Our network accountancy services can help franchisors gain the financial insight they need, Phil Archer, manager at d&t, says
Keeping across the income and expenditure in franchisees’ accounts has never been as important as during the past 12 months.
For a franchisor, knowing the numbers means having a clear snapshot of the health of the franchised network and being in a position to offer the necessary support to franchisees at the right time.
However, the pressures caused by the pandemic have highlighted how many franchisors don’t have easy and instant access to franchisees’ figures.
Although the need to report financial information is included in the vast majority of franchisee contracts, for many franchisors, gaining an insight into how much franchisees are spending and earning is often a laborious process.
It can require regular ‘nudging’ of franchisees to deliver the right information at the right time. This usually needs to be manually added into a tracking tool, often resulting in frustration on both sides.
At d&t, we like to do things differently. We’ve developed a network accountancy approach that means we look after the accounts of enough of the franchisees in a network to gain an insight into how the business should be run, including the challenges, trends and pitfalls.
This familiarity with the business model means we can quickly see and share information with franchisors; when franchisees are doing well or spotting issues early if they need more help. We can also help identify the reasons why a franchisee is doing well or struggling - perhaps they are experiencing a higher cost of sales, for example.
Crucially, we have also created a franchise accounting dashboard tool for our partners that instantly shows the high level key performance indicators for each franchisee, including cost of sales, marketing spend, other expenses and turnover.
The dashboard connects directly into the cloud accountancy packages Xero or QuickBooks. Once set up, it saves franchisees time so they can concentrate on the day job and there’s no need for franchisors to chase up the data.
The benchmarking tool lists franchisees against each other, so KPIs can be compared instantly. The dashboard can also report how well each franchisee is performing against a similar-sized franchise and also compare with their own business plan, which can be tracked on a month-by-month basis.
The data can be helpful to identify any issues. Perhaps one franchisee is paying too much for their phone contract compared with another. In this way, it can help save costs.
Prior to the pandemic, it might have been a ‘bit tricky’ to obtain basic financial information from franchisees. Now it’s suddenly become business critical.
If accounts are just slightly off and a franchisee doesn’t get the support they need in time they may not survive. From a franchisor’s perspective, it’s also helpful to understand the value of the network.
If the past year has taught us anything, it’s that we all have the potential to work differently. Our network accountancy services can now help franchisors gain the valuable financial insight they need to look after the numbers and look after and support their networks better, when they need it most.
At a glance d&t
This multi-award winning team of chartered accountants and expert business advisers has clients in multiple industries, as well as over 100 different franchise networks.
For more information visit team-dt.com