Spring Cleaning for Distributor Finances….plus Free Checklists

Spring is in the air, and so is the smell of money. That’s the aroma of cold, hard, cash getting deposited into your bank account. Sunshine + warmth = increased beer sales.

Spring time also means spring cleaning. This is good for the soul, and it’s good for your business finances, too.

In today’s article we’ll cover 3 Spring Cleaning ideas so that you keep your financial information tidy.

  1. Clean up and organize your corporate documents: Distribution agreements, licenses and organizational docs.
  2. Take a full physical inventory. When’s the last time you really counted your inventory? How about all those pallets and kegs? We both know it’s been far too long.
  3. Review the balance sheet. Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men…evil lurks on your balance sheet. Conduct this review to purge the financial evil.

Financial Spring Cleaning Basics

It feels good to clean up. Dis-order causes distraction and confusion. Keeping your financial information clean and organized helps you stay focused and fiscally fit.

As with any cleanup, you’ll need to throw things away. Old documents pile up, create clutter, and need to be disposed of.

Confused about what to keep and what to throw away? Use the document retention guide here.

Out with the old and in with the new. Hire a shredding company and clean out all those old invoices, reports and bank statements.

Corporate Docs

If you’re like most wholesalers, you have corporate records stashed everywhere. Some are tacked to the wall, others are in a desk drawer or saved on someone’s laptop.

Corporate records are important because they show the world you are a big-boy or big-girl company. They demonstrate that you have the proper licenses, filings and legal standing to operate your wholesaler business.

Corporate records are critical to maintain your ‘corporate’ status and the liability protections this provides.

Examples of corporate records include:

  • Articles of Incorporation
  • Bylaws
  • Stock certificates
  • Stock ledger recording each stock issuance or transfer
  • Minutes of meetings of the directors
  • Corporate seal

If you don’t have the time or patience to locate and organize your corporate records consider hiring an attorney to do it for you. They won’t be cheap, but they will make sure all the necessary docs exist and are properly filled out.

Corporate docs are super important to preserve the ‘corporate veil’ and protect you from liability. If you plan on borrowing money, banks need to see this information. If you plan on bringing on an investor, or eventually selling, investors / buyers will insist on complete and accurate corporate docs.

If you want to do it yourself, use this Corporate Docs Checklist  as a guide to get started. Spring is a great time to locate, organize and clean up those corporate documents.

Take a Physical Inventory

You can fool the others, but you can’t fool me. You haven’t taken a real inventory in years.

No fooling, it’s time to bite the bullet and conduct a full physical count of your pallets, kegs and beer inventory.

Counting inventory can be difficult, time-consuming and un-productive. But these things only happen when you do it the wrong way.

Use this Basics of a Successful Inventory Count Processto count inventory the right way. You’ll find it takes less time and will get you the results you want: accurate inventory on the books. Everyone wins.

Spring is a great time to clean up your inventory. Use the process, and make it count.

Review the Balance Sheet

I know you love the income statement. It has all that information about sales growth and profits. But Spring is the time for some balance sheet lovin’.

Your balance sheet reports on your assets, liabilities and equity. It shows what you own, what you owe, and the net worth of your business.

Unfortunately, the balance sheet is often riddled with financial mistakes.

Assets may be listed on the balance sheet that no longer exist. Lost kegs anyone? How about that old inventory you haven’t written off yet?

Prepaid expense is another hiding spot for balance sheet errors. Items get booked here and never removed. Prepaid taxes or prepaid insurance are common items that get stuck in here.

Wrap Up + Action Items

Spring is the perfect time for a financial clean-up. Start with a purge of your old financial records. Throwing things away feels good. Use the document retention guide to identify what can be tossed out. Hire a shredding company to do the dirty work.

Next, do a full physical count of your inventory. You wouldn’t dream of making incorrect deliveries to customers, so don’t operate your business with incorrect inventory records.

Finish the spring clean-up with a review of your balance sheet. Lots of financial mistakes get stuck here and need to be scrubbed clean.

Sunshine = Increased sales. It also = a great time for a financial spring clean-up.

Yours in Financial Spring Cleaning,