SaaS Brief

Culver’s Restaurant Franchisee Puts Growth on the Front Burner

In just five years, S&L Companies, the largest franchisee of the Culver’s restaurant chain, grew from 11 stores to more than 30 locations across four states. Revenue and business complexity soared with rising sales of Culver’s popular burgers, fries, sandwiches, salads, soups and shakes.

It fell squarely on S&L Companies’ small accounting team to keep pace with the growth, yet a legacy accounting system lacked the financial consolidation, reporting and audit capabilities the Wisconsin-based company needed. With more growth on the griddle, an upgrade to cloud-based accounting software became the order of the day.

“One of the huge challenges is that we needed audited financials for bank lenders,” said Tammy Getschman, S&L Companies director of accounting. “We were looking for a cloud-based solution to tie all of our entities together so we could minimize duplicate inter-company journal entries and gain the ability to slice and dice our financials by state, by owner-operator or by property,”

S&L Companies took a hard look at NetSuite before selecting Sage Intacct for its ease of use and reporting flexibility, as outlined in our S&L Companies success story. “After looking at both systems, we were most impressed by Sage Intacct’s ability to easily consolidate our books and provide crucial transparency into profitability across restaurants,” Getschman said.

Greater Efficiency Amid Rapid Growth

The results have been remarkable. Since adopting Sage Intacct, S&L Companies has:

  • Improved finance team efficiency by 50%
  • Reduced time needed for financial close by 25%
  • Scaled easily amid 134% growth
  • Began capturing ROI in just 5 months

“We never would have been able to handle this kind of growth without Sage Intacct’s automation,” Getschman said. “Even though we still have the same exact staff managing double the workload, neither our lead accountant nor I worry about basic journal entries or daily transactions any more. Instead, we’re freed up to focus on the monthly close and financial reviews.”

Getschman’s team has cut five days from the monthly close by streamlining S&L’s complex financial processes across more than 60 operating and realty entities, from tracking individual restaurant expenses to allocating common health insurance invoices across multiple locations.

That opens additional time for accounting to utilize Sage Intacct’s robust dimensional reporting. Each transaction is now tagged with a specific store or partner, and the finance team can filter and organize this data for drill-down into granular details of revenue, expenses and profitability as a whole, or by individual eateries.

Hands-on Reporting for Managers

Sage Intacct reporting capabilities are also extended to executives and managers, which wasn’t possible with the previous system. Previously, Getschman and her colleagues would need to round up information to answer key questions that managers raised.

“Sage Intacct puts real-time financial information into the hands of our managers so they’re more apt to take ownership and be proactive,” Getschman said. “They no longer call finance to ask, ‘why are my food, paper or repair costs so high?,’ because they have the tools they need to identify problem areas themselves and investigate what’s impacting their store’s profitability.”

And, Sage Intacct is providing a more holistic view of financials across the company to help guide business decisions and continued growth. That’s especially important as growth was making it difficult for S&L’s two majority owners to maintain a hands-on approach with each restaurant.

“With Sage Intacct, we can now organize financials any way they need and provide better insight into the profitability of certain locations or groups of restaurants,” Getschman said. “We’re able to filter our financials by region to see trends and analyze key figures to determine which regions are able to sustain growth or need attention.”

To learn more about how S&L Companies has streamlined financials and reporting with Sage Intacct, view the S&L Companies success story.

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