Success Stories

Culver's, Brian Farrell Franchise: Financial Accounting Outsourcing

Creating a recipe for cross-country transparency with anytime visibility into the books of six restaurants in two states.

Culver's
Brian Farrell, Owner
“Wipfli’s services and its portal have created transparency and location-specific accountability. It’s put the power back in the hands of the people I rely on every day and lets me maintain a strategic view of my business.”
 

Culvers butter burger

For over 30 years, Culver's guests have been treated to cooked-to-order food made with farm-fresh ingredients, served with a smile. The ever-expanding franchise system now numbers more than 600 family-owned and operated restaurants in 24 states. The restaurants' nationally-recognized customer service is based on small-town, Midwestern values, genuine friendliness and an unwavering commitment to quality. Signature items include the award-winning ButterBurger®, made from fresh, never frozen, beef, and Fresh Frozen Custard, including the famous Flavor of the Day program. For more information, visit www.culvers.comwww.culvers.com/facebookwww.twitter.com/culvershttps://plus.google.com/+culvers or www.instagram.com/culvers.

Situation
In 2001, Brian Farrell opened the original Culver’s franchise in Illinois and launched an ambitious business plan to open six locations all within the same Midwest trade region. Two additional Illinois stores followed. And when corporate offices announced growth intentions for Arizona in 2006, Farrell was first at headquarters with a focus-forward expansion plan for the new, emerging market. After selling one of his Illinois locations, he now owns two stores in Illinois and four in Arizona. 

In light of such rapid growth and with restaurant operations 1,700 miles apart, Farrell quickly recognized the need for reliable operations assistance. He sought resources that could remove the bookkeeping headaches and potential accounting heartaches and found that support in Wipfli.


Strategy
Wipfli provided a seamless solution for managing the financial accounting across the six-store operations and across the country. The firm gave Farrell and his management team 24/7 access to sophisticated yet easy-to-use, Web-based tools that optimized the ability to maintain their responsibilities. The professional services Wipfli delivered included:

  • Processing and paying vendor bills.
  • Managing cash flow and keeping accounts up to date.
  • Reconciling all bank and credit card accounts monthly.
  • Preparing monthly financial reports and custom reports for Culver’s corporate offices.
  • Providing year-end financials.
  • Performing tax preparation and filing.
In addition, Wipfli’s principals supplied proactive advice, flagged concerns preemptively, and offered strategic planning insights whenever needed.

Benefits
Wipfli’s FAO services gave Farrell the visibility and real-time accessibility needed to make sound and timely business decisions. The portal has proven to be a powerful tool for his entire management team. It lets operations managers view billings and provides each of his general managers access to his or her store numbers, allowing them to manage their budgets accordingly. Such transparency has ensured across-the-board accountability from his cross-country team and peace of mind for Farrell.

Relationship Executive(s)

Kurt R. Krueger, CPA, Partner