How to do Bookkeeping for a Restaurant Blog

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While wave accounting a P&L used to be time consuming, with restaurant management software, it’s now easy to run the report daily. This is especially valuable for restaurants with multiple locations, as it can be run across all stores in a comparative analysis or drilled down to different categories. Point of sale systems are computer systems used to record orders and complete payment transactions. When it comes to managing your books and records, some POS systems allow you to track inventory counts, labor costs, and methods of payment as well as run sales reports. Keeping track of your revenue is important to restaurant bookkeeping. Use the accounting records on hand to show how much you earn from food sales, merchandise sales, or catering jobs.


Long hours, high overhead, wasted ingredients, and difficulty making profits are some of the barriers to success for restaurant owners. However, I would have your bookkeeper look over the values for accuracy and also to look for inconsistencies with your financial reports. For most restaurants I would recommend adjusting inventory values once per month.

Restaurant Bookkeeping Using QuickBooks

So even if you have accounting software, odds are, you still need a bookkeeper to manage the software, enter data, file reports, identify errors and keep everything current. In order for a restaurant to be profitable, it needs more than a solid concept and talented chef. Staying on top of your spending costs, inventory, and revenue is key to turning a profit. With these restaurant accounting tips, you can begin to organize your accounting records and have a better understanding of your financial picture. In the end, organization and accuracy are the keys to effective restaurant bookkeeping. He started in the dish pit and worked his way up to management, where he helped several restaurant owners cut their costs, effectively manage their staff, and fine tune their operations.

And importantly, it provides significant ratios analysis that tells you how the company is doing. When you calculate break-even point in dollars, you’re estimating how much revenue your restaurant will need to generate to end with a $0 balance at the end of a certain period of time. While the hospitality sector reopens across North America, owners and operators face a whole new set of challenges. Download our free playbook and learn how to build a more resilient business post-pandemic.

  • Your restaurant makes a lot of different financial transactions, which are listed on your bank statements, credit cards, and POS.
  • This person must also tally up payroll taxes, income tax withholding and worker’s compensation figures in the company ledger.
  • We do not offer financial advice, advisory or brokerage services, nor do we recommend or advise individuals or to buy or sell particular stocks or securities.
  • You can then upload your invoices to to allow your accountant to code them properly.

In order to record the daily sales you will need to generate a report that summarizes your sales. In this guide, we’re going to identify the most important aspects of your restaurant’s books, then remove the hassle of manual bookkeeping with the automation of your system. I would not recommend using QuickBooks directly to manage your inventory. I feel that properly handling your inventory in QuickBooks would be much too tedious of a task. In fact I believe that every business should outsource their payroll needs. I would highly recommend setting up QuickBooks on a terminal server.

Revenue Report

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. Determine your daily inventory costs and calculate the value of the food items you have in stock by tracking your consumables and supplies.

Having to uproot a beginner system and switch to a completely different one can be costly and time-consuming; starting out with scalable accounting software is generally best. Restaurant365 is a powerful restaurant management platform capable of recipe costing and measuring actual versus theoretical food costs. The platform has its own accounting software and can directly integrate with more than 100 POS systems. Restaurants, especially those with multiple locations, might consider the platform if they can take advantage of some of its more advanced features. QuickBooks time-tracking and payroll features let employees easily log their hours and you approve them. 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.

The Professional Plan is the top-tier option and costs $489 per location per month. It includes scheduling, inventory, and accounting features, as well as labor, analytics, and custom financial reports. Using accounting software can help owners and managers know where their money is going and identify potential savings. The software can also keep track of inventory and profits and properly calculate sales tax to avoid fines.

Once you’re behind on your restaurant accounting, it is difficult to get caught up. Don’t worry too much about price as it is a very competitive industry. Secondly, I would look for a payroll company that has QuickBooks integration.


The Fifty/50 Restaurant Group is looking for a seasoned, experienced professional who anticipates and independently resolves financial issues by taking ownership to achieve results. They will ensure accurate and timely financial reporting by overseeing general accounting functions, reviewing current accounting processes, and making recommendations and improvements. The ideal candidate will have strong analytical skills and interest in financial reporting along with a desire for consistent personal and professional development. With 16 restaurants across numerous concepts, the opportunity for professional growth is available for those who are ready to jump in! Restaurant owners keep track of a handful of reports that provide insight on menu item sales, cost of goods sold, labor and actual versus theoretical costs.

