Quantcast
Jump to content


10 Top Financial Tools Your Auto Repair Shop Need Today


Recommended Posts

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:

 Invoicing
 Expense Tracking
 Client/Vendor Contact Management
 Billing and Recurring Payments Automation
 Quote and Estimate Creation
 Tax Preparation
 Multiple-User Access
 Payroll Processing
 Mobile Access
 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.


View full article

Link to post
Share on other sites


  • Similar Topics

    • By carmcapriotto
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9lUoKR3ysc
      Guest host, Chris Cloutier, Golden Rule Auto Care, CEO AutoText.me Virtual shop tour from Sam Craven, The Garagisti, Houston, TX Trivia Challenge: What year launched the Corvette ZR1, nicknamed the ‘King of the Hill”
      Dorman gives people greater freedom to fix vehicles by constantly developing new repair solutions that put owners and technicians first. By always innovating, Dorman has led the way in growing the aftermarket. Here you will see a few examples of a Dorman OE Fix. An OE FIX is a Dorman repair solution you can’t get from the original equipment manufacturer. It means they found a situation where they believe the OEM wasn’t giving repair professionals what they wanted, so we fixed it. Everything Dorman does is centered around providing customer value, both in the quality of products, and the creativity of solutions. Our engineers and designers go out of their way to save repair technicians time and save vehicle owners money. Want to really go under the hood? Take the Dorman Virtual Tour at www.DormanProducts.com/Tour
       
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By carmcapriotto
      Matt Fanslow is the diagnostic tech/shop manager at Riverside Automotive in Red Wing, MN. His primary responsibilities are to diagnose driveability and electrical/electronic issues, and perform most all programming, coding, initializing, adoptions, etc. Basically, if it needs to be figured out or has wires, it goes to Matt. He’s been a tech since 1996. Matt is also a subject matter expert for ASE and has instructed at Vision Hi-Tech Training and Expo. Matt has participated on 18 ASE technical committees for the ASE Practice Test, A6, A7, A8, and L1 tests. He’s also done case studies for Standard Motor Products. Fanslow’s goal is to do everything in his power to improve the overall level of professionalism within the automotive and light truck repair trade and also raise the level of its public image. Matt Fanslow’s Previous Episodes HERE.
      Key Talking Points
      Competent technician shortage Biggest issues within shops- communication and remembering everything as things change Commute back and forth to work- have time to think about your day. Be honest and critical. When you’re entry-level there may be more negatives than positives, don’t beat yourself up about it. Unpack it step by step. Were you on your phone too much? Did you have unnecessary motions?   Keeping journal/diary/google docs- while at work jot down some bullet points and when you’re at home expand each one. Helps with great with memory and learning. If using an electronic journal you can search it as time goes on. As you accumulate entries over time, go back and read what you wrote and see firsthand the progress you’ve made. Brings value to yourself and employer. Confidence through competency. Steer the direction of feelings of anxiety and being overwhelmed with new information. Use anxiety to push yourself forward.   Future journal/diary you write in every month or every few months. Where do you want to be? How will you get there? Be a specialty tech or diagnostic tech etc. Build a path and map out weak areas to focus on.  Everyone learns differently- write down your take on processes that helps you learn and remember  The way your brain works is malleable- rewire it with how you learn best What is memory? To learn from mistakes and not doing them again. Our memory has changed as technology has advanced. We no longer memorize information like we used to with the ease of the internet search engines. Remembering phone numbers is a skill of the past.  Scientific proof and studies- Journal of Applied Psychology and National Academy of Sciences.  Jorge Menchu- Episodes 180 and 241  
       
      Thanks to Matt Fanslow for his contribution to the aftermarket’s premier podcast. Link to the ‘BOOKS‘ page, highlighting all books discussed in the podcast library HERE. Leaders are readers. Listen for free on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spreaker, iHeart Radio, Spotify, Podchaser, and many more. Mobile Listening APP’s HERE Find every podcast episode HERE. Every episode is segmented by Series HERE. Key Word Search HERE. Be socially involved and in touch with the show:
      Facebook   Twitter   Linked In   Email
      Join the Ecosystem – Subscribe to the INSIDER NEWSLETTER HERE.
      Buy me a coffee
      This episode is brought to you by AAPEX, the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo. AAPEX represents the $740 billion global automotive aftermarket industry and has everything you need to stay ahead of the curve.  The Virtual AAPEX Experience 2020 is in the record books. Virtual AAPEX lived up to presenting leading-technical and business management training from some of the industry’s best and brightest. Now set your sights on the homecoming in Las Vegas in 2021. Mark your calendar now … November 2-4, 2021, AAPEX // Now more than ever.

