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Salt Lake City Bookkeeping Blog

How to Streamline Your Restaurant Accounting for Business Growth

Posted by Matt Roberge on Oct 2, 2019 10:00:00 AM

Let's face it, owning a restaurant can be tough... 

As you're likely aware, the restaurant industry has very tight profit margins. And that's precisely why developing an efficient and accurate restaurant accounting system is of utmost importance if you want to continue to grow your business.

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Topics: Restaurant Bookkeeping, Restaurant P.O.S, Bookkeeping Salt Lake City, QuickBooks For Restaurants, Restaurant Accounting, Restaurant Industry

Restaurant Bookkeeping 101 - 5 Step Simple Guide

Posted by Matt Roberge on Sep 19, 2019 11:52:00 AM

Long hours, high overhead, wasted ingredients, and difficulty making profits are some of the barriers to success for restaurant owners.

Yet, for those who love the business or who dream of having a place where everyone knows your name, there’s no other opportunity that comes close.

An often neglected aspect of restaurant management is bookkeeping. Unfortunately, once you are behind on your restaurant accounting, it is difficult to get caught up.

The profit margins in the restaurant industry are too tight to let your bookkeeping slip. If you aren't watching your financials closely it may be too late to fix problems by the time you catch them.

This guide will help you understand the basics of what a trained accountant will help with as you develop a reporting and growth plan.

Effective restaurant bookkeeping starts with you. Whether you’re running the accounting services yourself or outsourcing your restaurant accounting, staying on top of the day-to-day bookkeeping is essential to stay ahead of your competition and turn a profit.

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Topics: Restaurant Bookkeeping, Restaurant P.O.S, Bookkeeping Procedures, Bookkeeping Processes, Simple Bookkeeping, Restaurant Bookkeeper, Restaurant Accounting

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

6 Qualities Of Restaurant Bookkeeping Experts

Posted by Matt Roberge on Dec 10, 2015 7:00:00 AM

The restaurant industry is a brutally competitive space with very tight margins. If you are going to run a successful business in this industry, you will need a restaurant bookkeeping expert. Below are the qualities that I would expect from restaurant bookkeeping experts. 

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Topics: Restaurant Bookkeeping, QuickBooks For Restaurants, Restaurant Bookkeeper, Restaurant Accounting, Restaurant Industry

Restaurant Bookkeeping - 5 Things To Ask Your Restaurant Bookkeeper

Posted by Matt Roberge on Nov 23, 2015 2:39:04 AM

We have a lot of experience with restaurant bookkeeping in Salt Lake City.  I never had a ton of restaurant experience outside of the dishwashing position until I started doing bookkeeping for other small businesses.  When I started doing bookkeeping for restaurants I immediately understood that they were very unique from a bookkeeping perspective.  I ended up managing the front of house of a restaurant for five years in addition to handling the back office tasks.  Through my experience I learned that the front of the house operations has an effect on the bookkeeping and understanding the ins and outs is extremely important.  If you own a restaurant and don't have your bookkeeping dialed in here are 5 questions I would ask your bookkeeper.  

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Topics: Restaurant Bookkeeping, Restaurant P.O.S, QuickBooks For Restaurants, Point Of Sale, Restaurant Bookkeeper, Restaurant Accounting, Restaurant Industry

Utah Financial Reporting And Outsourced Bookkeeping Service

Posted by Joe Mazur on Jun 26, 2013 6:33:00 AM

Outsourcing your bookkeeping has plenty of benefits such as offering financial checks and balances, freeing up valuable time for owners and managers, and keeping the business out of harm's way with the IRS.  But what about the other
important end results of bookkeeping that often get overlooked such as financial reporting management?  There are a decent amount of start-ups in Utah and financial reporting should be a key component to making sure goals are met on a regular basis.   It's always great when both the owner and bookkeeper are keeping a close eye on all margins.  Having an accurate Accounts Receivable and Balance Sheet is a great way to make sure Cash Flow is always accurate and easy to produce.  Getting your bookkeeping system set up is half the battle, making sure to maintain and utilize the system is the other.  

