Craft Brewery Bookkeeping Resources

Brewery financial statements are the scorecard for your business. Bookkeeping is the process to keep track of all the transactions that make up your brewery numbers. And let’s face it, there’s a lot to keep track of.

If you’re like many brewery owners, you are also the bookkeeper. And you may be in need of help with the bookkeeping. 

Your choices are to hire someone or outsource the work to ​specialists. 

Hiring an employee can be a roll of the dice. Will you find the right person? Will they have the skills you want? Will they fit in and play nice with the rest of your team?  

Sometimes, the better option is to outsource your brewery bookkeeping to the pro’s. 

In this post, we’ll share contact information and bookkeeping tips from two accounting firms that specialize in craft breweries so that you can make the best decision for your brewery. 

Small Batch Standard, www.sbstandard.com

Small Batch Standard offers three services to the craft brewing industry.

  1. Outsourced Accounting
  2. Tax planning and preparation
  3. Growth Consulting

Outsourced accounting can take on many forms depending on the resources at the brewery. One example would be if the brewery has an on-site bookkeeper. In this case we would assist the bookkeeper throughout the month with any questions. Once the month ends, we close the books. Closing the books includes reconciliation of all balance sheet items, booking of accruals, and review of the P&L for any items that have been mis-categorized. In this example we strive to have the books closed by the 12th of the following month.

The other form of outsourced accounting would be our team handling the day to day accounting. This would include entering all daily sales, bills, receiving payments from distributors, a close handle on the brewery management software, and booking and accruing all labor. With this full outsourced option we strive to have the books closed by the 15th of the following month.

With either option, the goal is consistent, accurate financials so we can then consult on the growth of the brewery. Outsourcing a task such as accounting, to industry experts is great investment for any brewery. Once we get in the grove, which typically takes 30-45 days, we can extract useful information that can be put into action by the brewery.

The Beer CPA, Laurie Mikeworth, www.beercpa.com

Tidbits of wisdom:

  1. Look for professional service providers who are brewing industry specialists – legal, accounting, architect, building contractor.
  2. Mine the business experience of your investors/board of directors – they can be a free wealth of advice.
  3. Learn to read and understand financial statements. Review financials with your accountant prior to submitting to a lender!
  4. Establish relationships with local home brew clubs – invite them to brew small batches.
  5. Last but certainly not least…Cash is King! Review cash on hand daily and project your day to day needs. Create separate bank accounts for payroll, sales and excise taxes and rent to accumulate funds to satisfy these obligations.

The Beer CPA mission is to help breweries make more money and keep more of the money they earn. We do this by handling the administrative burdens of tax, accounting and payroll, as well as providing proactive planning and consulting at affordable fixed rates. We give brewery business owners peace of mind by managing their back office and helping them keep more green!

Our services include:

  • Bookkeeping
  • Accounting
  • New Business Roadmap™
  • Payroll Services
  • Consultation
  • Tax Planning

Bottomline CPA, LLC, Tim Cistone, BottomlineCPA.com

Bottom Line CPA Client Accounting Services (CAS) represent outsourced accounting, finance and back-office support, including AP, AR, payroll, virtual CFO services and the technologies that support them. CAS is an all-inclusive solution that offers small businesses relief from the day-to-day accounting hassles while providing 24/7 access to financial data. As your trusted adviser, we can provide the following

  • reconcile bank & credit card accounts,
  • pay your bills & record deposits, 
  • provide payroll services and stay compliant on all payroll filings,
  • furnish financial statements, 
  • produce 1099s & prepare income & excise tax returns, 
  • and supply valuable financial and tax advice throughout the year. 

All activity is completed “behind the scenes” via our technologically advanced platform—so communication and document exchange is in real-time.  With our relationships with other highly-skilled professionals, Bottom Line CPA also serves as your guide toward other areas of your business that may need attention.  (i.e. legal, insurance, banking/lending, retirement plans, etc)

WHY OUTSOURCE YOUR ACCOUNTING?:

  1. Save Time – Outsourcing your accounting frees up valuable time that can be put into growing your company.
  2. Save Money–  Outsourcing your accounting is far more cost-effective than having a salaried bookkeeper.
  3. Expertise– When you put your books into the hands of an experienced professional, your job becomes a whole lot easier, effective and efficient…no mistakes!
  4. Delegate
    1. Accounts Payable
    2. Accounts Receivable 
    3. Taxes
    4. Employee Payroll & Reimbursement
    5. Account Reconciliation
  5. Planning – Maybe it’s time to expand….but big dreams come with big price tags. Partnering with an accounting professional not only maintains accountability but may also help you secure a loan or grant. 
  6. Peace of Mind–  Arguably, this is the most profound reason for outsourcing accounting for your business. Because even if none of the arguments above give you cause for pause, you can appreciate that handing over the reins to something as critically important as your finances yields one priceless result: peace of mind. Gone are the days of wondering if you filed your taxes correctly or if you’ll qualify for that loan you desperately need to continue growing your business.

Wrap Up + Action Items

Bookkeeping is a key business function for craft breweries. It helps to ensure that you have timely, accurate and reliable financial information so that you can make better decisions and know where you stand related to financial goals.

If you need help with your brewery bookkeeping, check out the resources in this post. Your income statement will thank you.