How QuickBooks Works for Wholesale or FMCG Distributors

FMCG stands for fast-moving consumer goods. An FMCG distributor is any company that buys in bulk from FCMG companies, then resell to small retailers or sub-distributors. Well-known FMCG companies in Nigeria include Unilever, Nestlé, Nigeria Breweries, International Breweries, and The Coca-Cola Company.

As you already know, these types of business are inventory-based and as such, require a time-saving system to manage the movement of inventories in and out, while accounting for cash flow on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

Recently, we deployed a cloud-based accounting software solution for a client who is one of the major distributors in Nigeria Breweries and International Breweries, here in Lagos. So, if you’d like to know the scope of the project up to the financial reporting, these tips will give you first-hand information based on our experience and our excellent deliveries.

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For over 5 years, we have implemented QuickBooks for several companies under Retail, Manufacturing, Oil & Gas, Real Estate & Construction, Travels, Hospitality,Legal, Co-operatives, NGOs, Financial & Service Sectors.
  • Mbaire Services Nigeria Ltd(Construction)
  • Chisco Transport Limited(Transport)
  • Lounge38(Hotel and Bars)
  • CTRL System Technologies Limited(Procurements)
  • Aristokrat 360 Limited(Creative & Media Agency)
  • Alpha Pharmacy (Health Care & Supermarket)
  • Ericsson Nigeria Multipurpose Co-operative Society (Co-operatives)
  • Fastanet Limited (ICT and Security)
  • Britanic Maritime (Maritime Service)
  • CEO Business Limited (Salary Advance, Credit Finance and Loan)
  • OneHealth Pharmacy (Health Care)
  • Olpharm Pharmacy (Health Care & Distributor)
  • Hawkes Legal(Legal)
  • Kantessa Limited(Fashion Store)
  • OPI Nigeria International Limited (Oil & Gas Servicing)
  • Zenilum Company Limited (Oil & Gas Servicing)
  • Lilygate Hotel(Hospitality)
  • Benstel Nigeria Limited(Bottle Water Production & Distribution)
  • Paraclete Nigeria Limited (Bottle Water Production & Distribution)
  • Josien Holdings Limited(Distribution)
  • Aisha Buhari Foundation (Futured Assured)(NGO)
  • Doheney HR Services(HR)
  • Insights Limited(Health Consultant)
  • Biddel Oil & Gas Limited (Oil & Gas)
  • System Intelligenz Limited(Contractor)
  • MagTech Information Security (IT)
  • Infusion Cakes Nigeria (Bakery)
  • Landmark Centre (Event Centre)
  • M.D School (Private School)
  • Travel Options (Travels)
  • Logos Travel Support & Solutions Ltd (Travels)
  • Germaine Auto Centre (Autos)
  • Starlight Nigeria (Retail)
  • Temple Private School (Education)
  • Value Mart Supermarket (Retail)
  • Transweb Bureau De Change (Financial Service)
  • Vektro Food Limited (Manufacturing & Retails)
  • Orient Petroleum PLC (Oil & Gas)
  • Plus More

Deploying QuickBooks Accounting Software in a Wholesale or FMCG Distributor

The first step to deploying QuickBooks in this type of business is to gather the necessary financial data and inventory information at the beginning of the financial year or a chosen date.

  • Customers and Receivable Balances: This will help you track all the amount owed by your customers or sub-distributors for previous supplies made.
  • Suppliers and Payable Balances: Here, you can monitor all recent cash balances payable to the FMCGs, but sometimes, this may be recorded as credits depending on the situation during setups. We will discuss this later.
  • Bank Accounts: Every inflow and outstanding have your bank account at the centre of the transactions, so its best practice to add your bank accounts and their respective balances to the system for reconciliation purposes.
  • Inventories: This is the core of your distributorship business. Hence, it requires detailed and accurate input of your inventories – name, quantity on hand, the average cost of your inventories, and selling prices. Without this information, you are running a service-based account with your accounting solutions. Whenever we deploy QuickBooks solutions for inventory-based companies or FMCGs, we always advise them to adopt the one-off pain of a physical count because that is the only way to block loopholes in their inventory reporting. Going forward, the software will always deduct every sale recorded and add new purchases to display current balances.
  • VAT Charges: By law, every business is mandated to charge VAT on sales of their products so they can remit all tax to the relevant tax authorities after accounting for claims. This is the reason you need to input VAT payables on previous sales recorded as a starting balance in the accounting software for proper reporting. And if there are other tax charges aside VAT, you can as well let us know.
  • Fixed Assets: I am sure every FMCG distributor owns a truck or bus that conveys all inventories from the warehouse to point of supplies. In accounting, such useful property is tagged Fixed Assets and if there are assets like Land, Building, Office Furniture, etc., you are required to present these for proper recording – which could be at cost or fair value.

