14 Ways to Keep Your Bean Counters Happy
Month- and year-end accounting stress can hit a dealership like a ton of bricks. It’s when we find ourselves scrambling over last-minute transactions and adjustments. We’ve come up with 14 key strategies to end the struggle.
FOCUS ON THE LONG-TERM
The biggest mistakes you can make is paying attention only to what’s required to close out the current year. Don’t lose sight of the big picture. Take the time to honor your most valued employees, encourage cross-training, and reassess your vendor relationships.
COMBINE VENDOR SOLUTIONS FOR MAXIMUM EFFICIENCY
Consider any technology that would allow you to consolidate several products into one. If a single DMS can efficiently perform the tasks of a several disparate solutions (inventory management, servicing, etc.), go for it.
AUTOMATE PROCESSES WHEREVER POSSIBLE
Most software solutions offer automation, whether running and emailing reports to key personnel or enforcing workflow through approval processes. This will save you tons of time.
REMEMBER THE “WHY”
Accounting should produce accurate and reliable financial statements. These statements present the value of your company to your owners and investors. This is crucial when attempting to gain additional funding for your operations, so taking the time to do it right is well worth it.
REVAMP YOUR ACCOUNTING TEAM
Take a close look at your accounting team. It may seem like a no-brainer, but every employee should be knowledgeable of generally accepted accounting principles and processes.
TRAIN, TRAIN, TRAIN
Team members should feel prepared and empowered to carry out all necessary job functions properly. Arrange complete training that covers all the tools you expect them to use.
REVIEW THE SECURITY RIGHTS OF YOUR USERS
Confirm that your users can perform actions appropriate of their job levels. Sensitive transactions should only be accessible to qualified accounting personnel.
MAKE ACCOUNTING PART OF YOUR DAILY ROUTINE
Waiting until month-end to take care of workflows does not work. Proper maintenance has to happen every day.
ESTABLISH CLEAR, EASY-TO-FOLLOW PROCESSES FOR THE DAY, WEEK, AND MONTH
Make sure you include these processes in training.
REVIEW ALL CLEARING ACCOUNTS DAILY
Ideally, your clearing account should zero out at the end of each day. Keep an eye on these and look out for any gaps in procedure.
ENSURE YOUR CONTROLLER MONITORS THE DAILY BALANCES OF FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
If a reconciliation error occurs, it’s much easier to pinpoint the transaction(s) causing the discrepancy when you are only reviewing a day’s worth of transactions.
SET UP PERIODIC REVIEWS
Schedule regular reviews to confirm that all processes are being followed and are effective. Do not skip this step!
REMEMBER THAT CONSISTENCY IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN BEING CORRECT
Although reliable accounting thrives on accurate information, establishing solid practices makes it much easier for your controller or CPA to find and fix errors.
GROUP QUESTIONABLE ENTRIES INTO THEIR OWN ACCOUNT
We often recommend adding an account called “0000-00 I Don’t Know.” Your staff can choose this account when it runs into an accounting issue where a response is required. These transactions will then be placed into a single area that your controller or CPA can sweep and clear, making it simple to track down and correct discrepancies.
Learn more about how DealerSocket iDMS can help you wipe out accounting stress once and for all.
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