This year, we performed a miracle
We helped two restaurant groups to get consolidated profitability reports for the QuickBooks files from multiple locations.
Why did this require a miracle?
It seems QuickBooks is not known for easy consolidation of multiple entities; in fact, they are known for the exact opposite. But using QQube for QuickBooks, we are able to provide accurate Profit & Loss Reports that allow the user to instantly select one, several, or all entities – and run the report either consolidated or standalone with a single click.
Seriously – that’s a miracle in QuickBooksLand.
If you’re a restaurateur, you already know how important it is to compare apples to apples, so to speak.
Are you comparing apples to apples?
Think about it. Typically, what are the best nights for a good bar or restaurant? Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
The problem is, every month has a different number of “hot nights”. If every year started on a Monday, and every month had 28 days, planning for the future and comparing to the past would make total sense—and it would be simple. No miracle required.
Sadly, it’s not so simple with QuickBooks alone
In 2015, October had the maximum number of Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays—five of each. This year, October had just four Thursdays and Fridays, and five Saturdays. Comparing the sales and costs for those two month periods is like comparing apples and ravioli!
That’s why many successful restaurants operate on a different kind of calendar. It’s called a 52/53 Tax Year—made up of 13 four week periods. Fortunately, QuickBooks can handle that when it comes to the Actuals (revenues, costs, and expenses). Rather unfortunately, it cannot handle more than 12 months of budgets.
So, if you want to compare Actuals to carefully calculated Budgets, you’re out of luck.
Restaurant owners who fail to take this into account can often make poor decisions. Poor decisions based on what they thought was accurate analysis. But then they’re left wondering, “what went wrong?”
Here’s how Datisfy fixes this problem
There are three tools we use, in conjunction with QuickBooks desktop, to pull off this miracle.
- QQube for QuickBooks—to get the Actuals into the correct 13 four week periods and allow for consolidation.
- An external data source—to store the 13 budget period amounts to match with every account in your QuickBooks Chart of Accounts. We usually use Excel because it’s cheap and cheerful—and easy to edit.
- Crystal Reports—to combine the two data sources and then present the Actuals in comparison to the Budgets in their 4 week periods.
It’s not entirely the fault of Intuit. It’s can’t be everything to everyone! But here is a link to how they DO help restaurants: https://quickbooks.intuit.com/restaurants/
What our customer said about us
For years we posted requests for help here AND called Intuit the developers of Quickbooks and begged for a Budget vs Actual report based on a 13 period year. Intuit told us it was “under consideration” but did nothing. We were lucky to find new friends at Datisfy that created real time Budget vs Actual reports for all 6 of our venues. We couldn’t be happier with their work. We incorporated the budget template on this site and now with a few clicks we can see where we are against our budget. Happy to share the good news!
Kevin Fitzpatrick – Restaurant Owner
Why are Profitability Reports so important to restaurants?
If accurate planning is important to you, comparing the same set of weekdays for October 2015 and October 2016 would lead you to extremely precise ordering, staffing and advertising.
Accuracy and certainty in these areas makes everyone less stressed and the customers happy and relaxed.
And this subtle—but important—tweak makes restaurants much more profitable! Who wouldn’t want that?
Stop leaving money on the table!
Thank goodness learning never stops here at Datisfy. This week I learned (and proved to myself) that the brilliant folks at Clearify programmed the QQube to sum Open Sales Order quantities for Inventory Assemblies, cross-reference that with the required parts quantities in all related Bills of Materials (BOM), and determines a TOTAL demand for each part.
When we combine the sales order quantities for any part with the “on purchase order” quantities and what’s currently on hand, we can devise an inventory analysis tool in a matter of an hour or two! Here is how we proved the calculations extend accurately (in fact, this is known as a BOM Explosion):
Part 1: Show the Assemblies this Part goes into
Do you have any idea how powerful that is? It makes me a bit crazy to think of those trying to run small businesses with QuickBooks Inventory and have to figure this out manually.
Counterpoint Musical Services is a Canadian company dedicated to serving music retailers with fast, efficient and friendly personal service. They have built their business on the premise that nothing is more important than getting orders to their customers quickly:
“We strive to ship all orders placed by noon on the same day. Think of us as your warehouse: we have no minimum orders you can order as little and as often as you need.” – Counterpoint Musical Services website
Given their need for fast shipping, having sufficient inventory is crucial to Counterpoint’s operations. The question is always “How much product do we need to order today?” They’ve been using QuickBooks for over a decade and QuickBooks keeps very accurate inventory, but there is no way to see an item’s inventory levels alongside its sales history information. Without this supporting data, determining optimal ordering quantities is nearly impossible.
Here is an inventory report in QuickBooks:
Kathleen Stokholm, manager and buyer for Counterpoint, had to order blindly for a decade! The company even attempted to implement Fishbowl Inventory hoping to get the data they needed – but after a year of struggling and $10,000 in lost capital, the attempt was abandoned.
To provide their customers with the level of service that is central to their brand, Kathleen needs to know how much inventory to have on hand. The best way to determine this is to use historical trends – and this is where Clearify’s QQube really shines. QQube combines all transactions that affect inventory into a single subject area – making it possible to view sales AND inventory data together!
