Apr 30, 2014

Avoid Accounting Workarounds: Use the Right Software

Work-arounds: We’ve all used them. Sometimes, we use them for so long that they become our normal way of doing business. Eventually, the cost of a workaround — in time, money and aggravation — becomes so high that we consider changing the way we do things. A few months ago I spoke with a dealer whose business was at just such a point. Her records consisted of spreadsheet lists of inventory and sales, and her business had grown too complicated to continue to use such a cumbersome system. She sold online, executed estate sales, displayed at antique shows and sold on consignment. Details were getting dropped, sales were being lost and she was spending too much time keeping track of sales, merchandise and settlements. The dealer asked me to suggest a comprehensive software system that would track all of the operational information she needed to access while simultaneously keeping her books. Her objective was to enter information once, and then be able to access that information in real time for various sales venues, inventory acquisition, customer details and settlements. After all, she said, this was the 21st century, and it’s a mobile world. Surely there must be software available that would fit her needs. At the time, I didn’t know what to suggest. There were software programs available that would track consignment sales, or online auction sales, or retail sales of owned inventory, or do accounting, but none that would track all of these without some sort of workaround (at least that I knew of). I determined at the time that I would find some suitable software options for growing dealers, and in the past few months I have interviewed CPAs, read software reviews and browsed dealer and software user forums. I’m now in a better position to make software suggestions. Read More>>