This CEO is on a Mission to Disrupt Accounting Services

Ledge Accounting for franchises-Ryland Beard

Ledge Accounting’s Turnkey Services Empower Franchisees with More Time and Fewer Hassles

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Ledge Accounting CEO Ryland Beard understands the challenges that franchisees face with their financial reporting. If they do it themselves, they waste time on paperwork when they should be building their businesses. If they hire a bookkeeper, the services may be of lower quality than a full-fledged accountant. If they hire a certified public accountant, he or she may not be well-versed in aspects of the business that are peculiar to franchises. Beard’s expertise and Ledge Accounting’s focus on franchise accounting enable small business franchise owners to prioritize more critical tasks.

Also, it’s pretty much a given that franchisees, even if they have the financial wherewithal to handle their own accounting, don’t love it. Some 40% of business owners actively dislike bookkeeping and taxes, according to SCORE, the Service Corps of Retired Executives, which helps small-business owners establish and grow their companies.  

And if you ask franchisees what they like best about business ownership, they’ll often reply that it’s helping their clients and communities, nurturing the growth of employees, setting their own schedules, or indulging in their passion for the franchise’s mission. The answer is very, very unlikely to be preparing tax returns or profit-and-loss statements, or any of the other accounting-related administrative chores that come with entrepreneurship.  

Ledge Accounting frees small franchise business owners from time-consuming, accounting-related headaches so they can focus on the business.

Handling the Biggest Small Business Headaches 

Ryland Beard founded Ledge Accounting to take away those time-consuming, accounting-related headaches in return for a flat monthly fee – and no contract. Three of the most dreaded tasks that Ledge Accounting handles for some 400 franchisee clients are: 

  • Weekly bookkeeping. “Franchise owners didn’t choose to open a business to spend hours a week keeping their books tidy and reconciling their bank accounts,” says Beard, who, as former chief financial officer of a national franchisor, helped the brand grow from two units to more than 75. “Nor should they have to. We save our clients time so that they can focus and work on their business, not in it.” 
  • Monthly financial reporting. “Sound and clean financials and analytics are required for business owners to grow and improve their business,” he says. “By presenting our clients with clear and timely P&Ls, balance sheets and cash-flow statements, we eliminate doubt, and they focus on improvement and growth.”  
  • Filing state and federal tax returns. “Business owners do not have time to keep up with tax law, know the latest deductions and credits, or prepare their returns,” Beard explains. “We acknowledge this and provide our clients with annual filings and tax support throughout the year.” 

But Beard says his franchisee clients – which include fitness brands, restaurants and home services providers — also see a plus in their bottom line after they turn these tasks over to his pros. “We estimate that our clients see a 7% to 25% increase in their profit margins because our clear monthly reports and financial analytics help them make better decisions” regarding labor, materials and insights on better-selling goods and services.  

Access to top-quality financial reports also avoids unnecessary expenses, Beard contends. “I believe most business owners hire professional firms to avoid costly mistakes, comply with the tax code, and improve their financial decision-making. For franchisees specifically, accurate accounting is extra-important, because many franchisors require periodic financial reporting. Errors in these reports can lead to conflicts with the franchisor, potentially jeopardizing the franchise agreement.” 

“Turnkey Accounting Service” 

The flat monthly fee for Ledge Accounting’s services runs a little under $400. Beard says the fee proves to be cost-effective because his company’s services are so comprehensive. “In effect we are a turnkey accounting service. Our clients receive a comprehensive monthly package which includes thorough weekly bookkeeping, monthly financial reporting and insightful analytics. They receive unlimited, continuous tax advice in addition to filings, which can help businesses optimize their tax situation, potentially saving money in the long run.”  

Ledge Accounting’s clients also have full access to his entire team, he says. “They benefit from a whole team’s expertise and specialized knowledge in various financial areas.  Considering the range and depth of services provided, many business owners find this to be a value-packed proposition.”  

Rather than offering one-size-fits-all solutions, we take the time to get to know our clients’ businesses and details.

How Ledge Accounting Excels 

The company’s excellence starts with a quick response time to all inquiries. “We prioritize swift responses as a fundamental part of our service,” Beard says. “I believe we have the fastest response time of any firm. When our clients reach out via email or seek a phone conversation, we ensure they receive timely answers.” 

Of course, accuracy is the absolute most important aspect of accounting work. “We uphold the highest standards of precision in our calculations and reporting,” he says. “In addition, timeliness is essential to us. By always sending financials by the 7th of every month, our clients can trust us to be on time, every time.” 

He cites a third factor that wows clients: “We understand that every client’s financial situation is unique. Rather than offering one-size-fits-all solutions, we take the time to get to know our clients’ businesses and details. This enables us to craft financial statements and advice tailored to each client’s specific circumstances.”

Accounting Services for Small Business Franchises

accounting services for franchises

Those specific circumstances emerge from day one. When a franchisee on boards with Ledge Accounting, he or she will talk to three people: Beard himself, Ledge’s director of customer success and the company’s head certified public accountant. There’s clear communication about goals and responsibilities and included services.  

Clients aren’t locked into a long-term contract because Beard and the Ledge Accounting team are confident that their top-quality financial reports and tax filings — along with their responsiveness to clients – keeps clients happy and referring others. “Since founding the company four years ago, we’ve never needed to advertise or do social media campaigns to attract clients,” he says. “Our growth has totally come from word-of-mouth. “We pride ourselves on being advisers and not just number-crunchers. We work with and for our clients all year long, not just when there are tax and reporting deadlines.”

Ledge Accounting deals directly with franchisees, not franchisors, but “franchisors love Ledge because of the clean financials that Ledge produces and submits for its franchisee clients,” Beard says. For more information about Ledge Accounting and its accounting services for small business franchise owners, please visit www.ledgeaccounting.com. To contact Beard, visit www.rylandbeard.com.

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Mary Vinnedge is an award-winning journalist who has served as editor in chief, managing editor and senior editor at national and regional publications, including SUCCESS and Design NJ magazines. She also held reporting and editing roles at The Dallas Morning News and Charlotte Observer newspapers.

Before Mary began covering franchise news and trends as a staff writer for FranchiseWire and Franchise Consultant Magazine, she developed articles on topics ranging from lifestyle, education, health and science to home projects, horticulture, gardening, interior design and architecture. These articles included her reporting on academic news at her alma mater, Texas A&M University, when Mary worked in the marketing department of the Texas A&M Foundation. She continues to be a news junkie and subscribes to several publications.

Today Mary and her husband are empty nesters living on Galveston Island near Houston. The couple’s blended family – scattered around the United States – includes five children, four grandchildren and two very spoiled, very barky miniature schnauzer rescues.
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