      This episode is brought to you by Shop-Ware Shop Management. It’s time to run your business at its fullest potential with the industry’s leading technology. Shop-Ware Shop Management will increase your efficiency with lightning-fast workflows, help your staff capture more sales every day, and create very happy customers who promote your business. Shops running Shop-Ware have More Time and generate More Profit—join them! Schedule a free live demonstration and find out how 30 minutes can transform your shop at getshopware.com/carm

      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By carmcapriotto
      Seth Thorson has specialized in the service of European automobiles since 1999. First, in Michigan and now at his current location in New Brighton, MN. He just started to build a brand new shop and experts to be in by June 2021.
      Seth was educated at a UTI in Chicago, where he was at the top of his class. He then went to BMW Step to finish the master’s program. Thorson was hired in at a BMW dealership in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. From there he moved to an independent shop in Waterford Michigan and learned VW Audi. Seth’s passion remained with BMW and he was offered a chance to buy an existing shop in New Brighton, Minnesota near where he grew up.
      He is the owner of Eurotech, which specializes in BMW, Mercedes, and Audi cars. He is a firm believer in using factory tools to ensure proper repairs and coding. His team of highly trained and certified technicians is able to diagnose today’s complex vehicle systems! His second location, Green Garage, works on all makes and models.
      Seth also owns and runs a BMW tech support company called LMV Bavarian that provides support and programming to a growing network of over 200 shops via remote diagnostics. He also teaches national seminars on BMW diagnostics. Seth has also partnered with SSF auto parts in their unique ‘hands-on’ training program.
      Seth belongs to AASP in MN, BIMRS as well as NASTEF. He is also a member of Cecil Bullards (Institute for Automotive Business Excellence) 20 group. He believes idea sharing and networking with other shop owners have helped grow his business. Listen to Seth’s previous episodes HERE.
      Troy Vaninetti- Troy has been Married to His beautiful wife Kori for 27 years and has four children with one still living at home with one 15 month old granddaughter.Troy started working in a Texaco full service station at age 17, and progressed through the following: from service attendant, tire attendant, apprentice technician, lead technician, shop manager, to purchasing Graham Auto Repair in 2006. Troy knew the importance of having coaching he joined ATI in 2012 and increased his business revenue every since. Troy leased a six-bay building in Graham for ten years before being forced to build his own 7 bay building due to losing His lease in 2016. In his first full year in the new building, Troy doubled his annual revenue. Since then Troy has won the National Top 12 ATI awards in 2018,2019, and 2020. Capturing the number one National Top Shop Award in 2020. Now Troy is working on His second location in Yelm Washington.
      Key Talking Points
      Seth Thorson- 3rd location, built within 9 months in a motorplex condo. It was a PUD (planned unit development). 4,000 square feet, 6 bays total. Tile floor came from Germany and an employee from the company came to install it on a work visa. Epoxy tends to not hold up as well as tile. Customer waiting room downstairs and VIP lounge upstairs. Kitchenette upstairs as well. The location will be hosting car shows and events. Two customer bathrooms and one employee bathroom. Oil and fluids housed upstairs with a pump system. Had fixed price budget bid. Radiant in-floor heat and HVAC air conditioner. Discussed planning and input with shop foreman. Promoting 3 locations on the website, you can call and reach a live person that will book an appointment and pick up car to be serviced at a different location. Troy Vaninetti- new building 4 years old, 7 bays. Over 2 years to be built start to finish. Covered entrance service area. Mixed soil with concrete because the soil was too wet to build on. Made depth 50 ft in case he wants to repurpose space as commercial retail space. Hired a designer to design the interior of the shop. Within the first year the shop doubled revenue, nicer building attracts different clientele. Upgrading customer amenities- people make emotional decisions based on how they feel when they walk into a place. Advice- start early because it is a long process. Remodeling is very different than new builds, make sure you are clear with vision with architect. Visit as many places as you can to decide what you like and don’t like. If you can, assign someone to help with obtaining permits and being the squeaky wheel. New builds/updates to buildings also attracts technicians that want to work there. Have financials in order for bank and be prompt with reports they need. A special thanks to Seth Thorson and Troy Vaninetti for their contribution to the aftermarket. Books Page HERE Listen to all Remarkable Results Radio, For The Record and Town Hall Academy episodes. Facebook   Twitter  LinkedIn   Instagram  Youtube   Email  
      Mobile Listening APP’s HERE
      Join the Ecosystem – Subscribe to the INSIDER NEWSLETTER HERE.
      Buy Carm a Cup of Coffee 

