Ceterus, a Charleston, S.C., firm that provides managed bookkeeping and tax services for quick-service restaurants, has acquired Sandwich Math, an accounting and bookkeeping firm that focuses on sandwich restaurant franchises.
The acquisition expands Ceterus’ base of restaurant customers, and its ability to provide them with benchmarked reporting. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Sandwich Math specializes in franchisees of sub sandwich brands. “Essentially they’re focused on franchisees in the Jimmy John’s network,” Ceterus CEO Levi Morehouse told Accounting Today. “They are what we call a ‘done for you’ accounting solution, where they essentially are your bookkeeper, your accounting software, and everything all in one. You as the franchisee or business owner, the entrepreneur, just receive financial statements, where Sandwich Math collects the data they need from your bank accounts, your point of sale system, whatever sources of data are needed to do your bookkeeping and accounting. They collect that and produce financial statements and reports for you, the franchise owner or entrepreneur.”
Ceterus serves thousands of small businesses and franchisees, including Little Big Burger and Burger Joint outlets, with its managed bookkeeping and tax services. The company's Edge system automates entries into QuickBooks Online and aggregates financial data to provide peer benchmarked reporting.
“We’re more of a tech firm,” said Morehouse. “We’re VC backed as of recently. We started as a pure outsourcer of accounting and bookkeeping for the small business. We do your bookkeeping in the cloud for you. We started that in 2008, but two years ago, we went and raised venture capital to start building a platform to actually automate much of the bookkeeping component of what we do.”
Ceterus has grown from 30 to 120 staff members in the past 18 months, thanks to its VC funding. The company raised $10.2 million in funding, led by Grotech Ventures in the D.C. area, and Tech Operators in Atlanta. This is its first acquisition.
“What we do today is we’re automated bookkeeping and accounting, and benchmarked reporting,” said Morehouse. “Just like Sandwich Math focuses exclusively on Jimmy John’s franchises, we focus on specific small business verticals ourselves, oftentimes in franchise concepts, but we’re in many more of them, and we automate the bookkeeping process. We have a team of accountants that reviews the financials and discusses and analyzes things for the customers, but we use heavy automation. Then the reporting platform that we’ve developed takes those financial statements and benchmarks them with an aggregate of your peers, so you get to see how your specific small business location or franchise location stacks up on all kinds of key metrics.”