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A Roundtable Discussion of Controllers

Discover how a group of your peers solves the daily challenges of running an auto dealership.

When your Accounting Managers and Controllers thrive—your dealership prospers! Empower your people with better training, technology, and insights.

Seven Ways to Build Up Your Accounting Professionals for the Optimal Back Office

“The right controller can mean the difference between dealers that thrive and those that are struggling to survive.”

Karli DeVall, CFO, Tim Dahle and Red Rock Auto Group

Your dealership’s back office is easy to overlook when things are going well. But behind the scenes, accounting managers and controllers work hard to keep the lights on and the budgets balanced. Identifying a rock star controller—and elevating potential leaders—can empower your accounting team to improve profits and elevate your entire dealership’s operations. Here are seven quick ideas to build up your accounting team for the optimal back office.

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1. Prioritize Training

Give your team a structured onboarding program and ongoing training opportunities to keep them engaged. When your accounting team is well-trained and has a clear path to high performance, they can see their role in the dealership plan and contribute to the bigger profitability picture.

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2. Improve Communications

Give your accounting team the tools they need to communicate more efficiently with each other and with your technology. Better communication can empower your team to boost efficiency and evolve with time and new technologies.

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3. Adopt Paperless Processes

Provide your team with the infrastructure to adopt paperless processes and digital document scanning. Going paperless improves communication between your teams and departments, and creates efficiencies throughout the dealership.

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4. Unlock the Data in Your DMS

Your accounting team has troves of data, but they need a way to filter it down to metrics that matter. Empower your team with technology that makes month-end reporting accurate and timely, while also helping them to meet monthly sales and performance objectives and trends.

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5. Invest in Automated Technology

Adopt digital technologies that eliminate manual processes. When your accounting team is free to work without restrictions that slow their progress and increase the risk of error, they flourish and thrive. New reporting tools that streamline reports and manually compile data with fully automated General Ledger mapping, like Critical Analytics, can increase efficiency and free your accounting team from the burden of manually compiled spreadsheets from multiple rooftop locations. 

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6. Help Your Team Embrace Change

Accounting team members are usually among those most resistant to technology change. Help them to see their vital role in how technology is implemented and used at the dealership level, and how they can embrace technology to become a more efficient and improve dealership profitability.

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7. Identify Accounting Team Superstars

Identify true leaders among your accounting team—those who use and embrace technology. Empower them to take the lead when it comes to training new hires, being an ambassador, and rolling out new technology. Find ways to connect your leaders and super users together to unlock the true potential of your team and technology.

5 Steps to Reduce Turnover in the Auto Industry

Hover over each box to learn more.
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IMPROVE TRAINING

IMPROVE TRAINING

Top performing dealerships are more likely to provide formal training to their employees (57 percent versus 40 percent of the poor performers).
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DEVELOP COMPANY CULTURE

DEVELOP COMPANY CULTURE

Those annual reviews should really be daily reviews. If you’re not checking in with your team, and making sure you have a good culture, a once-yearly check-in is too-little, too-late.
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ADJUST HIRING PRACTICES

ADJUST HIRING PRACTICES

Throw out those personality tests. Van Horn Auto Group’s controller, instead, ensures that at least two managers interviews every candidate. It doesn’t work every time, but your dealership should establish trust among the team to make good decisions.
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TIE HIRING TO BUSINESS STRATEGY

TIE HIRING TO BUSINESS STRATEGY

Hiring comes down, ultimately, to cost. Are you looking at the cost of separation, replacement, training, new employee productivity?
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TRY SOMETHING NEW

TRY SOMETHING NEW

Everything within your dealership should be on the table: compensation, hiring, paid leave, and even employee ownership.
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THRIVE AND SURVIVE

THRIVE AND SURVIVE

Every day’s an adventure — now more than ever. So, how do you protect your dealership from economic uncertainties and trends threatening your profitability? Our new handbook offers tips for surviving it all!
GET THE GUIDE
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EMBRACE TECHNOLOGY

EMBRACE TECHNOLOGY

Technology change is inevitable. Whether switching to a new DMS or just adapting to changes that come with technology advancement, change is coming for every controller and every accounting office at every dealership.
READ MORE
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DIGITAL ACCOUNTING

EMBRACE TECHNOLOGY

There are ways to adapt to industry change and stay atop the proverbial pecking order, for dealers of all sizes. And, as it turns out, the right controller and the right accounting team can mean the difference between dealers that thrive and those that are struggling to survive.
READ MORE
Ready to go beyond the surface? Get the full Controllers’ Roundtable Guide and become
 the master of your dealership’s DMS (and beyond!) today.