Chainsaw accounting

Most dealers know the nightmare than can be inexperienced accounting. ADP Lightspeed Senior Analyst Hal Ethington, a Powersports Business columnist who has been associated with the industry for more than 30 years, will help dealers pull themselves out of their accounting mess and then work with them to make sure it doesn’t happen again in an educational session titled “Chainsaw Accounting,” at this summer’s Powersports Business Conference & Expo.
“Accountants have a solution that works every time,” Ethington says. “When the books are so bad they just can’t be fixed, you simply count what you see in front of you, use those numbers and recalculate the value of the business.
“Around here, we call this ‘chainsaw accounting.’ It works. And it works well. When you are through, you have the truth in front of you, no matter what the books had said.”
And the need for dealers to ensure their books are accurate and ensure they have enough cash on-hand has never become more important than in this difficult sales environment.
“Your financials are you,” Ethington says. “The whole world — from the IRS to the banks and the OEMs — judges you by what your financials say. If you’re in a mess, get out the chainsaw, rip them up, tie them to hard proven facts, gain confidence in them — and even if it is terrible, you will finally know the truth.”
To learn more about how to do this, make plans to attend the Powersports Business Conference & Expo. Under the theme of “Profit Xcelerator,” the two-day training event will be held Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 31 and Sept. 1, in Indianapolis. It will follow the Indianapolis MotoGP, an event that drew more than 90,000 motorcycle racing fans in 2008 in addition to a large dealer audience.
Profit Xcelerator will feature seminars from Ethington and other leading training consultants and industry experts. Each day, two tracks of seminars will touch on a number of key dealership profit centers, including parts and accessories, pre-owned units, service department and new unit sales.
Industry leaders and dealers also will be featured on panels that will explore several timely issues, including e-commerce and marketing.
The Powersports Business Conference and Expo also will include nearly 14,000 square feet of exhibition space for leading industry suppliers.

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