Hi, Natalie here. You have a great selection of tools on hand that will cover every job a customer will bring into your shop. Whether it’s Mac Tools, Snap-on, OTC, or Wright, the right tool for the job is priceless.
The tools we’re talking about in this post are for finances, but the same strategy holds true. If you’re planning to do your own bookkeeping, the right tool for your financial job is also priceless. They can take what may appear to be a daunting challenge and save you a ton of time. You’ll be back to running your shop before you know it.
Stick around until the end and I’ll outline what’s in my bookkeeping toolbox. Here is an overview with some suggestions on how to choose great financial tools
Here are the top 10 categories:
1. Accounting Software
QuickBooks has been the go-to software for accounting for decades. There are online tools that may be a better option for you. The most popular choice is Xero and the numbers of small business owners that are using Xero is increasing. Compare several and pick the one that is both robust and flexible.
According to the 2015 edition of the Business News Daily’s Buyer’s Guide here are the features you should look for:
Client/Vendor Contact Management
Billing and Recurring Payments Automation
Quote and Estimate Creation
Integration with Programs Such as Point-Of-Sale Software, Credit Card
Processing, and Google Apps
2. Budgeting Tools
Creating a budget is the cornerstone of your shop’s financial success. Staying on task within your budget is equally as important. If your accounting software has this feature, you may already have the proper tool to create that budget. If your preference is a tool dedicated to this task, a recommendation is PlanGuru.
3. Payroll Management System
Payroll management can occupy so much of your time and mistakes are easy to make. Look for tools that streamline the payroll process and cut costly errors. A tool that integrates with your other tools is another feature to look for. Some tools like SurePayroll can calculate and pay payroll taxes. Simple. A couple of other tool suggestions are ZenPayroll and ADP. These combine payroll and HR functions in one.
4. Agile Billing
Speed and flexibility in your billing process means quicker cash flow back to you. With a tools like FreshBooks or Bill.com the billing process will be quicker and give your customers an easy experience. Improving the billing process will serve you and your customers better and shorten delays in receiving payments.
5. Financial Dashboard
The dashboard gives you a quick look at your shop’s financial health. See at a glance if your shop is thriving or surviving. Tools such as LivePlan or InDinero give you clear visuals and show you if you’re starting to go off course. Then you can take the actions to keep moving towards your financial destination.
6. Cash Flow Analysis
Your accounting software should have cash flow statement capability. As with the budgeting tools there are specialty tools for cash flow tracking. A couple of suggestions are Float or a simple spreadsheet. These give you patterns from the past to offer a forecast of your shop’s financial future.
7. Inventory Management
This is all about efficiency and tracking. From the purchase of parts and consumables to generating sales reports and low inventory alerts, this is a very valuable tool. A couple of cloud-based options are SOS Inventory and Scout’s top Shelf.
8. Expense Tracking
Those tiny expenses can quickly add up and may be hard to track. Using an expense report tool such as Expensify or Xpenditure makes this much easier. Track those meals, gas, and incidental expenses by scanning receipts and typing in cash expenses. Some tools have the capability to link to mobile devices helping to track these instantly..
9. Business Credit Card
A business credit card, when used properly has several benefits
Improve your shop’s credit history
Earn higher credit limits
Receive rewards and discounts
Manage employee cards (ease of tracking expenses)
Boosts employee morale due to convenience and trust
10. E-commerce Solutions
Imagine your customer paying for their oil change before the service is completed. They need a couple of quarts of oil to tie them over. It’s easy to buy them online from their trusted repair shop.
Many businesses have seen an increases in cash flow since the beginning of the pandemic by using E-commerce solutions. These are powerful and create revenue streams that you may not have thought of.
11. Three Rivers Bookkeeping
With my 5-years of experience, these are the tools I use:
Accounting software – QuickBooks
Payroll Management System – ADP
Agile Billing – bill.com
Financial Dashboard – LivePlan
I’m passionate about books and service to my clients. If you’d like to have a conversation about tools and why I selected the one’s above, contact me. I can also outline the services I provide and why adding me to your team may make perfect sense to you.
Saving you time and headaches is the value I bring to you, the Auto Repair Shop Owner.
