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.
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.
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.
Payroll & Accounts Payable
Typically, managers focused their time around helping the business. They don't necessarily make time to enter bills into the accounting system.
This results in late payments, inaccuracies, late penalties, and fees. It can also create a poor relationship with vendors, which results in increased rates and lower priority in their deliveries.
In order to avoid this issue, appoint either a bookkeeper or an administrative assistant to enter these bills in a centralized location.
Have a box for "to be entered" bills and either a shredder (for bills being scanned and put into Hubdoc) or another file for "entered" bills. When it comes to paying the bills, however, the owners should still be the only ones signing the checks.
ADP, Infinisource, and Paychex all do pretty well processing payroll for companies. They stay up on changing tax laws pertaining to your employees where non-compliance can get you into a lot of trouble and fined.
This is one reason why every business should outsource their payroll.
There are really two basic things that you need in your outsourced option: (1) Does it integrate with QuickBooks? and (2) How well do they stack up against competitors?
The industry is very competitive, so you can assume that most everyone is going to cost the same when it comes to pricing.
Finding a low-priced competitor may even be a red flag indicating that you should question their credibility and the work they do.
Restaurant Inventory Management
QuickBooks does not really have a good system for keeping inventory. In the restaurant business, inventory has to be adjusted often and it would take a brillant bookkeeper just to do a good job.
Instead, inventory software from another source or even making an inventory system of your own may be better, then go into QuickBooks and adjust the values manually once a month.
With multiple locations, you need to use QuickBooks' class tracking to differentiate between the income expenses for the various locations.
A bookkeeper who understands class tracking as well as finnacial reporting is also important. Having a payroll provider that supports multiple locations is important for reporting, so that you can see what payroll expenses are coming from which locations.
Restaurants are one of the more difficult types of books to keep. Making sure that QuickBooks is set up properly from the beginning helps to save time, money, and headaches.
The proper procedures will have an impact on proper reporting for both management and your CPA. If nothing else, at least consult a bookkeeper on how to properly set up a bookkeeping system and what tools will work best for you and your business.