4 Ways Finance Leaders Benefit From Business Process Automation

OneDataSource Blog Post Brand Mark

The OneDataSource Editorial Team

Under normal conditions, it’s complex to effectively manage restaurant administration and operations. Yet, industry-wide, franchised businesses are experiencing pressures that put operational health and profit margin at risk.

Here are three examples of changing market dynamics that have made day-to-day decisions difficult for franchisees and their finance leaders.

Inflation. Along with strong demand and supply constraints, we’ve seen a surge in inflation. Government data shows US annual inflation at 6.8 percent for the 12 months ending November 2021. That’s the highest level since 1982 and double the rate of the two worst inflationary years of this century (2000 and 2011).

Labor shortages and wage pressures.In February 2022, there were 2.3 million fewer people in the labor force than before the pandemic. Many brands have announced wage increases due to the tight labor market. In fact, this year marked the first time the average wage of restaurant workers rose above $15 an hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Pandemic pressures. The pandemic put pressure on operational health as franchise operators had to redefine how everyone from restaurant workers to back-office administrators got work done.

In this article, we explore four ways business process automation technology provides franchisees and their finance leaders with greater operational flexibility to navigate these challenges along with the tangible opportunity to improve profitability.

Finance Leaders Reviewing Business Processes

Data accuracy plus real-time visibility is a requirement to guide the positive financial direction of the business. Intelligent automation allows for both.

Significant financial accuracy and flexibility

For too long, operators have experienced the pain of trying to make strategic financial decisions off spreadsheets. But when you’re managing a multi-location business or trying to scale, the level of complexity combined with the tedium of manual data sourcing makes it nearly impossible to make strong decisions quickly.

Data accuracy plus real-time visibility is a requirement to guide the positive financial direction of the business. Intelligent automation allows for both. That gives franchise operators the opportunity to optimize cash management and improve profitability.

Faster, more accurate P&L & easy reconciliations.

Reconciliation can be a labor- and time-intensive process. It’s not atypical to find a regional manager sending deposit slips from every store they manage to their home office. Then, once it reaches the accounting department, they must go through every single slip to verify cash. A business intelligence solution alleviates that with a real-time view of what the bank says has been deposited compared to what the stores report depositing. Franchise operators and their finance leaders can quickly understand how much over or short the amount is and follow up on any discrepancies.

The same goes for P&L statements. Getting a complete picture of a business’ expenditures down to the unit or store level opens the door for communication on exceptions or changes. By resolving issues as they arise, operators and financial leaders can rely on an accurate P&L statement.

Process automation gives staff the ability to focus on more strategic objectives and finance leaders the power to run lean while effectively scaling up.

Better vendor and cash management.

The combination of inflation, rising labor costs, increased prices at the pump, and general costs associated with vendor services all point to increased costs for the business. In the face of that, it’s more important than ever to take a proactive view of vendor and cash management.

Intelligent automation provides consolidated data on vendors, showing how much the business is paying to each vendor over the course of time. With that data in hand, you can get a better idea of top vendors to help focus supply chain and relationship management efforts. It extends beyond that, though, to financial accuracy. Errors in invoicing can impact your food cost percentage. With visibility into expenditures, including to whom it’s going and when, you’re able to catch issues with vendor pricing.

Taken altogether, process automation gives AP staff the ability to focus on more strategic objectives and franchise owners the power to run lean while effectively scaling up.

Intelligent automation tools can also provide a complete view of invoice volume and status. That makes is easier for leaders to accurately predict cash flow in and out of the business, understand cash requirements, and make strategic decisions around cash flow.

Offset expenses when paying expenses.

Intelligent process automation solutions also give franchise operators even greater financial flexibility. They can process AP transactions using optimal payment methods, including new and beneficial methods like virtual cards that provide cashback to franchisees. The result is modernization plus monetization when it comes to their AP process.

onePAY Payments Delivers

onePAY allows for the processing of each transaction using the optimal payment method, including virtual cards with onePAY Payments. For suppliers that agree to accept a virtual card payment method, franchisees get the benefit of cashback from the interchange and processing fees. Plus, a complete database gives clear insight into which vendors already accept virtual card payments.

Learn more about how business process automation technology can provide franchisees with the ability to navigate market dynamics in our latest eBook, 3 Ways Franchisees Can Use Technology to Improve Operational Flexibility & Profitability.

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