AccountsIQ meets the consolidation and reporting demands of this leading restaurant brand and its unique group structure
Since its launch in 2006, noodle bar chain Chopstix has grown to be one of the leading Asian QSR brands in the UK. The group acquired the Yangtze brand in 2017 and now has more than 45 sites across the UK and Ireland. The size and unique structure of Chopstix means that their accounting platform needs to meet some challenging reporting requirements, particularly in terms of consolidation. By 2018 it was clear that their existing software, Sage 50, lacked the sophistication to consolidate effectively and link accounts for separate entities. Joanna McGovern joined Chopstix as Financial Director in early 2020 and having looked at other systems including Sage 200, SAP, and SunAccounts, decided that AccountsIQ has the consolidation capability they need as well as other key strategic benefits that make it the right fit for Chopstix.
Consolidation support for unique group structures
AccountsIQ’s subscription plans include a multi-group consolidation option without the need to purchase add-ons. It can handle just about any kind of group structure which is really helpful for Chopstix. The business operates as three entities with transactions from all of its 45 sites posting through these entities, which need to be consolidated for both group reporting and statutory reasons. AccountsIQ enables Chopstix to automate group consolidation which helps to mitigate errors and reduce the time spent on manual processing.
The big benefit for us is consolidation. With so many entities, we have a lot of intercompany requirements. Though we considered Sage 200, there you had to login to each entity and post the intercompany journal. It was a very manual process involving additional and expensive add-ons. With AccountsIQ consolidation is built into the system, so you never have to do manual intercompany reconciliations which can get quite messy.” said Joanna.
Integration with iCompleat saves time and improves visibility
AccountsIQ has numerous Cloud-based ERP software integration partners which help businesses like Chopstix improve processes and gain more visibility at every stage of the process. For Joanna this is particularly true of AccountsIQ’s integration with iCompleat’s invoice management system which was quick to set up and makes it easy to access and review invoices when needed.
iCompleat was already very familiar with AccountsIQ so we were able to integrate the two apps in just one session. Approved invoices get pushed straight through to AccountsIQ with the PDF attached. It’s incredibly useful being able to go into your accounting system and pull up an invoice whenever you need to, say when you’re doing an audit, or for month end processes when you want to review an invoice. The iCompleat integration adds extra control to the business and a clear audit trail. There’s now a lot more eyes on the process. And no surprises at month end.”
Better business intelligence with BI codes
AccountsIQ goes beyond the standard general ledger coding by allowing for customisation of up to six business dimensions and an infinite number of codes for each dimension. Joanna is finding this particularly useful for drilling down on various aspects of the business and gaining insights into performance for key areas. She said:
AccountsIQ’s BI coding allows us to assign different traits to different areas of the business which is very useful for a business like ours. For example, we have sites at travel hubs, in shopping centres, and on high streets, so we made that one of our BI categorisations because they all act in a very different way. So now we can pull out performance for these three different types of sites. Similarly, we can slice and dice reports by area manager, or like-for-like sites. Having access to all of these different dimensions is really useful.”
Future plans: Power BI and Making Tax Digital
With AccountsIQ effectively managing Chopstix’s reporting and consolidation requirements, Joanna is now looking to take it further by using AccountsIQ’s other features for more strategic decision-making. This includes AccountsIQ’s connection to Power BI through an OData connector that allows data in AccountsIQ to be displayed in Power BI’s highly visual reporting formats.
As Chopstix continues to grow and evolve as a business, Joanna also takes comfort in knowing that AccountsIQ will be able to adapt to changes in the group structure, particularly under the HMRC Making Tax Digital initiative. She said:
We’ve already used AccountsIQ’s Making Tax Digital module for our entity VAT returns and it’s very user-friendly. In the future we’re planning to do a group submission and it’s good to know that AccountsIQ is already set up for group VAT registration under MTD.”
AccountsIQ simplifies the switch from legacy systems to cloud-based accounting software
Joanna summed up her experience in switching from Sage 50 to AccountsIQ:
Implementing a new accounting package can be a big undertaking; you have to change your mindset when you switch to a cloud-based system from a legacy platform as there is so much more possibility. You should avoid trying to replicate your old processes. Instead, take advantage of the new reporting and analysis capability that you now have.”
AccountsIQ’s support team was fantastic at explaining the implementation process and we had some great training to facilitate this. With a company like Sage you have 3rd party support which tends to be slow and expensive. We like that AccountsIQ provided support and that it was in house. The whole process with AccountsIQ was very efficient, clearly done, and well structured.”
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