While efficiently servicing customers is imperative to operating any successful auto repair shop, managing the financial side of the business is just as crucial to ensure things run smoothly.
In order to organize your finances effectively, you might want to consider accounting software like QuickBooks. Because of its easy-to-use nature, you don’t have to possess financial expertise to use QuickBooks for auto repair shops. In fact, if you’re new to QuickBooks, you’ll be well on your way to effectively managing your shop’s finances with these 5 simple steps:
Step 1: Register for QuickBooks
You can register for the newest version of QuickBooks in under 60 seconds. Each QuickBooks package offers a free trial and has four primary subscription options, which include:
- Simple Start Plan: At $25 per month, this plan is the easiest and most efficient version of QuickBooks for single users. With QuickBooks Simple Start, you are able to manage all income and expenses using a single simple tool.
- Essentials Plan: At $40 per month, this subscription option includes the features of the Simple Start Plan but provides access for up to 3 users. QuickBooks Essentials lets you assign billable hours to customers as well as tracking bills that are due.
- Plus Plan: At $70 per month, this popular version is often used by small businesses such as retailers, wholesalers, contractors, and provides access for up to 5 users. With QuickBooks Plus, you can efficiently track inventory, budget, and assign costs to jobs.
- Advanced Plan: At $150 per month, this option allows the most involvement with up to 25 potential users. QuickBooks Advanced is most suitable for midsize businesses, as you have the ability to create more detailed reports, customize user permissions, and have a dedicated account support manager.
It’s important to choose the plan that’s best for you, as QuickBooks will fully equip you with the tools you’ll need to smoothly run your shop’s finances based on the version you decide on.
Step 2: Customize Your Account
Before you set up the various tools available on your QuickBooks dashboard, you should first customize your company’s preferences. This gives you the ability to change your account settings, such as:
- Invoice automation
- Time tracking
These changes will be reflected in the information displayed on the QuickBooks interface as well as any official documentation you create, so it’s important that you understand how to navigate customizing your account, even if you don’t edit the settings at this very moment.
Step 3: Import Business Information into QuickBooks
Data tracking is integral to the success of your business. With QuickBooks for auto repair shops, you can import a wide array of data that are essential for your auto repair shop, including:
- Customer or vendor data (Excel, Outlook, or Gmail)
- Chart of Accounts (Excel)
- Products and services (Excel)
- Transactions from your bank (QuickBooks Online, Open Financial Exchange, etc.)
Though QuickBooks’ software typically renders a smooth transfer, you’ll want to double check the data to ensure its accuracy.
Step 4: Sync Financial Information
As mentioned above, QuickBooks allows you to connect your business bank account and credit cards in just a matter of a few minutes. This enables Quickbooks to automatically pull in all past transactions, and any new ones, so that you can categorize all expenses in one place for bookkeeping.
If your auto repair shop handles multiple customers, QuickBooks will record all of your transactions in a centralized place so that you can focus on providing quality service.
Step 5: Prepare Invoices and Estimates
Quickbooks’ invoicing tool is a great way to put an attractive face on your auto repair shop. Impress your customers with customized invoices that display your company logo and specific branding such as colors, fonts, and layouts, which you can easily achieve with Quickbooks Plus.
Keep in mind that some states require certain information on auto repair shop invoices in order to be approved, so be sure to research the requisite details your shop must include so that you stay compliant with state laws.
Round Out Your Financials with BayIQ
There are always two sides of the coin when dealing with a small business, but especially with an auto repair shop— no successful shop can operate without both effectively handling the financials as well as providing top-notch customer service. While QuickBooks for auto repair shops is a powerful resource for keeping your expenses in check, automated marketing software, like BayIQ, is a great tool for taking care of the customer side of your business.
BayIQ’s marketing platform and rewards program will increase your car count and spend per visit. Combine both QuickBooks and BayIQ to fully round out the success of your auto repair shop management tactics!