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How Outsourced Accounting Services Help Ace Hardware Owners Get Back to Customers

Jun 05, 2019

As an Ace Hardware store owner, you pride yourself on your customer service. But running a store and providing quality service come with challenges. Do you find you can’t spend the time you want with your customers because you’re trapped behind a wall of accounting tasks? Are you not receiving reliable financial information fast enough to make strategic business decisions? Are you missing the proactive advice you need to grow your business?

That was the case for many Ace Hardware store owners until they turned to the specialists at Wipfli, one of the top accounting and consulting firms in the U.S.

Wipfli was able to take the pressure of manual accounting off store owners, allowing them to get back to what they do best: connecting with their customers to better run their business.

Why Manual Accounting Hurts Relationships

In the past, many Ace Hardware store owners chose between two options: Do the accounting themselves or hire a local CPA.

If they were doing the work themselves, it was often late at night after working a full day, which sometimes led to mistakes and increased frustration. Or they put it off, hoping to find time later, and quickly fell behind.

If they were working with a local CPA, they would spend hours each month pulling data, making journal entries and compiling numbers to deliver it to that CPA.

Either way, store owners often spent 20-30 hours a month on accounting — and all those hours meant they were either missing valuable time with their families or their customers. And every minute an owner isn’t on the floor is time spent not gaining the customer knowledge they need to grow their business.

How Wipfli Got Owners Back to Customers

Wipfli accounting specialists were immediately able to provide a cloud-based solution that reduced complexity and increased efficiency.

Working with store owners, Wipfli’s team created a hub with Sage Intacct and linked their bank accounts, credit cards and bill payments.

Wipfli also streamlined data flowing between the store and Ace corporate, where the store owners made the majority of their purchases due to the buying power of the co-op. Wipfli’s process downloads data from Ace Corporate’s intranet into Excel, pre-codes data with the proper account numbers and then imports it into Sage Intacct, keeping owners organized and their books up to date.

Wipfli professionals also connected, which allows store owners to easily use their phone or tablet to pay a vendor and sync that payment with Sage Intacct.

Putting the entire process on the cloud freed store owners from time-consuming paperwork while increasing efficiency and accuracy, and allows owners to focus their time in the front of the store, where the customers are, rather than in the back of the store.

Timely, Reliable, Trustworthy Numbers

Wipfli’s proven track record means store owners can put their time and energy into developing good strategies to grow profits and business.

Wipfli brings more than accounting to store owners. It brings forward-thinking consultants that bring actionable insights and business advice.

Is payroll trending too low in relation to revenues and sales? Store owners can quickly adjust employee hours to ensure they are providing the level of service needed to keep customers coming back. Or they can compare their numbers with payroll from a similar store.

Timely numbers also help owners spot inventory and sales trends. Knowing how long inventory is sitting on a shelf, for example, helps store owners decide if they want to discount it or shift it to another store.

Wifpli also handles bank reconciliations on a timely basis, which helps prevent fraud and costly errors.

After handling accounting operations for stores across the country and working with Ace corporate, Wipfli knows Ace Hardware. The team knows what’s happening on the corporate level and how to adjust for it at the store level. That level of knowledge and access to information simply cannot be replicated by local CPAs.

With Wipfli, Ace Hardware store owners get worry-free financial information faster and easier. And they can get out of the back office and spend time on what is most valuable: their customers.

Let’s Get Started

Are you ready to spend less time crunching numbers at the back of the store and more time up front with customers? With Wipfli’s accounting and business advisory services, you can work with an experienced team who will enable you to make more informed business decisions and spend more time with your customers. Contact Wipfli to learn more.

Want to learn more? 

See how Wipfli can help Ace Hardware owners by visiting our web page or reading these articles: 

See how Wipfli integrates your store’s data with Ace corporate.
Learn about the value of co-op pricing for store owners.
See how Wipfli integrated an online accounting system for Hilton Head’s Ace Hardware.
See how Wipfli saved Coalinga Hardware money and streamlined ops with Ace Hardware headquarters.

Download our free ebooks:

Finance for store owners: Visibility for today and tomorrow
Finance for store owners: Cash basics


Tony J. Battaglia, CPA, MBA
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Finance for store owners: visibility for today and tomorrow

Finance for store owners: Cash basics