Success Stories

Culver's, Donna and George Nichols Franchise: Financial Accounting and Tax Compliance

Turning the bookkeeping wheel over to Wipfli and driving back-office efficiencies.

Culver's
Donna Nichols, Owner
“With Wipfli’s services, I have saved so much time—time that I can now spend on more valuable tasks to support and grow our business. They deliver great follow-up and very good personal attention. They’ve also been a tremendous resource for issues we encounter.”
 

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

Donna and George Nichols own and operate a popular Culver’s destination restaurant in Kansas City, Kansas. It neighbors the Legends Outlets as well as a 180,000-square-foot Cabela’s showroom and sits in the shadow of the Kansas Speedway, home to NASCAR events. With $2.6 million in annual sales, the business is a top-tier franchise among Culver’s national ranks.

Donna Nichols has always been hands-on with the business in every way, including bookkeeping responsibilities, bill payments, human resources, and worker scheduling. Spending entire days just writing checks was not uncommon. So when she began looking to hire a professional company to provide back-office services and ensure accurate record and bookkeeping, she asked fellow franchisees for references. Her peers continually recommended Wipfli, and her search was over before it really started.

Strategy

From day one, Wipfli came prepared and was off to the accounting races. The team’s ready knowledge of Culver’s franchisee requirements allowed Wipfli to quickly ensure a system for accurate and timely financial reporting. Among Wipfli’s comprehensive FAO services provided were:

  • Daily bookkeeping and monthly reconciling of all accounts.
  • Timely processing and payment of vendor bills.
  • Timely and accurate payroll processing and reporting.
  • Preparation of monthly financial reports and custom reports for Culver’s corporate offices.
  • Wipfli also performed tax planning, preparation, and filing for both the restaurant business and the real estate entity, as well as for the couple’s personal income taxes.

Benefits

Wipfli’s services, which include 24/7 access to the financial information via a portal, have made life easier for Donna Nichols. Now she pays bills with a fast and easy click of a mouse whenever it’s convenient for her instead of spending days hunched over a desk.

The Nicholses also gained peace of mind in all things back office. In fact, Wipfli’s vigilance in monitoring billing activities once led to a proactive notification that the restaurant had not received its property insurance invoice. The timely notice allowed Donna Nichols to contact the insurance provider, thus preventing a lapse in their coverage.

In addition, the Nicholses acknowledge that Wipfli’s relationship-driven philosophy is far different from other transactional-driven firms who run the meter with every phone call or e-mail question. As a result, the Nicholses have developed a profound level of trust in Wipfli’s team and continue to leverage Wipfli’s business expertise as needed.

Relationship Executive(s)

Kurt R. Krueger, CPA, Partner