracking Christmas


    The retailers’ favourite time of year?It seems to come around sooner every year, and here it is again Christmas. The lifesaver of retail businesses all over the UK. Not so many years ago it was a relatively quiet time of year in petrol retailing. In those days there’d be ...