Many businesses don’t implement restaurant accounting software solutions with long-term plans in mind – and that can cause trouble down the line.
Here’s what often happens: business owners select the systems that are easiest or the most affordable to implement at a given point in time.
For a restaurant business, that might mean choosing a general bookkeeping solution like QuickBooks over a more specialized (and potentially more expensive) software. For a time, this may work well – maybe there’s a bit of manual data entry involved, but the systems work adequately to sustain a few locations, and business growth happens incrementally at first. However, as businesses continue to scale, they reach a crossroads.
The generalized, affordable solutions that worked well for five locations have become inefficient at 15 locations – and if growth continues to 50 locations, they’ll be completely inadequate.
Businesses can either choose to ignore the issue (which isn’t really a sustainable option), build a piecemeal solution (i.e. keep the same systems as they can, but pass data through to better solutions as needed), or switch systems entirely (which represents significant effort and expense upfront but ideally provides the most comprehensive solution).
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Moving forward from this crossroads isn’t easy, but it can be done, and expert outsourced accounting services can help to provide guidance. Even better, though, these services can help businesses to avoid falling into this unpleasant position in the first place.
Outsourced accounting services grant access to expertise.
We’ve written about the benefits of expertise in accounting in general, but systems implementation is an area where the value of knowledge becomes tangible.
First, accounting providers understand what financial information is needed from certain systems. When we onboard new clients, we ask them what system they’re using, and we see if it’s providing valuable information. If an inventory management system doesn’t record all of the data that’s necessary for robust bookkeeping, for example, there’s a problem – and we can recommend an alternative solution.
Second, the best accounting services understand a range of software systems, and can offer insight into system selection, implementation, and integration. For instance, we can provide guidance on the POS systems that integrate easily with Restaurant365 (as opposed to the ones that require clunky additions on top of the POS to bridge the gap).
Outsourced accounting services facilitate long-term systems thinking.
This benefit is also an outcome of expertise, but it’s important enough to break out separately: working with an expert accounting service empowers long-term thinking around software solutions.
This happens in two ways.
First, because we’ve worked with similar businesses, we understand the data management practices that are necessary at certain scales. For restaurants, we know how many locations it’ll take before a solution transitions from being somewhat cumbersome to being absolutely untenable. That means we can advise against solutions that might work now but wouldn’t later.
Second, we provide financial clarity that makes predicting the rate of scaling easier. So, not only can we guide businesses toward better solutions, but we can also provide data to help businesses plan for growth and adjust before the breaking point comes.
Outsourced accounting services enable efficient systems implementation.
Finally, on the most practical level of all, accounting services can actually enable efficient systems implementation.
At a basic level, we can obviously set up and work within accounting software efficiently. Additionally, though, we can build bridges between previously disparate systems – so, if the POS system isn’t passing all of the necessary data through, we can often build an integration that enables an automated connection.
Finally, we’re often able to provide our clients with the benefits of economies of scale. Because we license programs like Restaurant365 at a greater scale than an individual business would, clients that work with us are able to access those solutions at a discount.
The Bottom Line: Outsourced Accounting Empowers More Efficient Systems
When it comes to implementing software systems, here’s the reality: you’re building a road as you go, and while you can make turns moving forward, you can’t go backward to reset. In other words, once you’ve implemented a solution and begun processing data, switching gears gets hard and can drastically impact your operations.
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That makes implementing effective solutions critical. Outsourcing accounting can help.
At Global Shared Services, working with us empowers more efficient financial software solutions, and ensures that they’re used effectively by our expert team.
If you’re feeling like your business systems are stuck in the stone ages or you’re worried that you’re stunting your growth with inefficiency, let’s talk.
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With GSS, we meet our franchisor requirements on time and with accuracy. The local CPA could not handle our volume. We are so happy to have made the change. GSS knows our business and our franchisor requirements.Multi-unit fast sandwich Owner