“Bookkeeping, payroll, brewer’s reports, tank labels and brewing & packing schedules are only a few of the items you must keep in order to ensure your financial fitness. Don’t skimp on the back office expense for the sake of saving a few dollars in the beginning.”
On his blog (www.apr16.com), Chris has posted on several reasons that he is exited and passionate about small breweries like Intuition Ale Works. Among them is their contribution to the economy at many levels, their involvement within the community and, for beer lovers, the more “luscious, succulent ingredients that craft breweries use.”
One of the first steps the CPA helped the brewery with was selecting the bookkeeping and business management system they would use. For bookkeeping and payroll, Chris helped them get started with a hosted version of QuickBooks, so that Ben could access business data from anywhere. At the same time, this allows Chris to have day-to-day, or as-needed, access to all back-office operations, including managing invoicing, payables, receivables, reconciliation functions, and monthly and annual financial reporting.
Chris also helps manage compliance issues to the seven different local, state and federal agencies that the business has to report to for sales and liquor regulations. He works with another area CPA to manage the business’ income taxes.
In addition to having more complex regulation concerns than most other small businesses, breweries also have many unique business processes they have to manage. Because of this, they need specific features and reporting tools that aren’t available in QuickBooks. For these functions, they looked at specialty systems.
“We looked at two different programs that are designed for brewery management, and we ended up choosing BeerRun Software (www.beerrunsoftware.com),” Ben noted. “It was more our speed, and the other main program on the market was far more expensive and a lot more complex than we needed.” The system is web-based and integrates with QuickBooks, which was also a key in the selection process. Chris also helped train Ben on both software systems.
Although he’s more focused on financial aspects, it’s easy to see that Chris shares much of the love of craft brewing. “Two years ago I was given the awesome opportunity to help Intuition Ale Works,” he said. “While I spend most my time doing back office work, I can still feel the energy. The smells, employees, fork-lifts, tanks, patrons, all exude positive energy.”
Cheers to their mutual success!