by CDK Global | 14 December 2016

5 Tips to be Ready for Year-End

As another year draws to a close we are reminded that it is a good time to break old habits and step into the New Year with renewed spirits and fresh ideas. The problem is that life doesn’t slow down and give us time to reflect by a warm fire with a cup of hot chocolate!  In fact, many of us find ourselves so busy we feel like we are in overdrive! Preparing the shop for holiday sales, prepping units for shows, finding financing for customers, wrapping gifts, shoveling the parking lot and the list goes on.  To fully embrace new inspirations and new approaches for the coming year, we need to close out, clean up, and organize this year’s hard work and successes. Here are some helpful hints to make sure you are R.E.A.D.Y. for the coming year.

R – Reconcile - Make sure that all Sub Ledgers are balanced to the General Ledger. Print the detail reports for Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable Aging reports, Major Unit Inventory total cost reports, and the Customer Deposit reports under Parts, Sales and Service areas. Then compare the report totals to the GL balances.         

– Eliminate - Old parts tend to accumulate and collect dust, this is the perfect time of year to eliminate those obsolete parts. Run your obsolete parts report to show parts with no sales for the last 12 months, change those parts categories to OBS and use Service Connect to contact support to help you write those parts cost down. Doing this on a regular basis will help keep your inventory on track.

A – Analyze - This is a great time to look at the information from the year before and see how you are doing. Comparing year to year total gives you an opportunity to see if you have missed something such as a major expense. Review your balance sheet from 2016 against 2015 and note any significant changes in the balances. Dig a little deeper into these numbers and you can find some great opportunities. 

– Document – Policy and Procedures. Are you maximizing your customer loyalty program and decreasing the use of discounting to improving your bottom line? Do you take out of state checks? How do you clear out obsolete parts inventory? Do all employees understand internal policies and procedures? This is a perfect time of year to document this information. Make sure all employees are consistently trained.

– Year-End – This is yet another opportunity to do a final Month End process before beginning the New Year.  Making sure that all erroneous documents are cleared, all bank deposits are completed, clearing accounts are zero, bank reconciliations are completed, sub-ledgers are balanced to the GL, and sales deals are all finalized.  This will give your dealership a clean bill of health for the New Year.

As the New Year beckons us with many promises, don't forget to give the old year its credit. Learn from the challenges of the past and allow them to inspire positive changes in the future.  Resolve to close out, clean up and organize on a monthly basis. Then when 2017 draws to a close you will be R.E.A.D.Y. to sit down by that warm fire, with your feet up, and a smile on your face!