One key difference between a small winery and a large winery is the accounting department: a small winery does not have one. Instead, small wineries have individuals who juggle the accounting and bookkeeping with racking wines, ordering supplies, handling customer service calls, and countless more tasks.
After working with hundreds of small wineries, we have found a couple of different “styles” of owners, office managers, and accounting professionals. These roles are like varietals: each varietal will have a different style depending on the vineyard. We have identified different styles for each of these roles, and each one will follow a different path through the Success Journey. Click here to learn more about the Success Journey.
“My tax return says I’m losing money. But it can’t be that much, right?”
“I don’t know where to focus my efforts to get the best results.”
“I need to know how much my wine costs, so I can sell it at the right price.”
“Everyone says QuickBooks is the way to go, but my reports don’t make any sense.”
“I’ve asked for help, but all I got was confusing technical jargon.”
We created a suite of webinars, articles, and other resources to help you answer these questions and make sense of your finances.
Running a winery is a complex and challenging job. We make it easier for you and your team with our courses and our winery management program — The Silver Club.
We find there are three types of Owners, and they are represented by Riley, Dana, & Alex
- Riley does everything from the day-to-day bookkeeping, month-end close, and costing. We refer to the Rileys of the wine industry as the Reluctant Bookkeeper. Frankly, we have created most of our courses and videos for Riley.
- Master the Fundamental Five – Discover QuickBooks for Wineries and/or The Fundamental Five Course
- Master the Bookkeeping – Join the Silver Club
- Master the Costing – Costing Lesson (if your accountant will be handling the costing) or the Costing Book Checklist Course (if you are taking this on)
- Master the Business – Join the Silver Club
- Dana only does the day-to-day bookkeeping. However, Dana actually enjoys this task because it allows them to keep an eye on the pulse of the business. Dana has an accountant who handles the month-end close and the costing.
- Alex is allergic to QuickBooks and relies on the bookkeeper and the CFO to handle the run reports. Even though Alex does not touch any of the bookkeeping, they cannot abdicate their responsibility for oversight, and they need to ensure there are proper controls in place.
Our courses are designed for anyone working closely with the winery owner who needs to understand key bookkeeping processes. These folks are not accounting professionals and do not call themselves “bookkeepers” even though they are doing many of the same tasks as a bookkeeper:
- Office managers
- Tasting room managers
- Assistant winemakers
Your title might not be “Office Manager” but if you do the day-to-day bookkeeping in addition to a hundred other tasks, then we consider your role to be “Office Manager” (it’s just a nicer role than “Workhorse”).
Have you been asked to get that QuickBooks file in order, but you have no idea how to pull that off?
When the winery owner asks for reports (all due yesterday), do you cross your fingers and hope the information is accurate?
Our courses are built on decades of experience working with QuickBooks and with folks just like you. Discover our system, specifically designed for small, boutique wineries. Set up QuickBooks to handle all the accounting processes including:
- Paying bills
- Creating invoices
- Integrating POS sales
- Recording deposits
- Making bank reconciliations
Receive clear, jargon-free tutorials tailored for winery office managers with courses from QB Winery Solutions.
Managing a winery is a complex and challenging job. We make it easier for you with our course and winery management program, The Silver Club.
We find there are three types of Office Managers, and they are represented by Madison, Harper, & Erin
- Madison, like all office managers of small businesses, has a can-do attitude and is juggling the bookkeeping tasks with a hundred other tasks like managing the website and ordering bottling materials. Madison handles the day-to-day transactions, but similar to Dana, Madison relies on the accountant to do the month-end close and costing.
- Harper is a college student, a retiree, or simply a trustworthy person with extra time who was roped in by an Ollie to handle the day-to-day bookkeeping. This is a very part-time job that they fit in a few hours a week. Unlike Blair the Bookkeeper, they are not accounting professionals.
- Erin and Madison are similar, but Erin loves excel and is comfortable with more complicated accounting tasks. The Erins of the wine industry will do the month-end close and will tackle the costing process. They fulfill many of the functions of a CFO.
Whether you’re a CPA, tax preparation expert or bookkeeper, I’ll help you learn the lingo, master QuickBooks for wineries and – most importantly – avoid that fatal costing mistake all too many winery owners make.
Ultimately, the proof of the vintage is in the tasting. Check out what leading CPAs have to say:
..thank you again for presenting the wine-costing class to our staff…it was very well done… Toni Moheng, Managing Director, Tax BPM
Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits
Want to formalize what you’ve learned with CPE Credits? Attend one of our live seminars to earn up to 14 CPE Credits.
Managing a winery is a complex and challenging job. We make it easier for you with our winery management program, The Silver Club.
We found 3 types of accounting professionals working with small wineries. We have named them Blair, Chris, & Taylor
- Blair is a bookkeeper and has other clients in other industries. Blair should focus on learning the nuances of the wine industry, and there are many of these. Blairs are used to creating procedures for their clients, however, we have already figured out most of the common tasks. So Blairs will save a lot of time by reviewing all of the Quickies and mini-courses before re-inventing the wheel.
- Chris is a CFO, which is an accountant who specializes in helping the owners understand the financial situation of the business. Often the CFO will handle the costing and will work with the Tax Preparer, because Chris does not do the tax return. A Chris/Erin combo is very common. Together with a Madison and a Taylor, they are a very effective accounting team for a small winery.
- Taylor is a Tax Preparer. Taylor is often referred to as a “CPA” but not all CPAs do tax returns and not all tax preparers are CPAs. This is a very complicated specialty because the tax code changes so frequently and has no underlying logic (blame that on Congress). Thus, most tax preparers only handle the tax return, but some also fill the role of CFO. A Taylor-Chris combo is hard to find, but they are a gem and worth looking for.
- Master the Fundamental Five – Discover QuickBooks for Wineries
- Master the Bookkeeping – Recommend that your clients join the Silver Club
- Master the Costing – Costing Overview Lesson and the mini-course The Book to Tax Adjustment (an update is coming soon)
- Master the Business – Recommend that your clients join the Silver Club