ASAP: The Easy Accounting Alternative
Providing essential financial services on a regular basis for both franchisors and franchisees, ASAP (Accounting Services And Payroll LLC), stands by the company’s slogan “Build Your Business, Not Your Back Office.” Founded in the late 1980s by accountants trained in the franchise industry, ASAP has provided services to hundreds of clients throughout the United States.
Offering clients affordable solutions to manage their business finances, ASAP supports franchise owners by supplying them with the services necessary to achieve great consistency in their performance. The result: smoothly operated, successful businesses.
With over two decades experience in the franchise industry, ASAP’s accountants have discovered that when business owners try to process detailed financial reports or taxes on their own, they often become distracted from their primary focus in running the enterprise; and that priority is taking care of their customers and employees while executing the daily operations. By turning to ASAP, these entrepreneurs become more confident operating their businesses with clear knowledge of the amount of money in their bank account, the profitability of the business, and the success of their initiatives, without having to crunch the numbers themselves.
“We’re able to relieve stress connected with financial matters and give confidence to clients in regards to their decisions about operations and the ongoing condition of their business,” says Tim Pahel, CPA, the Operations Manager and Supervising Accountant at ASAP.
Providing outsourced accounting and bookkeeping services including financial reports, accounts payable, payroll, and tax services, ASAP accountants are an affordable third party alternative for business owners. “Our clients have come to the conclusion that processing the financial reports and related details for a business is not a good use of their time. It’s simply more expensive to do it on their own,” Alan Colner, an owner of ASAP explains, adding that it’s also more expensive to hire a third party without franchise experience.
With its extensive background in the franchise industry, ASAP has delivered services to franchise owners representing national brands in many categories, including pizza, sandwiches and subs, yogurt, burgers, and various non-food groups. Possessing the specialized knowledge it takes to provide the financial services that businesses require to be successful, ASAP has become a preferred provider for large national brands in various franchise concepts. ASAP has a special expertise with Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) clients.
“Based on experience, unit owners whose financials are not done on a regular basis have a much poorer consistency of performance,” Colner says, adding that owners who have industry experts managing their financials tend to have a greater degree of confidence, an benefit that is critical to the success of their business.
The initial connection between a new client and an ASAP accountant typically involves gathering a range of information upfront, including the type of business owned by the client, the type of POS system, the type of entity, and the length of time the business has been in operation. The accountant discusses the services ASAP has to offer to determine which would be best suited to the business. The client then receives the accounting manual, which requests further essential data and presents the various services and prices. Once the paperwork is signed, the client is entered into ASAP’s proprietary system and detailed discussions regarding the client’s business goals take place. These steps allow ASAP’s accountants to take a tailored approach to meet each client’s specific financial needs.
ASAP makes available a comprehensive range of financial services. Clients can choose the format that works best, either individual services, or a package where all the information and systems fit together conveniently.
In addition to supporting clients with services that organize their finances, ASAP adds value to the process by delivering analytics to clients in ways that are easy to understand, thus providing specific data that will help them run a better business.
“While more established franchise concepts have their own information and POS systems which can connect directly to ASAP’s systems for us to process information from their franchisees, newer franchises may not have these systems in place,” Udi Laska, an owner of ASAP, explains. “ASAP offers a service that will not only design a reporting system for the business, but we can also come in and help educate franchisees on how to manage their costs. This allows franchisors to provide another module of education for franchisees.” Utilizing its expertise in the franchise industry, ASAP’s system raises red flags should numbers unexpectedly deviate from normal. “Our systems allow us to tell if something is out of the ordinary. If a component of cost suddenly goes up significantly we’re going to ask ‘why’ and contact the client to discuss the change in performance,” he adds.
Bruce Journeay, CFE and Marketing Manager at ASAP, shares a prime example of the type of expertise and benefits ASAP’s team can offer in this short case study.
As Journeay describes, “One of ASAP’s accountants noticed that food cost was exceptionally high for one of our restaurant franchisee clients. I contacted the client and met with him to discuss the situation. The client was losing money because of high food cost and was unsure how to fix the problem. We surmised based on a series of questions and analytic procedures that there was theft in the store. We identified the nature of the theft and the responsible individuals. The ASAP accountant handling this client’s financials discovered further that the same employees stealing food were also manipulating the POS system to change the tax rate when they clocked in and change it back when they clocked out, and pocketing the difference. This is just one example of how ASAP’s team members are able to recognize a financial problem and help a client rectify the situation.”
Using ASAP’s set-up systems that are programmed to monitor client’s accounts and flag activity that appears to be out of the norm, ASAP can tackle issues fast and efficiently. Popular with food franchises, ASAP offers business owners quick solutions. As mentioned in the above case study, if a client’s food costs are running higher than they should be, an ASAP consultant is available to contact the client to inform them and provide solutions. “We try to be proactive and pick up the phone to help clients make decisions as soon as incidents occur,” Journeay says. “We provide the financial tools to help clients be more successful.”
One of the main reasons franchise brands are so keen to have their franchisees use services like ASAP’s is to ensure the finances of their unit owners are kept updated and orderly. “We have seen many situations where a franchisee wants to obtain financing for expansion, either by opening new locations or acquiring existing stores, and if they don’t have current, well-constructed financials it makes it difficult to obtain financing,” Colner explains. “Clients who use our service are not only more successful in running their business, but also in expansion and obtaining the necessary capital for that purpose.”
What sets ASAP apart from various competing accounting businesses is that all the company’s services are executed domestically at an affordable price. While many competitors service clients with offshore operations, the fact that ASAP’s offices are centrally located in Denver and New York allows clients throughout the U.S. to connect with the company in real time. “Someone is always available to speak with clients and our system offers the best of both worlds in that it is automated with staff that is readily available. It’s 100 percent user friendly,” Laska says. “Our system is set up in such a way that it’s easy for clients to access their data and submit information, wherever they want, whenever they want.”
Serving clients from a domestic base also allows ASAP’s accountants to know their clients better than a company stationed offshore. “Since other companies are working from different countries we have the advantage of being more familiar with how our clients’ businesses fit into the fabric of the cities where they’re located within the U.S. We have greater knowledge about what’s going on in their markets,” Pahel explains. In addition to this strength, ASAP’s employees’ combined years of experience with the franchise industry speaks volumes about the value they can deliver to their clients.
With hundreds of clients and ample staff to service the needs of these national franchise brands on a rapid basis, ASAP has the know-how required to accommodate and address businesses’ finances in a way that ensures clients are being provided with top-notch service all the time, anytime.