As I mentioned in my last blog, consistency is the secret sauce that grows a company. With one of our franchise clients, for example, we’ve worked very hard to establish consistency for 170 franchises across the country. Here is the process we followed:
1. Understand the needs. As with any project, we need to dig in and see what’s going on. You can only imagine that with 170 sites across the country, Step 1 takes time.
2. Find the right software. Taking into consideration all the needs, we then find the tool(s) they need to achieve their goals. We frequently recommend QuickBooks because we thoroughly understand its capabilities and scalability, from QuickBooks Pro and Premier for smaller companies, to Enterprise for larger operations. We have, and do work, with other products as well.
3. Create the processes. Now that we have the right software, we want to look at the processes currently used. Because the new product has a variety of capabilities, presumably unavailable to the franchisees before now, their workflow may change.
4. Pilot. We call this the “play period,” where we set up files with beginning balances to work for a period of time. We want to make sure that we use any additional software, such as Qvinci or T-Sheets, to ensure all other integration needs are met. During this period, we hold several meetings to solidify process and workflow inside of QuickBooks.
5. Period end close. To make sure balances are flowing correctly, we do a monthly or quarterly close before rolling out the changes to all locations.
Franchises, or companies, with multiple locations need well-documented processes and workflow to ensure accurate reporting. If one location records something one way and another one does it differently, the franchise can’t get an accurate picture of its business. Getting the process straight during the pilot period is essential to consistency.