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[Podcast] The Relationship you Have with Your Accountant – Beyond the Numbers [THA 169]


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https://youtu.be/xvnvoc4yZ60

Hunt Demarest, CPA Paar-Melis. Hunt is Accredited in Business Valuation and a licensed Certified Public Accountant that has been with the firm since 2006. He specializes in business taxes, valuations, and does consult work with our clients all across the country. When he’s not in the office, Hunt enjoys spending time with his family, golfing, working on and racing his cars.

Travis Troy, Honest Wrenches, DesMoines, IA. Travis, 29 years young, graduated From DMACC Ankeny, IA Automotive Technology Program in 2012, Received my Accredited Automotive Manager in 2019 and will be completing the 4 Year ATI program this fall. Opened Honest Wrenches Automotive Repair in May of 2011 started while still in college and renting a storage 500sqft storage unit. We since moved to a 2800sqft unit, and just completed our 2800sqft expansion for a total of 5600sqft. He employs a total of 9 Employees.

Mike Leeches Quality Motors, Laguna Niguel, CA (leaches)

Key Talking Points:

  • Travis is leaning on his accountant during these times
  • Ask them the tough questions
  • These unprecedented times has proven the strategy of having a CPA firm working with you that goes beyond the numbers
  • In the case of the firm Parr-Melis, who have hundreds of automotive shop owner clients, they can help you compare yourself to others within our industry
  • You accountant can help you plan for your future by keeping an eye of your cash and debt position
  • Both Travis and Mike have a business coach and they credit both for making their business the success it is today
  • Travis is a zero debt person, yet he knows there is good debt, but his recent expansion was paid for with cash
  • Putting money away weekly is a great disciplineMake it automatic
  • Moving to a new accounting firm is a difficult thing to do especially if you have a long term relationship.Evaluate if you are getting your money’s worth
  • You get another set of eyes
  • Strategic planning
  • Anyone can do a tax return
  • Heavily on the education element of financial statements
  • Accounts can also learn from you
  • Have your numbers compared to others in the industry. You need benchmarks to understand your performanceBenchmarks are a guide. You need a budget based on unique situations at your business and your marketplace
  • Your numbers must be matched to your goals
  • The tendency to always look at the P or L and review your ‘net profit’ line.Critical information in the P or L (Profit or Loss) Statment
  • The Balance Sheet also needs to be understoodYour cash position, your receivables, your debt, accruals
  • Your accountant should drive your discipline to get your numbers in each month.You should see your financial statements at a steady time each month
  • This is historical data, a snapshot, and you if you need to fix something the later you get your results the longer you don’t get a chance to correct or discover a problem
  • Moving into the ‘new normal’ you need good financial data
  • Onboarding to a new accounting firmSwitching to a new accountant is like switching to a new SMS (Shop Management System)You are too comfortable
  • You need to ask yourself what do you want from a new accountant
  • You need a good foundation to start with by your accountant understanding what you currently have
  • Gather all the proper information
  • Training on understanding your current system in-depth, such as Quickbooks

Resources:

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      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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