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Finance for Craft Spirits | Accounting GL Software & Operational Accounting

The PDF is a slide deck on the topic of accounting GL software and operational accounting in your finance department for a Craft Spirits company.

TCA - Craft Spirits Finance - GL Software and Operational Accounting
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Here is text only outline of the slide deck.

Process and Tools

  • The topics of General Ledger (GL) software and operational accounting are part of a larger discussion about your organization’s accounting process and tools.


  • General Ledger (GL) Software

  • Paying Vendors

  • Other Expense Management

  • Invoicing Customers

  • Inventory Tracking (including POS for DTC)

** Not covering payroll processing but will in future presentation related to compliance issues.

Accounting (GL) Software

  • Small Business Systems

    • Relatively low cost and low IT requirements

    • Easier to use for accountants with less experience

    • Don’t handle inventory accounting well, natively

    • Examples (QuickBooks, Xero)

  • ERP systems

    • Used for operations as well as accounting, creating an easier data flow

    • Can automate bringing together data from multiple systems and locations into a central hub

    • Reduces accounting hours through automation

    • More customizable reporting

    • Significant cost increase over small business grade accounting software

    • May have more IT requirements

    • Usually requires specialized consulting for implementation, maintenance and report writing

Paying Vendors

  • Bill payment platforms

    • Allow for more automated digital approval process including multiple layers of approval

    • Integrate the payment processing with recording the transaction in the accounting software

    • Provide a quick digital record with invoice/receipt images that are often quicker and easier to use then accounting software.

    • Examples:, Melio, Ramp

  • Bank payment platforms

    • May provide the same level of online execution including sending checks

    • May also integrate with accounting software

    • May have limited access options and approval capabilities

Other Expense Management

  • Expense Management

    • Software including phone Apps

    • Deployed across employees that will have expense reimbursements or company charge cards

    • Streamlines record collection, categorization, explaining, approvals, processing reimbursements

    • Integrates with accounting systems

    • Examples: expensify, tally, concur, many others…

Invoicing Customers

  • Invoices are usually prepared with your accounting system to streamline preparing the invoice for a customer and recording the sale and receivable in the accounting system.

  • All conventional small business accounting software has this functionality including customizations.

Inventory Tracking

  • Raw materials and work in process is usually a shared responsibility with Production team

  • Finished goods in the wholesale distribution channel is often a shared responsibility with Sales team

  • Finished goods in the DTC channel is a shared responsibility with tasting room and e-commerce teams

  • Raw Material, Packaging and Work in Process

    • Production team has “custody.”

    • Accounting needs reports from Production on what is incoming, what is in various stages of process and what is outgoing. This information is used in Cost Accounting.

    • Best practice is for Production Teams to use software for their operational tracking that also handles TTB compliance and can provide the information needed to Accounting.

    • Even with production software, unless using an ERP, getting production data into the Cost Accounting is one of the more manually intensive tasks of the Accounting function.

  • Finished Goods for Wholesale

    • In the custody of warehouse operators.

    • Accounting needs reporting on incoming, quantities on hand and outgoing.

    • This data may be useful in verifying sales numbers as well as keeping a record of inventory on hand.

  • Finished Goods for Tasting Rooms and E-comm

    • And while we’re at it, let’s talk about payment processing

    • In Tasting Room and E-comm teams’ custody

    • Accounting needs reporting of incoming, on hand and outgoing inventory as well as reporting of the sales and payments processed.

    • Conventionally this done with a Point-of-Sale system (POS). Some can integrate with accounting systems, but all should have necessary reporting.

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