Case Study: Craft Brewery - Wholesale | Resale | Tasting Rooms

Headshot image of author Nicki Heck
By Nicki Heck
December 5, 2023

A Brewery Finds the Right Fit, and a Healthier Profit Margin with a New Outsourced Accounting Provider

Have you ever wondered why it’s so difficult to get a clear answer on whether or not outsourcing works? One survey will say that 50% of outsourcing projects fail, and another will say that 90% of companies that outsource are happy with their decision.

Both outcomes are true in the right context.

The variable is finding the right provider, the right service, and the right fit.

From Reputation to Relationship

A California-based brewery had already churned through four outsourced accounting providers, including a boutique firm that offered specialized expertise. Despite seeking out qualified providers, their finances were never quite right.

  • They struggled to sort out misclassified expenses.
  • They flip-flopped between account organization schemas.
  • They grappled with balance sheet accounts and COGS that were way off

The brewery had all but sworn off outsourcing but they were still working around accounting systems instead of with them. They had heard about Several of their neighbors, industry colleagues, and vendors had sang the praises of an accounting and finance provider that had completely transformed their financials.

At we believe in building relationships that support our clients, starting by building a strong financial foundation rooted in standardized workflows with consistent execution. Each solution that we deliver is tailored to meet the immediate and long-term growth needs of our clients.

While many outsourcing providers can staff a bookkeeper, we take pride in fielding fractional teams that provide solutions ranging from systems configuration and transaction coding to month end close and controller oversight.

Still searching for the right answer, the brewery decided to give outsourcing one last try with a provider preceded by its reputation.

Bringing Clarity to Systems, Processes, and Policies

The brewery managed its production through a SaaS product, Ekos, tailored for the beverage industry. They used Stripe’s point-of-sale (POS) system to collect payments in their tasting rooms. And they used Quickbooks Online for accounting and reporting.

When set up correctly, these programs can work harmoniously to facilitate a holistic view of business activity. However, misconfigured and missing integrations between these three systems left the brewery with duplicated data, missing entries, and misclassified expenses all resulting in unusable financial reporting.

Our expertise in Quickbooks Online (QBO) helped re-configure and validate integrations to:

  • Properly account for COGS with data from Ekos.
  • Properly account for tasting room revenue and expenses with data from Stripe.
  • Establish effective financial controls and account for expenses with BILL.

Additionally, we provided a streamlined chart of accounts for simplicity and corrected classification errors to properly account for equipment leases.

Strong financial management begins with standardization built from the ground up. After addressing systems and processes, was able to deliver on-time monthly financial reporting as part of its recurring accounting services, provided for a fixed monthly fee.

Accurate Accounting & Financials Drives Change

With clear, accurate financial reporting in hand, our client was able to see their business on paper. A quick analysis of the right information illuminated the need for significant changes in cost structure, sales policy and pricing.

The brewery went from ‘it’s not quite right’ to being able to identify their biggest challenges in reaching and maintaining profitability. With reliable financial data, they were able to analyze gross profit by product. Seeing contribution margin enabled decisive action with respect to money-losing products. Confidence in the bottom line enabled decisive action with respect to Operating Expenses.

As a result, the brewery swung from loss to profitability within months of completing the onboarding process with

Learn more about how outsourcing accounting services with can put your company on the path to profitability. Contact our team today.

Headshot image of author Nicki Heck

Nicki Heck

Nicki Heck is an Intuit QuickBooks Elite Pro Advisor who holds advanced certifications in QuickBooks Online, BILL, Expensify, Gusto, and other platforms in the QuickBooks Online ecosystem. She has more than 10 years experience integrating and configuring QuickBooks Online with third party platforms for hundreds of small and medium businesses. She studied business management at The University of Lethbridge, where she earned her BA.


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