For years, Laird Management had an escalating accounting headache. By 2015, the Arizona-based, family-owned company had grown its portfolio into 28 Burger King restaurants, with over 600 employees. Those 28 restaurants were broken down into 17 operating entities, all with their own logins and passwords in the accounting software the company used at the time.
“It was very cumbersome,” says Pam Bakker, Laird Management’s controller and HR director. “You couldn’t easily consolidate or reconcile “due to’ and ‘due from’ transactions, making reporting a nightmare.”
Bakker estimates closing out monthly books used to take three staffers as many as 20 business days. The tipping point came in the form of a restructuring: an in-family sale of the business brought with it an umbrella management company. That brought additional complexities that the previous accounting software simply couldn’t handle.
Laird looked into a number of new accounting solutions, prioritizing a solution that could, first and foremost, unite all data under the same umbrella. They wanted something that would streamline the process, and be able to scale alongside Laird as it grew. “We wanted a user-friendly platform that would deliver regular updates that we didn’t have to wait for or pay extra for,” Bakker says. “I wanted to do our reporting in minutes.”
Laird ultimately opted to partner with Sage Intacct, a platform that Bakker says has helped create twice as many reports—rife with actionable data—in less than half the time. Bakker reports that Sage Intacct has cut the time three staffers need to close monthly books from 20 days down to nine or 10. Similarly, Laird used to receive two monthly balance sheet and P&L reports that took 8 to 10 hours to complete. Using Sage Intacct, Sage now generates five different reports in as little as two hours.
“The ability to run reports any way we like has been a major improvement,” Bakker says. “We couldn’t easily do a year-over-year comparison with QuickBooks. Now that’s a press of a button with Sage Intacct.”
The ease-of-use is something that has been a huge boon to Bakker and her team. The learning curve of operating the accounting software has been softened in a major way, with Bakker reporting that members of the team have been trained on the basics in less than a day. This has opened up time for Bakker to focus on things like ensuring compliance with HR procedures, or identifying areas for cost savings. She’s had more time to document procedures, train personnel, and analyze stats in order to make data-driven decisions.
This has also had a huge impact on Bakker and her team’s work-life balance. “It’s been a huge time savings for me personally—I work a lot of hours, but not nearly as many as I did before Sage Intacct,” Bakker says. “I’ve been able to use my time savings to actually schedule and take vacations. I’ve become more involved with my two children, a football player and volleyball player. Now I’m able to go to practices and see their games on a weekly basis.”
And for Laird Management as a whole, Sage Intacct has helped grow the company. The franchisee group now owns over 30 Burger King restaurants, and expanded its portfolio as a franchisee of Anytime Fitness. Despite its continued growth, the Laird accounting team has been successfully trimmed by 12.5 percent. That—along with the ongoing 50 percent labor savings in closing out monthly reports—has given the franchisee an impressive ROI.
For more on streamlining accounting, visit the Sage Intacct website.