Conversations at franchise industry gatherings held throughout the year usually include topics like business loan availability, (or lack thereof) government regulations, and the latest franchise candidate lead-generation techniques.
One word…one subject that’s not very common at these industry events, is the word, “outsource.” And, I guess it shouldn’t be. That’s because franchise employees are of the local variety.
But, there’s another type of outsourcing that needs to be discussed. Read on …
- When ACG Texas, IHOP’s largest franchisee, started noticing that more and more of their restaurant managers were spending way too much time in their back offices, (doing accounting-related paperwork) they started to become very concerned. After all, if their restaurant managers were in their offices doing financial paperwork instead of being up front in the restaurant making sure that their customers were happy.
- The timeliness of receiving financial statements at period end was also a concern and ACG found themselves waiting for their financials each period. These reports are analyzed at ACG headquarters and are critical in order to make informed business decisions. With financial reports coming in late it was putting ACG’s restaurants at a competitive disadvantage and ultimately affecting their bottom line. Time is money.
I Was In Restaurant Management
When I was 14 years old, I applied for a job as a dishwasher at a Chinese restaurant and I was hired the next day. (I got a phone call at 6:00 PM stating that if I wanted the job, I needed to get there now.)
That event-being called into work at the last minute, is a huge part of a food service workers life. It’s also a fact of life for every restaurant manager, everywhere; calling for replacements are what restaurant managers do.
I worked my way up through the food service ranks; to busboy, waiter, host…and finally management. At the time, it’s what I wanted. I loved the fast-paced atmosphere, and I really wanted to run the show.
Running the show is hard, stressful work. HR issues really do come up every day. Turnover is huge, and I was constantly firing, hiring, and training my employees-and that took a good portion of my time. Customer service can suffer, too, as new employees are in the midst of their learning curves, and customers can get impatient.
There’s also a lot of paperwork in the food business, and that meant being in my office-not in the restaurant. And, not being in the restaurant was a problem. Actually, it’s a problem for any restaurant manager. Too many things can and do go wrong if employees aren’t being supervised. (That’s not a slam on food service workers; it’s just the nature of the business.)
Managers Mired in Paperwork
Today’s franchise owners have a lot of reporting requirements. And, if the franchisees aren’t physically at their locations all the time-which is impossible anyway for multi-unit franchise owners, their managers are responsible for compiling the daily, weekly, and quarterly financial information. And, that’s not always good.
That’s because my own experience as a manager tells me that franchise restaurant managers need to be where the revenue is being created, not behind the scenes working in Excel®. Things can get lost. Like sales.
Multi-Unit Franchisees Know About
Economies of scale; it’s what today’s multi-unit franchise owners are shooting for.
In case you don’t know the definition of this concept, here it is;
“The increase in efficiency of production as the number of goods being produced increases. Typically, a company that achieves economies of scale lowers the average cost per unit through increased production since fixed costs are shared over an increased number of goods. “
If you’re a successful multi-unit franchise owner, you understand. You live it, and it helps you reach your own financial and professional goals. But, you can’t do it yourself. (Nor should you.)
Quatrro FPO Solutions Can Help
Quatrro FPO Solutions provides outsourced finance and accounting services that are processed on proven accounting platforms. They help companies focus on core competencies, streamline business processes, improve employee productivity-big-time, and lower overhead costs.
In other words, they allow multi-unit franchise owners and their management team to focus on the front end of the business — where the revenue is created.
And, that’s what ACG Texas decided to do.
They chose to leverage the benefits of an outsourced finance solution. For assistance, they turned to Quatrro FPO Solutions. Their team of experienced restaurant professionals listened to ACG and understood their needs. Quatrro FPO established a project plan and successfully transitioned the financial functions of ACG, including financial reporting, accounts payable processing, vendor management, reconciliations, sales tax processing, sales/deposit/credit card certifications, and fixed asset account management.
“To succeed in your business, you have to determine your core competencies and focus your time and energy on your own core business and operational metrics. Our interest is in driving the operational excellence of our restaurants, not handling the burdensome accounting tasks. We serve hot and fresh food with fast and friendly service in clean and safe restaurants. We rely on Quatrro FPO Solutions to get where we need to be with our financial processing.”
—Joe Langteau, President and CEO, ACG Texas, LP
Quatrro FPO Solutions is an established leader in managing the day-to-day accounting functions specialized for franchise businesses.
Whether you want to transfer a full range of accounting functions or a single task to them, their team works to design a customized arrangement that works best for your overall accounting needs.
Quatrro FPO services are totally scalable; they can easily add or subtract resources depending on your business needs at the time.
Another case in point — DL Rogers
When DL Rogers, a Sonic Drive-In franchisee, decided to outsource their finance and accounting, they met with Quatrro FPO Solutions and began discussions regarding their needs.
FPO listened and provided detailed process mapping. A customized accounting solution was developed and specific processes were identified to transition to FPO. The Quatrro FPO solution utilizes a state of the art accounting platform and web access to full financial reports viewing from summary to detail level. Online access is also available to a variety of accounts payable information including invoice images, invoice status, and vendor balances.
The Bottom Line:
DL Rogers was able to focus on their core business of operating restaurants and take advantage of more opportunities to grow the company.
“We have partnered with Quatrro FPO Solutions since 2009, and could not be more pleased. The team they have assigned to manage our account has been very professional and always willing to help. They have been a great asset in allowing us the ability to manage our business in a much more efficient manner than was ever possible in the past.”
— James Junkin, President, DL Rogers Corporation
If you’re a multi-unit franchise owner, and you’re mired in financial paperwork-or your managers are, consider outsourcing some of your accounting and financial reporting needs.
You need to be where the revenue is created.
Go here to do that.