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Salt Lake City Bookkeeping Blog

Starting a Business: Golden Nuggets Of Advice To Save Time And Money

Posted by Matt Roberge on Apr 28, 2016 8:30:00 AM

I was asked to give a presentation to a business class at The Salt Lake Community College recently. I was told that the students would be looking for advice that has helped me on my path to success. I gave a pretty raw and real presentation on what it is like to start your own business. 

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Topics: Scaling A Business, Strategic Planning, Business Coach, CEO Advice, Growth Coach

[Infographic] How QuickBooks Improves Your Restaurant Bookkeeping

Posted by Austin Walker on Apr 27, 2016 8:30:00 AM

QuickBooks is a pretty popular choice for the restaurant bookkeeping needs of restaurants around the country. However, Intuit does not have a version specific to the restaurant industry, so QuickBooks has to be customized to meet your needs. You can select a restaurant as the type of company you're setting up in the QuickBooks beginning interview, though. Let's list the other modifications that should be made to Quickbooks to make sure that your restaurant is set up correctly.

Task Delegation

First off, who is involved in the decisions and who should have access with what abilities?

Restaurant Owners - owners should be the only people with the ability to sign checks, pay bills, or move money across different accounts. There are a couple reasons for this, but the most important one is that allowing the bookkeeper access to cash is an opportunity for theft. Owners should also approve payroll.

Bookkeeping Team - bookkeepers should be entering transactions, bills, daily sales, and verifying deposits. They should also be doing regular reconciliation of the accounts. They should not be handling any cash.

Restaurant Managers - restaurant managers should handle cash deposits. The bookkeeper will verify the cash deposits versus sales records while doing their tasks. The managers should also be focused on regulating your inventory of food and beverage. Lastly, the managers should be verifying hours and submitting payroll to the owners for review and approval.

QuickBooks Install

The program should be set up on a server that gives multiple employees access to QuickBooks at the same time without interfering one another. This is especially helpful for restaurants in multiple locations so there can be a central location where bills, invoices, and paperwork are stored and shared.

Daily Sales Journal Entries

Like the name says, daily sales must be recorded daily. The simple answer as to why is this: the verification of bank deposits. Even if card transactions are being pulled every couple of days, the actual sales of the day need to be recorded. This is a record that the amount being deposited into the bank on a daily basis matches the amount that has been sold on that day. If there are gaps in the amount sold as to the amount deposited, there's a problem.


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Topics: QuickBooks, Restaurant Bookkeeping, Bookkeeping

Why Multitasking Will Never Replace Your Outsourced Bookkeeper

Posted by Austin Walker on Apr 26, 2016 8:30:00 AM

If you consider yourself a high-functioningUntitled_design_6-3.jpg multitasker, you might want to rethink your approach to how you run your small business. Studies in psychology have revealed that what many of us refer to as multitasking is simply “task-switching” in disguise, and it’s neither effective nor efficient where business performance is concerned.

The Inefficiencies of Multitasking

The fact is that when you shift your focus back and forth between tasks, there’s a lag time during which your brain must readjust as it makes the switch from one mental activity to another. Not only does this serial tasking lower productivity by up to 40 percent, entrepreneurs and others who frequently engage in task-switching actually end up:

  • Making more mistakes
  • Remembering fewer details
  • Taking longer to complete the wide variety of duties where mental focus is required

Since the brain can’t effectively be in two places at once, experts suggest that business owners are far more likely to improve their productivity and financial achievements by engaging in “singletasking”, or focusing their considerable energies on their main area of expertise. For this reason, one of the key elements in business success at any level is delegation.

Why You Should Learn to Delegate

It’s common for the small business owner caught up in the frenzy of daily interactions to forget just how valuable their time is. Instead of concentrating on meeting the needs of their clientele, or drumming up new business, busy entrepreneurs tend to get distracted and misuse their time by engaging in tasks that could, and should, be delegated to somebody else.

When a business owner assigns multiple professional roles to their in-house staff, or worse, adopts the wearing of too many hats themselves, it can lead to a number of negative outcomes, including:

  • Burnout
  • A lack of investment in long-term strategizing
  • An undermining of the company's overall financial health and performance

Even the most energetic entrepreneur is inevitably going to reach the point where they can no longer do everything themselves, especially if their business is growing. So the next time you find yourself trying to micromanage every detail of your expanding enterprise, remember that many analysts proclaim a lack of delegation to be particularly detrimental where the small business is concerned.

The Upside of Outsourcing

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Topics: Bookkeeping, Outsourced Bookkeeping, Multitasking

The Best Way To Understand Future Cash Flow

Posted by Matt Roberge on Apr 21, 2016 8:30:00 AM

An inability to manage cash flow can kill a small business. One of the biggest reasons for small business failure is a lack of cash flow management. 

