Benchmarking can be a challenge for franchisors. Sometimes visibility is limited, owing to a lack of useful data. Or sometimes head office may have the data, but no simple way of presenting these insights to its franchisees.
Fathom, a smart reporting add-on, tackles these challenges head on by visually presenting comparative data across franchisees. Now its Director and Co-Founder, David Watson, wants other franchises to understand how efficient benchmarking can ultimately benefit your business.
“Fathom has been around since 2012”, says David Watson. “We’re committed to supporting the role of accountants as advisers to multi-entity organisations, such as franchise groups. This is part of the big picture for Fathom.
Metric-led advisory services
As automation embeds itself, more accountants are taking on an advisory role. And rather than relying on traditional high-level reports, advisers are turning to deeper business insights.
“Transparency is a big issue for franchisors,” says David, referring to the need to tap into comparative data analysis. “The ability to visually compare data gives an amazing level of transparency across franchises.
“The metrics within Fathom, for example, help to rank franchisees and measure performance to identify likely stress points. This can all be operated from head office and shared across franchisees.
“The transparency also gives way to a bit of ‘competition’ within a franchise group… no one wants to be at the bottom of the revenue charts!”
Aligning to transparency
Instead of being reactive, accountants can aggregate these insights and advise franchise clients accordingly.
For example, you can take all the data entered in Xero and visually present this data across a range of tailored themes to make benchmarking easier than it may have been in the past.
“The interactive analysis tools allow you to group your franchisees together, then drill down into your data, reshape your field of analysis and compare the performance of all your entities,” explains David.
And for the best results? It’s important to align your stakeholders with your vision. “With single entities, all decisions and facts come through one source,” he says. “With franchises, you have far more stakeholders in place.”
One efficient platform
Accountants are well placed to support this vision by pushing for a connected platform that works a lot harder for franchise clients.
“One platform standardises the process,” says David. “It helps to create efficiencies for the business and, ultimately, means that you only need to train staff on one set of systems.”
By creating this comparative platform, head office can get the insights it needs, accountants can translate these insights into useful advisory points, and franchisees are first in line to benefit – and be more engaged.
“It’s a win-win.”