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can anybody suggest accounting software for car dealer

can anybody suggest accounting software for car...

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Just wondering if anyone has a suggestion on a cloud based accounting package for a 2nd hand car dealer.

Looking for something that will replace the spreadsheets and will cope with the usual margin scheme, part exs etc

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By levelheaded1903
18th Apr 2016 09:10

I just use VT
The garage that I deal with sells about 40 per month and has a service department too. The only problem that we have is reconciling all the vehicle sales (as you know any transaction can have several elements, part exchange, finance etc), so I just sort this in excel then use that to clear down VT. it has worked ok, I am not saying a bespoke system would not do better but that would be much more expensive.

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blue sheep
18th Apr 2016 09:51


yes thats exactly the way we do it at present, just seemed easier to use excel, I am thinking now the client wants regular accounts however that there has to be a better way

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By Ken Howard
18th Apr 2016 10:33

Bespoke systems also need manual intervention

I've used several bespoke or "add on" car dealer systems and never found one that doesn't need manual intervention of some form.

The couple that I used most still required some kind of spreadsheet for each car to bring together all the elements (px, finance, warranty, parts & labour, etc) and required a journal to get everything in the right place on the P&L.

Unless you're going to go for top of the range, pay an arm and a leg, integrated system, I think you'll always have some form of manual journal/calculation to post into the accounting system.

For a new client selling a relatively small number of cars etc., I think I'd also be suggesting VT for the ledger and bank/cash recording/reporting, with a supporting spreadsheet as a journal template to post when each car is sold, so as to get all the components in the right place and support the VAT postings for the VAT return.  At least with VT, the data entry would be simple and easy to correct if any errors crept in and reporting could be enhanced by exporting the managements reports into excel for further manipulation.

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By levelheaded1903
18th Apr 2016 12:31


yes, we also have a supporting spreadsheet, so the qualifying and marginal vat is listed by car, and then the summary figure is used for the vat return itself. I also keep a "sales qualifying vat match" spreadsheet which lists the £ and dates for qualifying vehicles on purchase and then the same info when they are sold, works a treat on vat visits. I have come to the conclusion for very small dealer (used) that the extra expense just doesn't justify itself - the 2 garages that I work for know that they pay X extra to me per month, but is still far less than  bespoke system.

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By MissAccounting
18th Apr 2016 12:34

I havent found a solution that even remotely comes closed to a sensible price. Ive set up a few with Quickbooks online entering the cars as stock items but then have to export a stock report into Excel to work out the VAT on the margin.

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Glenn Martin
By Glenn Martin
18th Apr 2016 14:36

Dealer click

Is about £85 per month and very good for sales end of the process is handles fully stock book side and second hand car scheme.

It is a complete system but you may find the accounts reporting a tad basic so may want to add some excel reports to get what you want.

It is very good from operators point of view as when you enter vehicle reg number it updates your car sales website and autotrader with the details of the vehicle.

Your client will like it more than you though as said above the accounts reporting side is not brilliant.

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By Ruddles
18th Apr 2016 15:10

Accounting software for a car dealer?

Meet me after dark, squire, and I'll let you have the disks for £30 cash no questions asked.

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
18th Apr 2016 16:00

Nearly Ruddles, the answer I was looking for was:

"Try a brown paper bag and a greasy holdall that smells of stale gym kit"


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By levelheaded1903
18th Apr 2016 17:22

@ dealer click

will have to mention this to the client, I know they both use auto trader so may be a sensible option and at £85 per month is probably approximate to what they have to pay me for the extra reconciliation element with VT, thanks for that Glenzy

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By jon_griffey
18th Apr 2016 17:48

Car crash

Once Making Tax Digital becomes a reality, spreadsheets will no longer be an option. Instead motor traders will simply be able to upload all the elements of their vehicle sales via a free app on their phones which will correctly calculate the VAT. It's going to be so easy...

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By lionofludesch
18th Apr 2016 18:49


Just take a photo of the car.  The app will automatically know what you bought and sold it for.

Thanks (2)
By levelheaded1903
19th Apr 2016 17:25

@ jon

yes you are right, I am trying not to think about that at the moment, as both are companies so it will be 2020 before this applies to them, but it is very annoying, working so well too

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