Dealing With Year-End Duties

We asked three veteran archery retailers: How do you tackle year-end duties such as taxes and inventory? Here’s what they had to say.

Dealing With Year-End Duties

Photo by John Hafner

Anthony Schmidt

LaCrosse Archery

Onalaska, Wisconsin 

We use a point-of-sale system that tracks all of our inventory. It accounts for receipt sales — as soon as we make a sale, it removes purchased items from our virtual inventory. We do class quantity counts once monthly. It could be arrow rests, bowsights or whatever. Then, we take a giant inventory that encompasses all of the product classes at the end of the year. That requires all hands on deck. We have two full-time employees, plus all four owners are present to make sure everything runs smoothly.

We utilize two computerized systems. We do payroll and some accounting via QuickBooks, and we also use LinkEdge by Leum Technologies, which is another beneficial accounting software. Both greatly simplify all inventory and accounting operations.

We hire tax preparation out to an accountant. I feel that’s where many archery shops go wrong. They try to be everything to everyone, and they get stretched too thin and make poor use of their time. With tax preparation, it pays to hire someone who’s far more educated. Taxes are a big thing that we advise outside counsel on. Now, it can be somewhat expensive, usually in the $3,000 to $5,000 range. Considering what the accountant’s education saves us, it’s money well spent. It holds us accountable and keeps us educated, too.

In order to give our accountant the information needed to prepare our taxes, we rely heavily on the reports we can generate using our computerized systems. There are many shops that aren’t using them. That would make things prehistoric and needlessly difficult. Having the computer software solidifies and streamlines our behind-the-scenes business. As long as we’re diligent with updating our computer and entering merchandise promptly and accurately, everything goes smoothly.

In the end, it’s all about planning ahead. If you have to pay in for income tax every year, it’s important to know your sales numbers and what you must save for in a sinking-fund account. It’s easy to do if you’re intentional about it. Like anything else in life, if you focus on it, it’s really hard to screw it up.


Al Lizzio

Queens Archery

Flushing, New York

We’ve been in business about 52 years, and we’ve been in our current location — a full-scale range and archery pro shop — for 32 years. Like many longstanding archery shops, I started this business from my car trunk. Once it became a legitimate business, I hired an accountant to handle my accounting and tax preparation. Sure, I kept records, but I’d meet with him once or twice annually to handle quarterly payments. I’ve always gotten lots of good advice from my accountant, too.

I do inventory a bit differently than most shops. I buy a lot of it as I need it. While I have a tremendous stock, I try not to stock too many of particular items. We stock small amounts of everything.

Queens Archery
Queens Archery

About three years ago, we stopped stocking 30 to 50 bows at a time like we used to. If a customer wants a particular bow, they come in, order it, pay for it in full and then we order it from the company. This is more successful for us because we aren’t left with tons of inventory at the end of the year. It also simplifies our inventory tracking. I’ve had absolutely no need for any computerized programs. I always know what I have in stock.


Bryan Schertz

On Target Archery

Canton, Texas

We count inventory ourselves at the end of the year. When we finish, we reconcile our computer to reflect accurate numbers as we begin the new year. Basically, we verify that we have on hand what the computer says we have. If we find discrepancies, we make corrections. We use QuickBooks as our merchandising system. It simplifies our bookkeeping so much. 

As for tax preparation, we hire that out to an accountant. Of course, we keep good records of all transactions related to the business throughout the year so our accountant can prepare our taxes more accurately and with fewer hassles. That goes for everything that happens in the store as well as business trips, such as attending a trade show. It takes some understanding to know what is considered a business expense and what is not, but it’s all fairly basic stuff. We talk with our accountant quarterly to stay on top of everything, and then we have a major meeting to discuss everything with them at the beginning of the year.

Hiring an accountant is well worth the expense. It costs us approximately $500 annually. If we make any major changes from one year to the next, it’s usually a bit more expensive. Nonetheless, it’s a minor expense considering the benefits of having our taxes prepared correctly by a professional who knows all of the laws and regulations. Plus, they’re always just phone call away to answer any questions that arise during the year.

On Target Archery
On Target Archery

To new dealers, I suggest keeping good records. A computerized inventory system is a must-have tool that simplifies everything. You can avoid a mess by regularly updating the inventory system. In visiting with other shops, I’ve learned that many don’t have computerized systems at all, or they take the easy road and enter new merchandise in as miscellaneous items without any associated costs. If you do that, you’ll charge the wrong prices and cheat yourself out of money.   


Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.