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Topics: Cash Flow Management, QuickBooks Cash Flow, Financial Forecasting, Cash Flow

Bookkeeping for Multi-Location Restaurants [Infographic]

Posted by Austin Walker on Apr 20, 2016 8:30:00 AM

Bookkeeping for a restaurant group that has different locations and different restaurants under it can be tricky. There are tight margins to maintain. In addition, spoilage, theft, and inventory must be controlled to maintain profitability. In order to do this, the books must work like a well-oiled machine. There can't be any flukes or the whole machine is compromised and margins decrease. Here is a set of guidelines you can follow to make sure that every restaurant under a restaurant group is controlled in a way that improves its chances of success.

Chart of Accounts, First

The chart of accounts is very important. This is what's going to generate categories for expenses and income; it will also determine how reports look. It's important to avoid over-complicating the chart of accounts. If it's complicated, generally the reports will not be understandable, and an owner may have difficulty figuring out what all the numbers mean. Here are our recommendations for a restaurant:

Food and beverage - separate income and cost of goods sold into food, alcoholic beverages, and non-alcoholic beverages. This means that food and beverage ratios can be computed a little bit easier.

Labor costs - this is one of a restaurant's highest expenses. Keeping close track can help cut labor costs and manage how it's affecting the bottom line.

Using the POS System as a Tool

Proper set-up of the POS system takes a long time. However, the amount of time that it takes to set up is completely worth it. Knowing the ins and outs of the system means that the reports produced all outline key metrics that the business has deemed important. Having the right information is worth more than having a lot of information.

Many restaurants experience theft. Having a system that is reporting correctly can help keep track of daily deposits from the register to the bank. If the cash reports don't match, something is wrong. The daily sales summary report can be a good report to check every day to make sure theft has not become a problem in a restaurant.

What Is a Daily Sales Summary?

The daily sales summary report tells you everything that happened in your restaurant on a given day. This includes not only sales, but payments and comps as well. More importantly, it's also a reflection of how you are being paid. Payments come in as cash, check, credit cards, and comps. The daily sales summary needs to be in balance every day, or reconciling the books and getting accurate information from QuickBooks will prove to be very difficult or even be unsuccessful. Without the proper information from QuickBooks, your company may be losing money without even knowing it.

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Topics: Small Business Management, Outsourced Bookkeeping, Restaurant Accounting

How's Business? Outsourced Bookkeeping Helps You Answer

Posted by Matt Roberge on Apr 19, 2016 8:30:00 AM

How Do You Measure Business Performance?As a small business owner, you hear this question all the time: How's business? A very typical response is: Great, but I'm just so busy. Most business owners are just busy being busy, but I wonder: How many of them know how their business is actually doing? I will explain how an outsourced bookkeeping service can actually help you understand how your business is doing.

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Topics: Financial Forecasting, Scaling A Business, Business Vision, Growth Coach

The Real Difference Between Expenses and Cost of Goods Sold

Posted by Austin Walker on Apr 14, 2016 8:30:00 AM

As one of the more common bookkeeping questions we hear, the difference between Operating Expenses (OE) and Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) is a fairly straightforward one, but it plays a significant role when it comes to allocating and analyzing the resources you spend to make your business profitable

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Topics: Bookkeeping, expenses, cost of goods sold

5 Things to Consider with Restaurant Bookkeeping

Posted by Austin Walker on Apr 13, 2016 8:30:00 AM

Every restaurant's bookkeeping is unique. The business has to bring in information from many different sources, track daily sales, complete credit card transactions, and monitor inventory. There are so many different methods for recording each that it takes a customized system to make sure the information is being recorded correctly. In order to maintain function and control within a restaurant, five components are necessary: (1) a POS system, (2) a bookkeeping team, (3) financial reporting, (4) anti-theft mechanisms, and (5) a solid method for handling accounts payable.

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Topics: Restaurant Bookkeeping, Bookkeeping System, POS System

"Jack-of-all-Trades" Redefined for the Small Business

Posted by Austin Walker on Apr 12, 2016 8:30:00 AM

Are you familiar with the old saying, “Jack-of-all-Trades, Master of None?” When it comes to running a small business, the adage might be better stated as, “Jack-of-all-Trades, Focused-on-One.”

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Topics: non-billable time, Small Business, Entrepreneurship, Outsourced Bookkeeping

End-of-Year Tax Planning Checklist

Posted by Austin Walker on Apr 6, 2016 8:30:00 AM

Failure to do your tax planning before the end of the year can cost you money. There are methods you can follow to make sure that, come the end of the year, you keep your tax liability low and you maximize your potential outcome by preparing your write-offs and charity donations in advance. We've assembled a quick checklist for this and next year's tax preparations.

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Topics: Small Business, CPA, tax strategy, tax planning, tax liability