I don’t know about you, but when I think about accounting tasks, the terms “quick,” “flexible,” and “painless” do not come to mind. Accounting is daunting. And for good reason. Businesses depend on regular cash flow and timely deposits, which in turn rely on thorough and accurate accounting practices. Inefficient systems that require a lot of data manipulation make these practices even more tedious. So, focus on solutions that streamline your accounting processes, and you save time and money.
One of the most streamlined processes I can think of is a car engine. The parts that makeup a car’s engine work together in a cyclical fashion to achieve the goal of motion. It doesn’t take a mechanic to understand how one inefficient part can have a negative impact on the engine’s performance. This analogy can be applied to your business units.
Picture your business as a well-oiled machine. Your accounting department operates as the inlet and outlet valves. These valves allow gas into the cylinder and allow the spent gases to escape. They’re designed to open and close at precise moments, to allow your engine to run efficiently at all speeds.
In some months wineries do club-runs and process many orders, followed by slower months during the summer when they process fewer orders when wine is costly to ship to hot states. Similar to the car engine’s valves, accounting processes should be flexible enough to handle any given load with the same efficiency.
Show me the Numbers
Analogies are great but accountants deal in numbers, not words. Let’s review some interesting statistics about small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and small business owners with an emphasis on accounting in the modern age.
QuickBooks has maintained its popularity among SMEs since its initial release in the early 1980s. Wineries are no exception to that. Over the last 8 years, WineGlass Marketing has mapped order data from ecommerce platforms to QuickBooks for more than 400 wineries.
For anyone without an accounting background, QuickBooks can be confusing software and the terminology that it seems obscure. What we in the business refer to as “orders” get moved to QuickBooks as “Sales Receipts” and refunds are generally moved over as “Credit Memos.” QuickBooks experts seem to speak their own language. By automating your accounting process with a QuickBooks integration, you are essentially letting the software do the translating for you.
Cash flow is essential for small business success. A great way to improve cash flow is to optimize and automate your processes. Instead of your staff spending time manually entering orders into QuickBooks, wouldn’t it be a better use of their time to focus on accounts receivable?
Most accountants are experts at financial strategy. Instead of paying them to do time consuming order reconciliation and other manual tasks, why not pay them to help you improve your cash flow or to find innovative ways to reduce your business expenses?
Using iPads in the tasting room seems like a no-brainer in 2019, but you would be surprised how many wineries still haven’t implemented them. Most wineries are small, family owned and operated, with legacy procedures and software in place.
Hesitant to spend money on new technology? Do your research, request product demos, and ask the technology reps for reference. Ask to talk to users of the technology for a first-hand perspective at how well it improves workflow.
If you are trying to convince yourself (or management) that the investment in new technology is worth the price, focus on products that will increase efficiency and flexibility of your current procedures. Make sure that you invest in technology that adds value to your business
In California, the going rate for a consulting accountant is anywhere from $80 to $450 per hour depending on the type of work that you hire them to do. Let’s say your accountant charges you $150 an hour to reconcile your orders every month in QuickBooks and it takes them 3-4 hours to do so because they spend time researching errors and manually inputting refunds. If this is the case, you pay them about $500 a month, just to do order reconciliation. If you purchase an integration tool that decreases the time it takes them to reconcile orders, the tool may pay for itself in the first few months of use.
More of This, Less of That
Small businesses, wineries included, are often operated by only a handful of people. This creates the need for the employees of said businesses to be cross-trained utility players.
Order reconciliation is something that a small business owner or employee can do with the proper training and the right tools in place – freeing up your accounting professionals to focus on how to collect and save you money.
Human beings make mistakes. With a QuickBooks integration in place there are fewer data entry errors because there is far less human data entry needed. A decrease in errors and time spent correcting information allows businesses to work faster and more profitably. A QuickBooks integration gives you the flexibility to handle errors as they happen. Because the information is automatically updated, you can decide when you want to go in and reconcile. In general, integration software reduces man-hours, increases efficiency, and improves company productivity. If you decide to integrate QuickBooks with your ecommerce platform, happy staff and efficient financials can be yours.