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A connected franchise

If you are involved in franchise businesses, whether as an advisor, franchisor or franchisee, then you’ll know about the need to efficiently communicate accurate financial and operational data.

The ability of the Cloud to provide more connected operations and a common understanding of the business was highlighted in a panel discussion facilitated by Xero’s Australian MD Chris Ridd last week. The panel was held at the Franchise Council of Australia VIC/TAS State Conference and included (pictured L-R) Daniel Wall from Fathom, Craig Pisani from BDO Private Client, Chris Ridd from Xero, and Tony Melhem from franchise Coco Cubano.

Chris began the discussion by looking at how Cloud applications help drive efficiency and performance of real time management. He noted franchises are built on replicating a standard model through the franchisees, however often financial systems get left out of the equation. Cloud applications can provide that standardization.

Craig agreed, saying that as an accountant who specializes in franchises, he was well aware of a lack of uniformity around financial systems among his clients. Craig recommends Xero to his franchisors as it enables them to easily compare monthly reports among franchisees. They get clear visibility on sales and can spot any issues before they become problematic.

Fathom is an add-on partner for Xero and has functionality that is particularly suited for franchises. Daniel talked about how their reporting tools assist franchisees and provide head office with key KPIs and benchmarks they can review on each franchisee’s file.

Tony rounded out the discussion describing how his accountant Craig recommended Xero to him as it would work for his business model. For Tony, Xero’s accessibility is one of the most valued features as it enables him to view his finances when he’s on-the-go, often visiting his franchises around Australia.

The panel got the crowd of franchisors from Victoria and Tasmania thinking deeply about whether they are a connected franchise and what, or what more, they could do with the Cloud.

 

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4 comments

Nicola Wilson
20 August 2012 #

One of my clients, a joinery business that make and install sash windows have recently started to franchise. As part of the deal the franchisees must use Xero so that an eye can be kept on the finances.

Gayle Buchanan
21 August 2012 #

@Nicola, ditto your comment on using Xero to keep an eye on the finances – Xero has helped Plunket gain control – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQdpaKQRZ0c

Xero soooo has to be a no brainer for franchises and cut the emotional attachment to current PC based software

Rob Campbell
21 August 2012 #

As a Chartered Accountant working with a consultancy firm, we have never seen a better way to assist franchisors and franchisees report vital financial information to non financial executives than the combination of Xero and Fathom. In fact we like Fathom so much that we have decided to partner with them to assist franchises in implementation.

Richard Francis
21 August 2012 #

It’s fab seeing Xero make a real splash in the franchises space. It’s a no brainer to give all involved the chance to collaborate online, 24/7.

Spotlight Franchises – our new franchise reporting tool for master franchisors and their accountants – co-sponsored a stand at the Franchise Association Conference in NZ recently, and there was a real buzz around Xero. Old school software and EXCEL hacks at head office are making way for a Xero + Add-On world.

With both Fathom and Spotlight Franchises offering advanced reporting options for Xero-driven franchises and multi-entity groups, it’s a great time for accountants to consider how they can add value to franchise operations in a ‘cloud’ world.

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