Seven ways to develop good office procedures in your dealership

October 19, 2015

A dealership office manager needs to keep an eye on many things. To keep the dealership office running smoothly, there are numerous items to pay attention to yearly, quarterly, monthly and even daily. Having the right office procedures in place can make all the difference.

Bookkeeping and accounting best practices

  1. Reconcile accounts and schedules often. It’s the easiest way to catch an error or missing entry and correct it in a timely manner.
  2. Follow up regularly on unpaid items like rebates, warranty claims, finance contracts and other receivables. Most items have a typical time frame in which they should be paid. If not paid in that time frame, they may need to be re-submitted. Sooner is better than later as these items often add up to large dollar amounts that you could use somewhere else in your dealership.
  3. Add small details to items as they are posted in your computer system. A little note or comment on a check stub or journal entry goes a long way in being able to locate or identify an item later.
  4. Keep running lists of items you will need later. For example, a running list of nontaxable car deals or repair bills makes it easier at month-end when you are reporting sales tax. A list of equipment or fixed assets purchased or junked throughout the year is easier to do monthly or quarterly than trying to remember everything at year-end.
  5. Periodically look at trends with your accounts. If something looks out of line, identify the change to determine if there is a valid reason or if an entry was made in error and needs to be corrected. Watch your expenses, cash flow and due dates.
  6. Document all important items such as workplace injuries, employee disciplinary actions or completed required employee notices or training.
  7. If a vendor offers a discount, pay early to take advantage of the savings.

Beyond financial concerns

A dealership handles sensitive information daily, both from employees and customers. A good practice is to limit this sensitive information to only those who need access to it for their particular job. Being proactive is a good way to avoid any kind of internal or external data breach whether intentional or unintentional.

Communication is important. A good office manager needs to be able to promptly and effectively communicate any concerns or issues to the dealer principal and/or department managers, as well as speak with employees and people outside of the dealership.

Tax laws and human resource regulations are constantly changing. Keep current with any payroll and accounting rules and guidelines that apply to your dealership by contacting Schenck’s Dealership Industry team.

Tags: Dealerships