Bookkeeping for franchise owners: “They knew the bones of our business”
When Toby Lee opened a Batteries Plus franchise in The Woodlands, Texas, in 2007, he was armed with an MBA and nearly a decade of experience as the purchasing manager for an automotive software company. Overseeing the financial books of a business, however, was outside the sphere of his expertise or interest.
It was also foreign to Lee’s wife, and at the outset of their entry into franchise ownership, the staff consisted of just the two of them.
“Opening in The Woodlands was the smartest move I ever made,” Lee said. “It’s the heart and soul of the oil and gas world, and I knew it was just the right location to serve the customers we wanted to reach. But overseeing the books and the paperwork associated with running your own business was a nightmare.”
Even as business blossomed and Lee opened a second location about 100 miles away in Beaumont, he was unable to effectively solve what proved to be a growing accounting and bookkeeping challenge.
While enjoying a sales achievement trip to Cancun in early 2015, Lee connected with Carl Tripp, a fellow franchise owner, who changed the entire outlook of Lee’s operation.
“It was not one of my initial obstacles, because I honestly didn’t know how much work went into accounting and bookkeeping,” said Tripp, who opened a Seekonk, Mass., Batteries Plus location with his wife in 2010. “We were doing it all ourselves, but we had no experience. I was pulling my hair out.”
Tripp discovered Remote Quality Bookkeeping (RQB) at a business conference two years after opening, and hiring RQB to handle the business’ back-office activity freed Tripp to focus on building his customer base.
Lee craved a solution, and Tripp’s story resonated. The appeal of RQB was clear. Lee hired RQB upon returning from Cancun.
“They knew the bones of our business,” Lee said. “They understood the corporate reporting requirements that are unique to Batteries Plus franchise owners. That’s what it was about. I really didn’t have any issues and I quickly started up with them.”
For both Tripp and Lee, bookkeeping is streamlined, as RQB electronically processes and tracks all transactions coming in and out through a customized Quickbooks dashboard. Franchise owners are required to download all of their weekly cash register receipts, a time-consuming process that RQB handles as well. Meanwhile, as their businesses have grown, Tripp and Lee have been able to expand their staffs, and RQB can take on payroll activity.
“On day one, RQB went through our books from A-to-Z, understood what we had been doing and knew what we needed to do better,” Tripp said. “Now I send all of my information to them, they take care of all my accounting and bookkeeping and send everything off to my accountant.”
Simplifying the back end of the operation has allowed franchise owners like Tripp to evolve their business (Batteries Plus became Batteries Plus Bulbs in 2010 and launched a smartphone and tablet repair service in 2014). For Tripp to devote the requisite time toward adapting to the newest elements of the business, he had to limit the time and energy he devoted toward bookkeeping.
“What RQB has really helped me do is focus on my customers,” said Tripp. “I can go out and do what I do best instead of staying in the office and dealing with paper work. And there is lots of it.”
Tripp, whose interest in Batteries Plus began when his wife came across a location in North Carolina and conveyed that their area could use that type of retail store, said he has plans to open additional locations. He knows that his decision to hire RQB has played a substantial role, so he tries to spread the word to other Batteries Plus Bulbs owners, just as he did with Lee. The message is simple: using a remote entity for small business bookkeeping services can accelerate growth – and keep business owners from pulling out their hair.
To understand further how RQB can simplify franchisee bookkeeping requirements, read our post on additional benefits for franchises in our virtual bookkeeping services.
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