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After a road testing for a customer's complaint of "Intermittent odd feeling when braking" we identified it as an intermittent false ABS stop. Not unusual for a late model GM truck. We identified the L/F wheel speed sensor dropping out at lower speeds and ordered a wheel speed sensor. I remembered that we had replaced the L/F hub/bearing about two years ago with a Moog hub/bearing assembly which concerned me. The new wheel speed sensor arrived in a tattered, taped up box and would not fit, the sensor tip was contacting the tone ring. The part was re-ordered in a different brand (OEM this round) and we were disappointed again, still improper fit. I then called Moog Tech Support and found out that if an ABS WSS fails on a Moog hub/bearing it can't be replaced. Moog uses a proprietary WSS and is unable to be sourced separate from the hub/bearing. I confirmed with tech support that this is the case for all Moog hub/bearings that include a WSS and NOT isolated to the vehicle that we were working on. To add to this issue I also found out that ALL Moog hub/bearings have proprietary wheel studs so if a stud strips or is damaged on a replacement Moog hub/bearing you have a major problem because the hub/bearing will need to be replaced, studs alone are NOT available. I tried to contact Timken and BCA to see if their hub/bearings are the same as Moog in regard to proprietary WSS's and wheel studs but neither answered my email request for assistance. All of this is news to me, maybe because we use quite a bit of OEM parts but I thought I should pass it on since it will make me think twice before ordering a Moog hub/bearing.
This week, I had a chance to review recent results with a private client (aka Car Count Hacker . You may find this surprising, specially when you find out the size of the shop.
I detail it all in this video.
You can see the entire video here. I welcome your comments or questions.
I welcome your comments or questions.
Hope this helps!
"The Car Count FIxer"
P.S.: Join me on YouTube at Car Count Hackers! FREE Help to grow your Car Count, Income and Profit!
P.P.S.: Like and Follow Car Count Hackers on Facebook
P.P.P.S.: Have you registered in my FREE Training? "How to Double Your Car Count in 89 Days"
I don't spend a lot of time working in the shop on a day to day basis, but do have to do some after hours services or jump in to help. The shop has a few sets of tools that have been placed around in the shop so you don't need to go looking when you need common tools. Yesterday doing a couple simple tire changes & I needed a pair of pliers they station should have 2 they had none I asked a mechanic he went across the room to go get one pair. I then use the machine to breakdown the tire & it wouldn't bust the bead, so I went to the other machine & it was the same way so I went to do it the manual way. Put it on the rim clamp of the first & it wouldn't close, so I went back to the second & I had to clean & oil so it would clamp. I head to balance & had to move tires that will be installed or had been taken off but had life left so we hung on to. So a 30 min job took 45 min. I asked come in this morning & before I could ask or say anything I see one of the tire guys doing a car tire by hand, I asked you always do it that way & he said yes neither machine is working. I said I found that out last night & have called the repair guy but how come nobody said anything, I got the I don't know answer. So my question is how does everyone handle the putting tools back, checking machines & notifying of needed repairs & even sweep the floor. Do you have a person with a checklist go to each station every night, sweep the floors every night. Just seems like we have everyone working right up to quitting time or after hate to push more but our running after tools stepping over tires & machines not working correctly is costing us. Just getting ideas of what has worked for others. Thanks
Customer brings in his WRX wanting us to install his new tires, custom rims, and outfit with sensors. Ordered the same style of sensors that were in the OEM rims/tires. Our Autel MaxiTPMS TS601 couldn't read them or program them for some reason. Tech assumes that the car will magically program them and all will be well. Car is shipped and now I have an appointment for this Thursday to get it done correctly and beg forgiveness. The customer is very laid back and understanding. Me? I'm working on a thin as it is patience level. Does anyone have any suggestions on what they would do? I'm an owner and know only what I know. I have been searching for a solution online and unfortunately, my best Tech who could figure this out will be off when the customer returns. And I know I have an issue here with Tech and shop Manager letting jobs leave here unsure of the outcome. A simple road test would have revealed we didn't hit our target. Thanks in advance for any thoughts.
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By Voltek H/EV
Hello everyone, first post here,
I'm in the process of opening an actual shop, i've been a mobile mechanic for 10 years. I specialize in hybrid and electric vehicles. I've been searching prices on fluid exchanger machines, lifts and other pricey equipment. I've been looking at some really cheap Chinese equipment on ebay, i'm just wondering if anyone here has successfully used any of this equipment. It's tempting but I know the old "you get what you pay for" mantra. They got lifts for $1,600 and ATF fluid exchangers for $335. Might be worth trying the fluid exchanger on some of my own vehicles for that price. I appreciate any input, thank you!
Hey guys, I found this alignment rack on craigslist, the guy is only asking 1000 for it, its older ya but in perfect working condition just needs some cleaning and a little maintenance. It is the Hunter Lite-A-Line system, I'm looking for anyone with experience with this system, is it good? bad? will it do a 4 wheel alignment? is it worth 1000 or is that not that great of a deal? thanks!
Any thoughts on what to do when tools go missing at the shop? These are tools that I have personally purchased for our employees to use and service vehicles with, but recently I have noticed several tools are missing- pliers, screw drivers, oil filter wrenches, sockets, etc.
Some of our techs might have possibly left them behind while servicing customers vehicles which is a liability on its own in case something were to happen or get stuck. In fact, we have had about two customers coming back to return them to us.
Any opinions on how to handle this matter? Should I forward the cost to replace these tools among the employees equally?
Thanks in advance.