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ADP: Tips on Finding Cash at Your RV Dealership

cash-in-cabinetEditor’s Note: This is the latest installment in a series of “Find Hidden Cash” white papers written by Hal Ethington and provided by ADP Lightspeed Inc. This article focuses on office management.

$12,000. That’s the amount of cash I found in my first two days on the job as the replacement accountant in a dealership. Yes, found, as in looking in drawers, under desk blotters, in filing cabinets and in the unlocked safe. Currency, coin, contracts. You name it, I found it. All because the fellow who preceded me – the same one that was walking out the door as I walked in – that guy, was totally mystified about how to handle money.

So he filed $100 bills with deals in the filing cabinet. He piled credit card receipts in stacks under the desk blotter. Signed contracts were carefully settled in an in-box, and five days of receipts were still securely in the floor safe. And that is why the owner had called me. He wanted to know where his cash was, because it surely wasn’t in the bank.

So I whipped everything into shape, got the money to the bank, gave the owner a good bank balance and thus started my career in the dealership business. It has now lasted some 37 years, and in that time I have come across a few other office practices that are almost as disastrous as the simple mishandling of coin, contracts and currency. Try these on for size, and I hope they don’t fit.

And the list goes on. There is much you can do to minimize costs and maximize value received. It may not be as easy as searching one room and finding $12,000 as I did so many years ago, but you will be surprised at the money you will find if you, or a good controller, start looking into every corner of your business. My friend, Sandi Jerome, long-time controller for multiple auto dealerships, said this about her job:

It didn’t take me long to understand that nobody cared much about my beautiful schedules that reconciled perfectly to my balance sheet. No. That wasn’t what impressed my GMs, partners and owners. They couldn’t have cared less. It wasn’t until I started finding money in the operation that they began to take notice. Operational inefficiencies, dead inventory, pay-plan math errors, penalties and interest due to missed deadlines-all of this. Finding it, and fixing it. This is what got their attention. Sure, you still have to have the perfect schedules, but that is just for starters. Find cash in the operation, and you quickly become the most valued member of the team. – Sandi Jerome

Money no longer flowing, money stranded in the backwaters, money you can’t use, is found and recovered by people who have time to think, who have auditing skills and who know how to ask hard questions. I can’t guarantee $12,000, but I can guarantee peace of mind if you know these things are constantly under scrutiny.

Start finding hidden cash in your operation. It is there. The only question is, how much?

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1 Comment To "ADP: Tips on Finding Cash at Your RV Dealership"

#1 Comment By Tim On December 22, 2009 @ 11:33 pm

We have been battling an overinventory situation at our contracting firm for a year now. We can not stop managers from ordering parts that we already own. We think we have a hold on it and give them a little leaway and old habits come back and we literally have to close our accounts to stop it. received three orders today and I immediately refused the orders and shipped everything back.