How to choose a finance system for your hospitality franchise
With a replicable business model and a professional head office team, many hospitality franchises have been able to expand internationally at a rapid pace. That said, it’s not for the faint-hearted. Ensuring consistency across multiple franchisees, while managing cashflow and growth, presents complex business challenges.
The finance system you choose to manage your franchise is a key strategic decision. Your management team will need strong visibility across all your KPIs to drive fast, sustainable growth. And investors and other stakeholders will demand in-depth analysis of your company’s performance, beyond the bottom line of financial statements.
Here are some of the key issues hospitality franchisors need to consider when choosing a finance system.
Is it Cloud-based and easy for non-accountants to use?
You’ll need a system that enables secure, collaborative work processes between franchisees and franchisor 24/7. Venue managers and their teams will want to manage all their finance operations, from ordering supplies to payroll, on one easy-to-use platform. Your head office finance team will probably need multi-currency trading and intercompany transactions.
You’ll also want a system that’s easy to deploy and can be used confidently by non-finance staff. And, as you’re likely to being growing fast, make sure the system can onboard new franchisees quickly and easily.
Does it integrate with other systems?
Make sure any system you choose integrates seamlessly with your EPOS system, so you can bring transactions straight into your finance system for instant reporting and accurate financial statements. Many hospitality businesses also want their finance system to integrate with systems such as MarketMan’s restaurant management software. You may even need a customised integration with your own in-house systems.
Can it be white labelled?
You might want to incorporate your finance system into your branded franchise website as part of a unique login portal for both franchisees and franchisor. You’ll probably also need the ability to customise user profiles. For example, you may want users to only see the company which relates to them, or specific features such as data entry screens.
What financial metrics will my head office finance team need?
To run a successful hospitality franchise you’ll need access to real-time financial data so you can track your investments and stay in control. Your head office finance team will need help answering key questions, such as:
- What is the comparative performance of our franchises (for example by location, region or brand)?
- Do we have specific product lines that work in one country or region but not elsewhere?
- What impact are budgets and resource constraints having on our growth?
- How will our growth plans affect cash flow?
- What period will start to deliver a healthy ROI for both the franchisor and franchisee?
- How do we assess the potential of a proposed new product or location?
Choosing a finance system that gives you quick and easy access to these insights will be a key factor in ensuring the continued growth of your business.
How can AccountsIQ support my hospitality franchise?
Here’s what some of our hospitality franchise customers have to say about AccountsIQ:
“AccountsIQ makes life so much easier. It’s Cloud-based so you don’t need a lot of processing power; you can run it on a small laptop in a restaurant. There are no issues with upgrades because they’re done automatically. You also don’t need to be an experienced accountant to use it and you don’t need an IT person to install it. We just send our restaurant managers a link, they open it, job done!”
Maurice Woulfe, Financial Controller, Camile Thai
“AccountsIQ’s BI coding allows us to assign different traits to different areas of the business. That’s very useful for a business like ours. For example, we have sites at travel hubs, in shopping centres, and on high streets, so we made that one of our BI categorisations because they all act in very different ways.
Now we can pull out performance for these three different types of sites. Similarly, we can slice and dice reports by area manager, or like-for-like sites. Having access to all these different dimensions is really useful.”
Joanna McGovern, Finance Director, Chopstix
Find out more about how AccountsIQ’s Franchise Accounting Software can support the growth of your franchise.
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