Custom Inventory Reports = Intelligent Purchasing
QQube even takes the sales orders for an assembly and calculates the number of individual parts needed to fulfill the assemblies on sales orders. This feature is what makes intelligent purchasing possible. And because many of Counterpoint’s products are sold both individually and as part of more than one assembly, we were able to display assembly sales history adjacent to the parts’ history.
With a spreadsheet mock-up of Kathleen’s ideal report, Datisfy experts got to work. We built the report of her dreams using QQube for QuickBooks as the data source and Crystal Reports to design the layout. We were even able to add Assemblies that use the specific parts – to look at their sales and inventory levels too. As an added bonus, Counterpoint can access the report with Logicity – a free Crystal Reports viewer – so they do not have to purchase SAP Crystal Reports.
Wish I’d found Datisfy sooner! Datisfy has saved me hours of work and frustration. Thank you! – Kathleen’s Facebook comment
Datisfy created the report I’ve been wanting for years! This report saves me countless hours combining reports, cutting and pasting data together in Excel. I only wish I’d know this was possible sooner. Thanks.
Manager and Buyer, Counterpoint Musical Services
Matarozzi Pelsinger (MatPel), a high-end custom home builder in the San Francisco Bay Area, employs more than 50 employees and hundreds of subcontractors to build five to eight homes each year for the most exacting of customers.
Transitioning to QuickBooks
MatPel recently transitioned from Viewpoint, a construction industry accounting and project management system, to QuickBooks. They hired an acting CFO to ensure a smooth transition, but the implementation was challenging as the team bumped up against the limitations of QuickBooks.
MatPel Builders had a difficult challenge when creating customer invoices with QuickBooks – contractor bill rates vary from job to job. An worker with a bill rate of $95/hour on one project may be charged out at $105/hour on another. QuickBooks only allows a single bill rate for each employee or subcontractor.
Because of this limitation, MatPel was manually creating invoices each month, resulting in errors and a lengthy, burdensome process for the accounting department. Invoices were being issued late, negatively impacting cash flow to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars each month. The errors such as incorrect amounts, duplicate line items or missed/skipped line items were embarrassing! Not only was MatPel missing out on revenue, their image and relationship with their clients was suffering.
The need was clear – MatPel needed to automate their invoicing.
Datisfy’s reporting experts reviewed MatPel’s invoices, invoicing process and QuickBooks installation and then developed an Excel spreadsheet to house all of the job-specific billing rates. Crystal Reports was then used to integrate the information from the spreadsheet with the data in QQube for QuickBooks to generate a custom invoice for any project – at any time.
Invoices are built to include only billable items, so no charge is ever missed. Invoices are generated quickly and accurately, which means MatPel receives payment on six-figure invoices an average of ten days earlier. Project Managers can run the custom invoice themselves, providing real-time data back to the field, andfreeing up the accounting department to work on other important tasks and projects.
We got our invoices out in record time! 90% complete on the fourth of the month, and 100% complete by the sixth. That means we get paid much sooner.
THANK YOU for your help with all of this! A complete game-changer for us!
Jenny Rios, General Manager
Matarozzi Pelsinger Builders
Cochner Garvey Capital Partners, Inc. (CGCPI) is a Wichita-based private equity firm with an investment history of over 50 years, focusing its investment on middle market companies. CGCPI holds nine separate entities, each with its own QuickBooks company file.
CGCPI recently moved to QuickBooks Enterprise from Sage and FRX Reports and discovered a showstopper limitation. Within QuickBooks, it is not possible to get consolidated reports from more than one company file. Nor could QuickBooks be customized to provide financials for a partial owner entity.
CGCPI’s situation was even more complex because the account groupings needed to display in a different order and with different labels than in their chart of accounts.
With QuickBooks alone, the only way to consolidate financial reports for multiple company files is to export each P & L and Balance Sheet to a spreadsheet, manually cobble together the pieces and create conditional calculations. This would have to be done every month, a massive waste of time, with a process rife with the potential for error – and fraud.
QQube for QuickBooks handles the issue of consolidation very simply: all QuickBooks company files loaded into the QQube data warehouse are available for reporting.
Once CGCPI provided their report layout sample, along with the custom account groupings, Datisfy used Crystal Reports to build the formulas and structure that result in an accurate, single-click consolidated income statement and balance sheet – including budgets. With the QQube Multiple Company Add-On, any number of company files can be accommodated.
If and when CGCPI invests in new entities, only minor edits will be required to include these new entities in the reports. This solution saves the team at CGCPI at least two days of effort every month, and enhances the reputation of the Director of Financial Reporting when she delivers the financials with such velocity, reliability and accuracy, month after month.
The Datisfy team was very successful in building the custom reports that we now use to consolidate several wholly-owned subsidiaries, one controlling interest, and a joint-venture with their respective parent companies. They were a very quick study once we finalized our requirements.
The reports are now in production and working as expected. Datisfy’s team members were always patient, very professional, and quite pleasant to work with. I highly recommend Datisfy and their solution.
Director of Financial Reporting