How to find a proven restaurant accountant

Join over 1 million businesses scanning receipts, creating expense reports, and reclaiming multiple hours every week—with Shoeboxed. Join over 1 million businesses scanning & organizing receipts, creating expense reports and more—with Shoeboxed. If the restaurant is going to make a go of it, the first thing a restaurant accountant should do is work with the owner to have a business strategy and budget in place. Our team is trained to look for specific errors based on your company’s type.

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A sales report tells you how your business did that day, so you can compare with other days that week, month, year, or even year-over-year. It’s the thermometer you should check before making any changes – or patting yourself on the back after a hard day of work. While daunting, learning what you need to know about restaurant accounting is not insurmountable. And when you do, you can reap the many benefits of finance-driven business decisions.

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Your POS can give you deep insights on best and worst sellers, menu sales trends over time, and your inventory status. Your accounting system organizes and tracks financial information. Knowing your net profit margin helps you make decisions about growth, expansion, investors, and even selling your business for what it’s really worth. This is your profit, so it’s safe to say you’re already paying attention. Keeping track of your CoGs can help you set a menu price for each item at your venue, ensuring every dish is profitable. A start up costs report helps you stay focused and on budget, so you don’t get to the end of your money before you’ve got what you need to open .

Practicing thorough restaurant accounting is crucial, but it can be overwhelming to think of managing your own books and records at first. To better understand restaurant bookkeeping, read these restaurant account tips and suggestions, and get on the way to being as successful as you imagined. Bookkeepers can review timecards to ensure that labor payments are accurate.

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As I mentioned earlier I would recommend that your manager handle the cash deposits and your bookkeeper verify that they are correct. Restaurant Owners – I would suggest that restaurant owners be the only people that have the ability to sign checks, pay bills or move money in anyway. However, if you set up your company file using the easy start interview there is an option to select the restaurant industry. QuickBooks will then make suggestions based on your industry to set up the software geared towards a restaurant.

Account reconciliation confirms that you’ve accounted for all transactions and that the amount of cash in your account is correct. Modern accounting software can easily automate the account reconciliation process. Here are NerdWallet’s top picks for restaurant accounting software. The difference between the two accounting methods for restaurants is all about timing.

  • It is also easily integrated with vendors, POS systems, and financial institutions for automated banking reconciliation.
  • Large businesses with millions of monthly transactions may find it too limited for their needs.
  • We meet regularly with our clients via Google Meet and phone calls which enables us to work with restaurants anywhere.
  • Restaurant accountants understand how to compile data accurately and meaningfully.
  • KPIs are what you’ll obsess over as a business owner – they dictate the financial outlook of your restaurant.
  • If you have a bookkeeper and accountant, they will be able to provide you with a detailed report on each of these.

It allows real-time tracking of your financial performance and mitigates errors that occur with manual restaurant accounting. If the owner needs more time or the necessary knowledge to manage their books or is unaware of how to do bookkeeping for a restaurant, then for a specialized bookkeeping job. Keeping accurate records of financial transactions and preparing accurate financial statements can all be achieved with the help of a bookkeeper.

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I would take a hard look at Gusto Payroll services as an alternative to ADP. Both XtraChef and MarginEdge allow you deeper COGS and financial insights and controls directly in your POS system. If you are cutting checks for your bills you want to make sure to print checks from QuickBooks. This will automatically feed the payment information into your QuickBooks file, thus reducing unnecessary data entry. To start, learn how to enter bills and pay bills in QuickBooks; both are easy tasks to accomplish.

Bookkeeping involves day-to-day finances and budgets, but effective bookkeeping practices also can help you make operational decisions about food, labor, and overhead costs. Receiving timely financial reporting is crucial so that restaurant owners, chefs, and managers can make decisions to improve prime costs, operational expenses, and the bottom line. Inventory reports are easily accessible, allowing you to instantly see your best sellers, total sales, and total taxes. The Inventory Summary report details precisely what products you have in stock. QuickBooks Online Plus and Advanced plans also come with various reports to make inventory tracking easier for restaurant owners.

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Managing cash flow in a restaurant has never been more effortless than it is with QuickBooks for Restaurant. This feature allows business owners to manage their finances and forecast cash flows. It will also equip you with valuable and actionable insights regarding your finances.

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