In 2018, 5.3% of the American workforce, about 8.2 million Americans, worked from home, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Today, the number of American employees working remotely has grown exponentially as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
For many American businesses, including dealerships, this shift is a new way of operating and has required employers to adopt new policies and procedures. This holds true for the accounting department in dealerships across the country.
To help dealers ensure that their accounting departments continue to support the needs of the dealership, NADA hosted a webinar, Keeping the Wheels Turning in the Accounting Office with a Remote Workforce, on Tuesday, April 14. Presented by NADA Academy Instructors Edie Wines, Heather Westman and Tom Shaughness, the webinar discussed strategies to keep the accounting office running smoothly in light of employees working remotely or on staggered shifts.
“Now is the time to embrace and expand the use of technology and open our minds to new ways to adequately support the dealership team while still producing timely and accurate financial information for decision making,” said Wines.
One major consideration in the greater reliance on technology, is the security of personal and confidential information. “Working remotely requires careful planning on how you accomplish the adequate level of security for your dealership and customer information,” shared Shaughness.
Additional best practices outlined during the webinar included maintaining financial integrity and cash flow, including completing transactions in an expedited fashion; increasing the daily oversight of the posting results through daily review of exceptions reports, schedules and DMS usage reports; and reviewing in progress transactions, such as open repair orders, parts tickets and pending deals.
“As difficult as this situation is, this is an opportunity to review and grow in some departments that we previously had thought of ‘if it’s not broke, don’t fix it,’” said Westman.
Wines added: “We will undoubtedly reveal some glitches and reveal some weaknesses during this time but it will be an opportunity to learn and adapt; possibly opening up opportunities for gaining and maintaining employees in the future that might need a work opportunity offering flexible schedules or remote abilities.”
A recording of the webinar is now available to NADA members here.
Note: NADA’s webinar is offered to assist its dealer members in being as efficient as possible in the operation of their dealerships and for general informational purposes only. The presentation of this information is not intended to constitute legal advice nor encourage concerted action among competitors or any other action on the part of dealers that would in any manner fix or stabilize the price or any element of the price of any good or service.