BEFORE ALL THE FUN STUFF STARTS, LET’S MAKE SURE WE HAVE THE BASICS COVERED.
This is your onboarding hub to help you understand what comes next, how it all works, and what we need from you to make this the most rewarding partnership possible.
Ready? Let’s get moving.
- First, digitally sign your proposal via GoProposal. You’ll then receive a DocuSign request to provide us with your payment information. Once both those steps are complete, we can get to work.
- Meet your Senior Onboarding Specialist via email. They’ll be your guide through this process and are there to make it as seamless (and painless) as possible!
- We’ll review your current accounting system and any notes we took during our initial discovery call.
- Your Senior Onboarding Specialist will send you a task checklist to complete and a full onboarding timeline.
- Once we have all the responses to the checklist from you, and have completed any historical records cleanup, we can get to work on your weekly accounting, bill pay, and deliverables.
How quickly we get through this step is largely dependent on you. The onboarding process typically takes 3-5 weeks to be completed. In order to get to the good stuff, we’re asking you for quick responses and easy access to your accounts.
- After we clean up your books, we’ll have a Kick-Off Meeting to discuss any changes we made. We’ll also go through how everything works moving forward, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions that have come up for you through this process.
- Our deliverables are designed to give you all the data and tools you need to take your restaurant exactly where you want it to go. Find out more of what that looks like below:
Whatever plan you’re on, you’ll receive your Month-End Financial Statements and Analysis via an email from Fathom. These reports are interactive and include explanations of all your important ratios, trend analyses, and KPIs.
The reports and KPIs in Fathom are reported on a rolling twelve-month cycle, or “Rolling 12”, because it:
- Includes an entire year, including holidays, annual special events, all four seasons, and all business cycle seasons.
- Reveals behavioral economics*
We understand that it is extremely important to view restaurant financial performance on a weekly basis versus monthly. However, we recommend viewing financial performance on a monthly and weekly basis. Therefore, your financial statements will be in a monthly reporting format, while your prime cost reporting will be on a weekly or biweekly format through your prime cost analysis report that we prepare or your restaurant management system (Xtrachef/Marginedge/Craftable) reporting.
*Studies have shown that individuals who used only annual data to make buy and sell decisions for stock portfolios traded less frequently and had a higher yield than the group that traded with monthly information. To put it simply, you make better business decisions when you’re looking at Rolling 12 data versus monthly data.
After rolling 12, we look at rolling 3 and then monthly data. The idea is to look at the longest data set first and work our way to the shortest, without overreacting to that short-term data. Not every restaurant has consistent activity in every quarter, but when you do have consistency (or a limited seasonal business cycle), rolling 3 is a powerful pacing tool to show a shorter-term picture of your business performance.
If you’re on the Essentials or Thrive plan, you’ll receive an email each week from our team with your reconciled cash balance, unpaid bills, and bill payments.
If you’re on the Thrive plan, you’ll also get monthly bill pay and vendor reconciliation support.
WHAT YOU DO
You are responsible for:
- Uploading all bills at the restaurant to Marginedge, Xtrachef, or Craftable by midnight EST every Tuesday.
- Writing “Paid with check # XX” on all COD paid bills
- Writing the invoice # in the check memo for all COD paid bills
Bills submitted after Tuesday may not get reconciled and paid until the next weekly bill pay cycle.
WHAT WE DO
Throughout the week, we will:
- Request statements from vendors with bills uploaded since the last bill pay cycle
- Reconcile bills uploaded by the restaurant with the amounts shown on the vendor statements
- Address discrepancies and request vendor credits directly from your vendors
- Pay bills after calculating the reconciled cash balance
- Provide a report to management showing the bills that were paid
Please be aware: we ONLY check the Accounting@ inbox once or twice a day in order to stay efficient. Therefore, urgent requests should be emailed directly to your Client Advisor.
