How Panera Bread Company Ensured Visibility and Control in Their Reconciliations
Panera Bread Company owns and franchises more than 2,000 bakery-cages under the Panera Bread®, Saint Louis Bread Co.®, and Paradise Bakery & Café® names. Headquartered in Sunset Hills, Missouri, the company serves high-quality food in a warm, inviting and comfortable setting.
Before implementing a Trintech solution, Panera Bread’s office of finance was manually reconciling 650 cash depository accounts, credit card and general ledger accounts. Once credit card transactions were obtained from their ERP system, one person spent three weeks every month reconciling them, while four other employees reconciled cash and resolved exceptions, and another twenty-five reconciled the general ledger accounts. All this took place in spreadsheets, making their workflow complicated and clumsy.
Additionally, using spreadsheets for their processes didn’t allow room for business analytics, lacked scalability, and generated binders on binders of hard copies. Panera Bread needed efficiency and transparency within their processes.
Panera Bread Chose Trintech’s ReconNET and Cadency Certification
Panera Bread required a software solution that would provide a standardized workflow and allow controls and visibility to be maintained— all while driving efficiency. The chosen solution also needed to connect seamlessly to Panera’s Oracle® ERP system and provide analytics and reporting so that senior managers could support other internal business activities.
“Integration with Oracle and the ReconNET solution was an important factor in our decision,” said Mark Wooldridge, Chief Accounting Office of Panera Bread Company. “No other solution offered such a robust connection point between the high-volume cash and credit reconciliations and the balance sheet certification processes.”
Panera Bread also decided to implement Trintech’s Cadency Certification solution for balance sheet accounting. During the implementation, Trintech staff worked closely with Panera Bread’s finance team to learn their unique requirements for automation, such as in their credit card process. This partnership allowed Trintech to understand Panera’s unique business rules and assist with translating those needs to First Data, the company that provided Panera Bread’s data feed.
After the implementation of Trintech’s solutions, Panera Bread receives detailed reporting, a workflow automation that enforces top-down consistency across all processes and the ability to quickly identify issues with cash and credit card reconciliations in only days. And, because their staff has extra time now that they’ve moved away from manual processes, they reconcile more complicated accounts, such as— but not limited to— Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Investment Accounts, and Concentration Accounts.
Additionally, Panera Bread now has more workforce to support new initiatives, like online ordering, that leverage ReconNET’s ability to import credit card transactions individually rather than on a batch basis, so that a specific transaction can be identified and investigated in real-time.
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Written by: Ashton Mathai