We’ve structured our on-site engagement into two distinct phases, which will enable us to systematically review your operations, identify problems and/or weaknesses, and make specific recommendations to correct those problems and/or weaknesses. This approach comes from having worked with several different music retailers in providing predominantly two types of engagements: (1) Retail Operations and Inventory Management related engagements, and/or (2) Accounting Systems related engagements. Given the importance of these two distinctly different areas of operations, our consulting engagement is essentially a hybrid of these two types of engagements, as most music retailers rely on their accounting and computer systems to assist in performing retailing and inventory management functions.
The following describes some of the specific tasks we typically perform during our engagement. By describing and discussing each of these tasks in advance of our arrival at your store, we are able to help you decide if there is a specific area of store operation you would like greater focus on during our engagement. In summary, we can “tailor-fit” our consulting engagement to address your specific needs, as well as help you identify the true source of the problems your store is experiencing.
RETAIL OPERATIONS AND INVENTORY MANAGEMENT REVIEW
The Retail Operations and Inventory Management Review phase of our engagement includes interviews of key personnel to document their job responsibilities and determine whether they’re experiencing any difficulties in executing their job tasks. We will review various accounting reports, financial statements (both internal and external) and tax returns to determine the adequacy and timelines of financial information.
Although we will review many areas of store operations, we will focus on your overall inventory buying and management. Our inventory review not only analyzes inventory levels, turns and trends, as well as inventory sales and profitability by grouping and/or department, but also includes our opinions on the mix of inventory, product lines and product. This expertise is not only invaluable, it’s virtually unheard of in an accounting firm.
Our findings typically result in a range of specific recommendations, from correcting flaws in purchasing methodologies to presenting in-store presentations and education to your sales and administrative staff on inventory management and buying strategies (similar to the seminars we routinely present at the NAMM Trade Shows).
ACCOUNTING AND COMPUTER SYSTEMS REVIEW
Over the past few years we’ve confronted several accounting issues and problems specific to music instrument and product retailers. These problem areas often pertain to instrument rental programs, trade-ins and consignments, floor-planning, employee compensation plans, and debt financing, to name a few. Additionally, we have worked with several different music retailers using very different accounting systems and software. Given our knowledge and experience with several different music retail accounting software applications, our Accounting and Computer Systems Review phase of our engagement is designed to determine reliability of your accounting system and ultimately the accuracy of your accounting data and reports. Our findings typically result in a range of specific written recommendations that corrects any visible flaws in your operations, accounting, data management and/or personnel.
If need be, we will be prepared to help you identify alternate accounting software solutions specifically for a music retailer. We will address related issues, such as the ability to integrate your accounting software with other applications, the ability to obtain on-going software updates and modifications, and your software’s ability to adapt to new technologies
ENGAGEMENT LOGISTICS & COST
Based upon our experience and given the comprehensive nature of our review, we generally recommend a 2 to 3-day consulting engagement to perform the aforementioned tasks. In preparation for these engagements, we would ask you send us certain documents (i.e. financial statements, tax returns, management reports and/or any other pertinent information) to peruse and analyze prior to our arrival at your store. This assures us of having a greater working knowledge of your store’s operation and personnel upon our arrival.
Like all other client engagements, our fees are based solely upon the time spent at our hourly billing rates, plus any travel, lodging and out-of-pocket costs. However, we will tailor our engagement tasks and time to make sure your most critical needs are met at an affordable cost.
Furthermore, during the course of our engagement, we typically gain an intimate knowledge of (a) your specific business operations, (b) the changes needed to resolve any problems we uncover, and (c) the right people to execute recommended changes to insure greater success. Although not required nor expected, we welcome any interest in our continued service as your music retail consultant and/or as your independent CPA firm and tax preparers.