Outsourced bookkeeping provides restaurant franchisee more financial visibility—at a fraction of the cost

August 09, 2019

Jennifer Antolin is a McDonald's operator with four franchises in Guelph, Ont. She wanted up-to-date information about her business that was also easier to access.

The road to becoming a quick service restaurant owner

Jennifer was very familiar with McDonald's. Her father started as a manager trainee in 1977 before purchasing his first franchise in 1992. She started working there when she was a teenager, but left a few years later to work in the restaurant industry in England and the United States.

Upon returning to Canada in 2009, she was mentored by her father and soon learned the ins and outs of the business. He later sold two of his franchises to Jennifer, who used BDO as an accountant (he had begun using the firm when he opened his first franchise) and had an external bookkeeper that would finalize the books at the end of each month.

She then sold the Milton locations and purchased four franchises in Guelph in 2016 from an owner who was in the business for 42 years. By the time he sold, he wasn't very hands on. The previous owner had an office assistant, a bookkeeper, and two supervisors. She was used to being very involved in the business and knowing how it was doing.

Why outsourced bookkeeping

She had a conversation with BDO Partner Stephen Meade, who introduced the firm's new outsourcing services shortly after purchasing the Guelph franchises. While she didn't need the services at the time, she later realized there wasn't a need for a full-time, in-house bookkeeper.

Furthermore, Jennifer wanted more clarity on how the business was doing. The in-house bookkeeper acted as a bit of a buffer so she wasn't able to get the information she wanted in a timely manner. Jennifer contacted Stephen, who put her in touch with Erica Oliver, an Outsourcing manager.

Jennifer soon learned that Erica was the former in-house bookkeeper for her stores, and she previously worked at a McDonald's restaurant. "She could speak the language," Jennifer says, noting that Erica knew company-specific acronyms and how to find particular information. "She understood the business from a restaurant and guest perspective, and she understood my needs."

The bottom line

By using BDO's Bookkeeping Services, Jennifer saves $30,000 annually and she has a better grasp on the business. She also likes that she can work from home (and avoiding a nearly one-hour commute) when the weather's bad or when she's attending company conventions. Submitting invoices, financial statements, and other financial documents can be done anytime and anywhere because everything's in the cloud.

Jennifer has also been able to get financial reports in a format she's familiar with. The firm was able to change the reporting to fit her needs. And when she asked for cash-flow projects or had other requests, the Bookkeeping Services team was able to help—giving her more time to focus on her business.

"This is what's helped me stay more nimble," Jennifer says, noting that restaurant owners like herself need to be more digital and using mobile. "With BDO, I get consistency so I can focus on my guests."

"I'm confident with BDO's services–they understand the needs of my McDonald's restaurants and the importance of my deadlines. I can reach out to the team anytime with questions or feedback and they always respond quickly and with a high level of professionalism and skill."

BDO can help

We help franchisee owners with bookkeeping services, which allows them to focus on running their business. The data is stored securely in the cloud, and is accessible from a computer, tablet, or phone. This information provides actionable insights, which can help a franchisee better understand their financial position to move forward in their business goals. Contact one of our Cloud Bookkeeping Services professionals to learn how we can support your business.