Restaurant Accounting: Bookkeeping Tips and More

how to do bookkeeping for a restaurant

Rounding up or down by a few cents or dollars can add up over the course of a week or month and begin to affect your bottom line. The right choice for your restaurant lies at the intersection of reasonable prices, feature breadth and easy platform usage. You’ll likely have an intuitive sense of which platform best meets your needs on all these fronts. Find help articles, video tutorials, and connect with other businesses in our online community. But it also brings its own set of challenges—which is why we’ve created this guide to get you started on the right foot.

This includes making sure there is always an emergency fund set aside for unexpected expenses like equipment breaking and needing to be replaced. Calculating payroll in the restaurant industry can sometimes get a little tricky for a business owner who is dealing with multiple wages, employees coming and going, and irregular work hours. There are also benefits, insurance, and federal and state tax obligations to keep up with. A cash flow statement is a report that records all of the incoming and outgoing cash during a specified amount of time. That way you can easily see where your money is going and where it is coming from and make sure that you have an appropriate amount flowing each way.

d. Cash management

How you set up your books for a restaurant lays the foundation for how smoothly the rest of the bookkeeping process will go. Our financial forecasting professionals how to do bookkeeping for a restaurant put the power of your past performance to work for your future analysis. Fixed costs are the costs that either don’t change or you have no control over the change.

how to do bookkeeping for a restaurant

Leveraging advanced technology and a team of skilled professionals, they provide efficient and remote financial management. By using cloud-based accounting software, they ensure secure access to data and real-time collaboration, enabling owners to make informed decisions from anywhere. Point of sale systems are computerized systems that record orders and process payment transactions. These systems are ideal for cash management, processing receipts, running sales reports, and tracking inventory, methods of payment, and labor costs. When choosing a point of sale system, just make sure it ties in and seamlessly integrates with your accounting software. A POS system really is a life saver in restaurant accounting because it allows you to see data in real time.

Determine your accounting software needs.

To better understand restaurant bookkeeping, read these restaurant account tips and suggestions, and get on the way to being as successful as you imagined. Your restaurant purchases dozens of ingredients in bulk, serves hundreds of tables daily, and takes customer orders in person, online and via the phone. That’s a lot of money moving in and out of one business across several channels. In fact, several of these services include features without which the average restaurant would face significantly greater operational challenges.

With this statement, you’ll be able to determine where you are making or losing money. Keeping track of your revenue is equally important to restaurant bookkeeping as knowing your expenses. Have accounting records on hand to show how much you earn from food sales, merchandise sales, or catering jobs.

Controllable cost report

Track your consumables and supplies to calculate the value of the food you have in stock and determine the average daily inventory costs. Whether you’re not the best with numbers or want to focus on the food, you might be wondering if you should do restaurant accounting in-house or outsource it. We know this is a lot to track, but once you make it a habit or have someone in charge of your restaurant accounting system, it will be like cooking your favorite recipe.

To help you figure out which accounting software vendor might best suit your restaurant, we tested dozens of highly reputable platforms. We narrowed these down to the five services we felt best serve restaurants via tools including vendor billing, inventory management and sales tax features. When it comes to restaurant accounting, the chart of accounts categorizes the money you spend and receive. The chart of accounts records high-level transactions like revenue, expenses, assets, liabilities, cost of goods sold, and equity. Each of these buckets is further categorized into smaller ones, such as meat costs, alcohol costs, staff wages, marketing, utilities, laundry, etc.

Accounts Payable

The same bottle that costs $15 in your local liquor store could cost $30 or $45 when you’re out. Choosing accounting systems for restaurants can help you eliminate the difficulty with restaurant accounting and help you manage your food costs easily. These systems include financial software and point of sale (POS) systems to help you quickly organize inventory counts and execute transactions. The first step is to record and keep track of your restaurant’s financial transactions, including expenses, sales, and payments. Make a habit of tracking in real-time any transactions you make and spend time at the end of each day to document them. Restaurant accounting uses data to assess your restaurant’s financial situation and make business decisions.

  • A POS system really is a life saver in restaurant accounting because it allows you to see data in real time.
  • The number of accounting periods a restaurant has depends on the type of accounting period it follows.
  • It’s important to keep track of your daily sales to monitor cash flow and understand where money is coming and going.
  • Under the accrual method, the restaurant records income and expenses as transactions occur.
  • Easily run reports to see trends—like weekly and monthly pay differences, or payroll costs by kitchen, front of the house, and management—so you can make any necessary adjustments quickly.

A business strategy, organization, and the willpower to keep accurate accounting records are essential factors in determining whether or not your restaurant will get off the ground. Restaurant bookkeeping is one of the most important aspects of running a restaurant. Accounting software provides the ability to send invoices to clients for catered events via email, as well as to accept online payments to expedite the payment process. Some accounting software services integrate with third-party payment processors, while others use their in-house processing services.

Keep tabs on your revenue and use your accounting records to figure out how much you earn from food sales, merchandise sales, catering jobs, and more. Pinpoint how much revenue you make on a daily basis and then break them further into categories. It’s a good idea to set up an inventory management system that reduces waste and optimizes food cost. This will also help you avoid food surpluses and shortages, and instead strike a more accurate balance. Your POS data allows you to see your financial performance in real-time. For example, you can take a look at your sales-to-labor ratio or determine if sales are hitting industry averages.

  • For example, cross-reference sales by menu category to determine the best time to run a half-price appetizer promotion.
  • Restaurant accounting is also made up of essential bookkeeping processes that keep your business running.
  • The first step is to record and keep track of your restaurant’s financial transactions, including expenses, sales, and payments.
  • COGS is an accounting term that refers to the total cost of food and ingredients used to prepare a meal.
  • One of the reasons we love connecting to QBO and to any restaurant POS system from Shogo is the steps and amount of time it takes.
  • And in the restaurant business, it’s no secret that, in order to make food, you’ll have to buy ingredients.

This is a helpful bookkeeping process that verifies every transaction across your accounts so that your ending balance matches. If your accounts don’t reconcile, it may be a sign that funds are being misused, or worse being stolen. “For example, you can classify your purchases as the cost of goods sold and lump all purchases together or you can drill down and break it out into wine, meats, fish. This P&L gives you all your income and expenses and whether you are profitable or not,” said Miller. Depending on the level of detail put into creating the P&L will determine the value obtained from it.

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