Auditors raise concerns on emphasis put on like-for-like sales

by Rachael Singh

More from this author

09 Jan 2014

  • Comments
Westfield Stratford City shopping centre

A GROUP OF AUDITORS has warned of the dangers of placing too much emphasis on like-for-like sales in the retail sector over the Christmas period.

The ICAEW-led working group, consisted of six retail auditors who were asked to share their insights for the report, "Audit Insights Retail 2014".

The report warned that placing too much focus on like-for like sales in crowning the "Christmas winner" is masking a true reflection of how the sector's business model is changing.

Julie Carlyle, head of retail at EY and member of the ICAEW working group said: "The much publicised differences in promotional strategies over the festive period emphasise the ability of like-for-like sales to mask real performance and raises the question, whether we should be looking at the like-for-like margin? We know there is no standard way of calculating ‘like' figures and, therefore, challenge this as the scorecard for Christmas".

"It is critical for retail businesses to have the right data to respond in such a rapidly changing world and this is becoming more difficult."

The working group found that the increasing popularity of digital sales was throwing up challenges to the retailers in determining what parts of the business are generating sales.

It remained unclear whether or not customers were looking online first and then visiting the store or vice versa. 

The latest report is part of a wider initiative by the ICAEW to demonstrate the value of audit. This is the second retail sector report published by the institute and the fifth auditor insight.

The latest audit insights into the retail sector can be found here.

Visitor comments

blog comments powered by Disqus

Add your comment

We won't publish your address

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms & Conditions

Your comment will be moderated before publication

  • Send


Financial Planner

The Ministry of Defence Surgeon General’s (SG) Finance Department, Lichfield, Staffordshire, Permanent, Full Time, £ £30,008




Get the latest financial news sent directly to your inbox

  • Best Practice
  • Business
  • Daily Newsletter
  • Essentials


Search for jobs
Click to search our database of all the latest accountancy roles

Create a profile
Click to set up your profile and let the best recruiters find you

Jobs by email
Sign up to receive regular updates with the latest roles suitable for you



Why budgeting fails: One management system is not enough

If budgeting is to have any value at all, it needs a radical overhaul. In today's dynamic marketplace, budgeting can no longer serve as a company's only management system; it must integrate with and support dedicated strategy management systems, process improvement systems, and the like. In this paper, Professor Peter Horvath and Dr Ralf Sauter present what's wrong with the current approach to budgeting and how to fix it.


iXBRL: Taking stock. Looking forward

In this white paper CCH provide checklists to help accountants and finance professionals both in practice and in business examine these issues and make plans. Also includes a case study of a large commercial organisation working through the first year of mandatory iXBRL filing.