  • Chart of Account: Chart of accounts categorizes your transactions into income, expenses, assets, or liabilities. This isn’t a must for your business because a standard accounting software solution customized for FMCG distributors should be able to create a custom chart of account for your line of business. But if you have existing account heads with numbers, that’s fine. You can import them from excel into QuickBooks. The second step is to look at the infrastructure on which the accounting solution is deployed; while our recent setup was on the online version of QuickBooks which only requires a monthly or annual subscription with no physical or virtual server from the client’s end since everything is hosted on QuickBooks server, you can also opt for the desktop-based solution – QuickBooks Premier Software.

QuickBooks Premier Software is suitable for tracking and managing inventories with units of measures, for instance, our client distributes drinks in crates and cartons. On the desktop-based solution, you see all the inventories on hand in real-time and how they are measured for record purposes.

For distributors that don’t want to incur a recurring cost, the desktop version is fine but it can’t be accessed remotely except you host it on the cloud via a virtual server machine like Amazon EC2 Cloud or Microsoft Azure. The advantage of these platforms is that you don’t need to buy physical server equipment or invest in power infrastructures like Solar panels and inverter to have your server running, they are completely virtual!

After the necessary setup and data migration into QuickBooks accounting software, here are some of the key functions the client can perform:

  • Record all inventory purchases (by cash or credit) from FMCG company as well as track empty crates at cost; this will increase the quantity available in-store and help generate accurate inventory reports on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. For cash payments, the bank from which money was paid is debited by paid, while a credit purchase automatically adds to the payable balances of the supplier; they can see how much is owed to the Nigeria Breweries or International Breweries.
  • Track all the credits: The first one is created by the backload of the crates to the suppliers. We understood that FCMG distributors in the drink and beer business only pay for the contents and not the crates or carton, hence are required to return these items after purchase. Since these items were initially charged on first purchases (with the content), it makes sense to track all the credits associated with the return of all crates of beer and drinks to the FMCG companies into the suppliers’ account. The implication is that it will reduce whatever is owed to the supplier.  Another instance of credit arises when these FMCGs give incentives to their distributors for running promotions.  The client is also required to use a feature tagged “Suppliers Credits” to track all incentive income as well as reduce the amount owed to the suppliers. The final credit arises if they pay more than the amount owed to the supplier, then the differences are automatically treated as a credit against future inventory supplies.
  • Sell to sub-distributors and see all the sales figure on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annual basis. They can even use their custom date range. For distributors with marketers, you can also track all the sales generated for commission or reward purposes. If some of your sales are on credit to your customers, you can also generate a receivable report that displays the name of customers and the amount they owe you. And when payment is received via direct transfer or cash, you use the “Receive Payment” window to post it which automatically increases your bank or cash balances.
  • General real time on inventories available in-store; whether crates or carton. As I said, this is the center of every FMCG distributors’ business, so proper recording is required; from initial inventory count to data entry and reconciliations. The reconciliation part of QuickBooks lets you compare the actual quantity in-store with the on-hand balances, then adjust for differences and map it to their respective accounts. For instance, for differences caused by damaged inventories, stolen goods, or lost in transit, you can post it to “Damaged Inventory Accounts” and for differences caused by promotion, you can adjust it to “Promotion Account”. Both accounts have similar account types – they are direct costs.
  • Track all relevant expenses associated with the business – payment of salaries, tax, marketing and advertisements, truck or bus repair and maintenance, and any other indirect expenses.
  • Finally, generate relevant financial reports that will help management understand the position of the business. These reports are limited to the sales report, purchase report, receivables, payables, inventories, profit or loss, financial position, cash flow, trial balance, etc.

This is just a preview of how we deployed QuickBooks accounting software for wholesale or FMCG distributor businesses here in Nigeria.  If you’d like us to know more about your distributorship business and how we can deploy and customize the right solutions for you, reach out to our client support centre at bigresourcessolutions@gmail.com or call 08105090001.

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