If there is no new bill in Marginedge/xtraCHEF/Craftable for a particular vendor, then we will not reconcile statements for that vendor that week. Therefore, it is very important to make sure all bills get uploaded to the applicable system on a daily basis.
Payments by vendor are tracked in QBO for 1099 filing purposes throughout the year. At the end of December and/or beginning of January, we will reach out to request missing vendor information needed to file the 1099s. The 1099s will be filed by January 31.
You can learn more about this and other key dates throughout the year in our Key Dates blog.
Great news! Your books are tax-ready throughout the year. You’ll receive a short year-end checklist from us in January and, as long as that’s completed on time, we’ll have your tax returns ready by the end of February. Easy as that.
WHAT WE NEED FROM YOU
We want you to get the full value out of the work we do together and feel completely liberated from the burden of finances. In order to achieve that, we need to work together. By agreeing to this partnership, you’re committing to embrace our core values:
You’re also committing to fulfill all your roles and responsibilities. We can do our job best when you do yours. In a nutshell, that means:
- We’ll both provide a primary point of contact. From us, that will be your Client Advisor.
- Email first. Calls and texts should be limited to emergencies only, especially outside of normal business hours.
- Always keep us updated on changes in your business, like:
- hiring employees out of state;
- changes in ownership;
- large purchases or investments; or
- disposal of fixed assets
- Respond to questions and open items within 5 days to help us avoid bottlenecks and charging support hours.
KEEP THINGS BY THE BOOK
- Don’t run personal transactions through the business accounts.
- Request W-9s from any service provider, lender, or landlord you don’t pay via debit or credit card before paying them.
- Upload invoices and receipts to Marginedge, Xtrachef, or Craftable.
- Run third-party delivery sales (Ubereats, Doordash, etc.) through the POS directly or through an aggregator.
- Run banquet room/Private Dining Room (PDR) rentals through the POS.
- Always separate cash deposits by date by using separate deposit slips for each day. We recommend daily cash deposits.
- We recommend that you pay out ALL tips through payroll. If you do this, then all cash tips will need to be reported as tips received in the POS, or separately broken out in the daily deposit slips.
- If an invoice is paid COD, please write “Paid with Check XX” on the invoice before uploading to Marginedge, Xtrachef, or Craftable.
- Pay owner-operators reasonable compensation (market rate) via guaranteed payments (for partnerships) or payroll (for S-corps/C-corps)
- Don’t pay employees outside of payroll. If they need to get paid in advance, then write a check with “Employee Advance” written on it.
And if, at any point, you feel we’re not fulfilling our purpose of liberating you from uncertainty and stress, please get in touch with our CEO to provide feedback. Your experience is important to us.
To get where you want to be, you need great tech behind you. You can think of these systems as the engine that powers you and your business forward. The most important ones we use are:
Restaurant Management Software
This is the bridge between your restaurant’s operations and its finance function. It helps us collect and present your financial data in a meaningful way, including imported sales from your POS and expense data from invoices and receipts. It can also be linked directly to QBO so your data stays as up to the minute as possible and you can access daily insights into your restaurant.
We currently use three different restaurant management softwares: Xtrachef, Marginedge, and Craftable.
IPM powered by Karbon houses every single task and email that gets executed by the Fork, along with start dates and due dates. It helps us collaborate with you as seamlessly as possible while avoiding information silos or missing tasks.
The first time you receive a request from IPM, you’ll be asked to enter a four-digit PIN. Don’t forget this: you’ll need to re-enter it every time you complete another request.
When in doubt, turn to QBO. This is where we perform all your accounting and house documentation for transactions.
Chock-full of analysis and financial planning tools, Fathom is how we share your monthly financial statements. Take some time to play around in there and see all it has to offer.
QUESTIONS? WE’VE GOT ANSWERS
What does unlimited support really mean? How do I ring up third-party delivery orders? And what’s the best way to pay tips to my employees?
Our FAQ covers all of this and more. Check out the full blog below: