Excel errors: why spreadsheets are so dangerous for rebate accounting

Posted by Andrew Butt on April 30, 2019 02:04:44

A few years ago news about Excel miscalculations at JP Morgan rocked spreadsheet users’ worlds. A simple cut and paste error cost JP Morgan $6 billion and resulted in dramatic headlines like “Why Excel is the Most Dangerous Software in the World”, but it wasn’t the first time spreadsheets had caused massive business disruption, nor will it be the last. A similar cut and paste error had previously cost TransAlta $24 million and another Excel mishap – hiding cells instead of deleting them – cost Barclays bank millions during the 2008 meltdown. And when a flawed Department for Transport (DfT) forecast model was blamed for the botched bidding process on the £9bn West Coast Main Line rail franchise contract, similar headlines brought the danger of spreadsheets to mind once again.

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Topics: Rebate Accounting

Managing special pricing agreements is linked to higher margins

Posted by Craig Flynn on December 4, 2018 09:55:00

SPAs (Special Pricing Agreements) are a common vendor program in many industry sectors. The program gives a special product discount for verified sales to an ultra-competitive event where in-stock discounts can’t secure the order.

SPAs trace their roots back to the 1970’s but have shown significant growth in the past decade. As B2B e-commerce now counts for an estimated 15% of all orders and grows at 8% per year, SPAs have grown significantly as price and availability are easily and quickly researched.

SPAs are now used by 77% of all distribution firms in North America; second only to volume rebates which are used by 90% of distributors.

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Topics: Rebate Management, Rebate Accounting, Industry Sector: Building Materials, Industry Sector: Wholesale Distribution, Industry Sector: Retail, Industry Sector: Buying Groups, Rebate Management System, Special Price Agreements SPAs

Buyers' guide to rebate program management systems

Posted by Andrew Butt on October 29, 2018 16:01:21

Whilst many core business systems have some functionality to help monitor trading agreements that involve vendor rebates, most have neither the flexibility nor the extensive range of functionality that is needed to support the increasingly complex world of rebate management.

For many, that lack of functionality has resulted in missed rebates and poor accrual accounting.

But worse than that, if your business systems don’t support rebate management fully, then the whole purpose behind creating deals involving rebates – a means to influence business growth – is missed.

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Topics: Rebate Management, Rebate Accounting, Rebate Management System

Making every penny count: suppliers to the building industry

Posted by Andrew Butt on September 20, 2018 14:26:19

If you’re a builders merchant in 2018 you’ll know how essential it is to ensure every penny counts in terms of your bottom line. So, it’s even more crucial than ever that you don’t miss out on any of the, often significant, sums due to you through rebates.

Indeed, profitability for suppliers to the building industry is often very closely dependent on the amount of rebate they can negotiate and claim and many businesses across this sector tell us that the sheer volume of categories and the complexity of rebate deals means that administering rebate claims is a mission critical element of their business which can be the difference between a decent year and a great one.

100% of our customers have identified previously missed rebate claims after implementing our Dealtrack system and we have even seen cases of missed rebate claims amounting to 7 or even 8 figure sums.

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Topics: Rebate Management, Rebate Accounting, Industry Sector: Building Materials, Rebate Management System

Rebate management explained

Posted by Andrew Butt on September 19, 2018 14:23:32

Rebate management is the process of recording supplier agreements, tracking purchases and sales against those agreements, and managing accruals and rebate claims in a timely manner.  This blog and animation cover:

  • What is rebate management?

  • What is a rebate management system?

  • What are the benefits of having a rebate management system?

  • What types of company use rebate management systems?

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Topics: Rebate Management, Rebate Accounting, Rebate Management System

10 reasons rebate accountants fail to claim 100% of rebate due

Posted by Andrew Butt on September 6, 2018 10:42:00

Failing to claim 100% of rebate due can have a large negative impact on the bottom line for businesses in industries where rebate agreements are commonplace.  Finding out why that happens and how to stop missing vendor rebate claims is at the forefront of the minds of rebate accountants and financial leads the world over.

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Topics: Rebate Management, Rebate Accounting, Rebate Management System

Take control of your rebate debtors

Posted by Andrew Butt on May 23, 2018 09:15:00

In our experience, many businesses that receive rebate revenue from suppliers, don't have the means to be able to check that it is correct. 

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Topics: Rebate Management, Rebate Accounting, Rebate Management System

Spring 2018 webinar series: profitable growth from rebate management

Posted by Andrew Butt on February 14, 2018 11:34:06

For spring / early summer we have a series of three webinars planned to share more detail about our 3 step approach to profitable growth through:

  1. Mastering rebate accounting and maximising profit from rebate deals;

  2. Being prepared for and executing on smarter supplier negotiations;

  3. Collaborating with suppliers for mutually profitable growth.

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Topics: Rebate Management, Procurement Excellence, Rebate Management & Compliance, Rebate Accounting, Industry Sector: Building Materials, Industry Sector: Wholesale Distribution, Rebate Management & Growth, Industry Sector: Retail, Industry Sector: Buying Groups, Rebate Management System

129 million reasons to address the symptoms of poor rebate accounting

Posted by Andrew Butt on March 28, 2017 12:36:29

Today it was announced that Tesco has agreed to a £129m fine to avoid prosecution by the FCA for overstating its profits in 2014. The root of the problem is believed to be premature recognition of rebate income from suppliers.

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Topics: Rebate Accounting

6 ways to improve your rebate accounting processes

Posted by Andrew Butt on March 22, 2017 08:30:00

The complexities involved in managing complex trade agreements and accounting for rebates and retrospective discount payments are often difficult to model in manual systems such as spreadsheets and basic accounting software. Organisations opting to calculate, forecast and accrue rebate income in this way leave themselves at risk of inaccuracies, missed opportunities and supplier disputes.

Here are 6 ways to improve rebate accounting processes in order to:

  • remove the risks associated with manual processes
  • deliver a streamlined process for handling complex trade agreements
  • provide a foundation for growth in business profitability and revenue.
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Topics: Rebate Management, Rebate Accounting