      This episode is brought to you by Shop-Ware Shop Management. It’s time to run your business at its fullest potential with the industry’s leading technology. Shop-Ware Shop Management will increase your efficiency with lightning-fast workflows, help your staff capture more sales every day, and create very happy customers who promote your business. Shops running Shop-Ware have More Time and generate More Profit—join them! Schedule a free live demonstration and find out how 30 minutes can transform your shop at getshopware.com

      This episode is brought to you by Shop Marketing Pros. Your guides are Kim and Brian Walker with a rich history as shop owners and industry veterans. When someone searches for a shop, who are they finding? Your competitors? It should be you! The good people over at Shop Marketing Pros know how to drive website traffic and make Google work for you! www.shopmarketingpros.com
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By Joe Marconi
      In the 4 decades as a shop owner, my number one way to have a smooth running shop is to surround yourself with the right people.
      I am interested in hearing from other shop owners. What's your opinion on how to run a smooth running operation? 
    • By carmcapriotto
      Justin Barrett is the owner and operator of Barrett Automotive, Cornelia, GA. He is excited about the future of this industry with autonomous vehicles and the role the independent repair shop will play in that arena, and with the changing landscape how we are going to have to be nimble and adapt to stay relevant.
      Leadership is something that is extremely challenging to him but rewarding when done right. He had some leadership failures and wins which are adding to his growth in that area. His biggest challenge right now is the same thing that he is working on and that is building a great team. In the last 18 months, he had gone from leading himself and one other to leading 6 and still adding to keep up with growth.  Find out more about Justin’s episodes HERE.
       
       
      Barrett Automotive Website HERE.
      Key Talking Points
      Justin’s toolbox has been at the business for 11 years, since the beginning- wants to be able to bring it home and work on the business instead of in the business 2 weeks of working in bays to catch everyone up turned into 6 weeks Saw production gaps between some of the technicians- was able to work side by side and teach younger technicians how he plans his work and gets it done. See if you can combine work orders. Realized the need for more SOP’s for the shop to follow for both in the bays and in the office  Downside- losing focus on business Had technician from dealership lined up to come work in business to replace his spot- technician ultimately decided to stay at the dealership. When the technician told Justin he was staying, Justin left things on very good terms to keep an open door for possible future. A customer came in for his BMW evacuate the refrigerant so he could replace the compressor- was back in the shop within an hour and a half time. Justin and the service advisor were impressed and asked about his experience. He loves working on cars but never worked in a professional setting. Gave him an application and is currently working in the shop on a trial basis. Considering implementing an apprentice program for him.  
      Thanks to Justin Barrett for his contribution to the aftermarket’s premier podcast. Link to the ‘BOOKS‘ page, highlighting all books discussed in the podcast library HERE. Leaders are readers. Listen for free on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spreaker, iHeart Radio, Spotify, Podchaser, and many more. Mobile Listening APP’s HERE Find every podcast episode HERE. Every episode is segmented by Series HERE. Key Word Search HERE. Be socially involved and in touch with the show:
      Facebook   Twitter   Linked In   Email
      Join the Ecosystem – Subscribe to the INSIDER NEWSLETTER HERE.
      Buy me a coffee
      This episode is brought to you by AAPEX, the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo. AAPEX represents the $740 billion global automotive aftermarket industry and has everything you need to stay ahead of the curve.  The Virtual AAPEX Experience 2020 is in the record books. Virtual AAPEX lived up to presenting leading-technical and business management training from some of the industry’s best and brightest. Now set your sights on the homecoming in Las Vegas in 2021. Mark your calendar now … November 2-4, 2021, AAPEX // Now more than ever.

      This episode is brought to you by Shop-Ware Shop Management. It’s time to run your business at its fullest potential with the industry’s leading technology. Shop-Ware Shop Management will increase your efficiency with lightning-fast workflows, help your staff capture more sales every day, and create very happy customers who promote your business. Shops running Shop-Ware have More Time and generate More Profit—join them! Schedule a free live demonstration and find out how 30 minutes can transform your shop at getshopware.com/carm

      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio


  • Our Sponsors



×
×
  • Create New...