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Topics: QuickBooks Advisor, Outsource Bookkeeping, Bookkeeping Help, Restaurant Accounting

Aloha POS Bookkeeper For Restaurant Bookkeeping

Posted by Matt Roberge on Jun 19, 2013 7:00:00 AM

One of the major restaurant point of sale systems is NCR Aloha Restaurant POS Software.  We are very familiar with Aloha as we have been using it for our restaurant bookkeeping clients for over a decade.  Aloha has always offered a very user friendly software that also works well from a bookkeeping perspective.  Here is a guide on how to use Aloha for your restaurant bookkeeping.

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Topics: Restaurant Bookkeeping, Restaurant P.O.S, Point Of Sale, Restaurant Bookkeeper, Restaurant Accounting, Restaurant Industry

Restaurant Bookkeeping For A Multi-Location Restaurant Group

Posted by Matt Roberge on Jun 14, 2013 7:00:00 AM

Restaurant bookkeeping for a restaurant group that has multiple locations can be tricky.  With several restaurant locations you have quite a bit going on.  You have invoices and bills to deal with as well as credit card and cash deposits for each location.  You must be an experienced restaurant bookkeeper to implement a restaurant specific bookkeeping system that will work.  With over a decade of restaurant bookkeeping and management experience we have developed a pretty solid bookkeeping system for multi-location restaurants.  

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Topics: Restaurant Bookkeeping, Restaurant P.O.S, QuickBooks Restaurant, Restaurant Bookkeeper, Restaurant Accounting, Restaurant Industry

Restaurant Bookkeeping - 5 Things To Consider

Posted by Matt Roberge on Jun 5, 2013 7:00:00 AM

We have developed many restaurant bookkeeping systems over the years.  We have extensive restaurant experience; both front of the house management and back of house accounting.  Restaurants are a tough business, which makes the accounting aspect that much more important.  We have helped several restaurants dial in a tight bookkeeping system and grow.  We have helped owners set up their restaurant concept to scale.  Helping a restaurant owner grow from a few locations to many is exciting, but it takes a tight financial approach.  Having the proper bookkeeping system in place from day one will promote scalability and set you up for growth.  Here are five things to consider when setting up your restaurant bookkeeping.  

POS System

The restaurant POS system that you choose is a very important decision that you should not take lightly.  I have seen clients go through up to three different POS systems by the time they finally have a conversation with us and we point them in the right direction.  We have seen various new POS systems come and go because they can't make it in the competitive market for one reason or another.  Typically they come out with some new hot technology that looks great (example Ipad), but the functionality and basic reporting is garbage.  While I'm not a big business guy I typically recommend going with one of the bigger players when it comes to your restaurant POS system.

The POS system that I most often recommend is Aloha by NCR.  From a front of house perspective Aloha is easy to program and train your staff on using.  It also has great controls which allow you to control theft.  Lastly, Aloha has always offered excellent customer service.  Our local Utah Aloha dealer POS Technologies has never disappointed.  I know the general manager Devin Wright extremely well and am confident he will over deliver his product and services to you.  From a back of house/bookkeeping perspective Aloha also delivers.  Obviously you want good reporting and Aloha has a series of standard reports that you will need.  In addition Aloha makes it easy to build custom reports if you find you need more details.  Your daily sales summary will be an important piece of your restaurant accounting.  You can manually enter the daily sales summary or import you sales data into QuickBooks or another accounting system.  You would want to check with the external software developer for importing options and compatibility.   

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Topics: Restaurant Bookkeeping, Restaurant P.O.S, Outsourced CFO Services, Part Time Bookkeeper, Outsourced Bookkeeping, Restaurant Bookkeeper, Restaurant Accounting, Restaurant Industry

The Best Restaurant POS System For Bookkeeping And Business

Posted by Matt Roberge on May 15, 2013 7:00:00 AM

For a restaurant one of the most important aspects of the business is the restaurant point of sale system they choose to use.   I have had a pretty unique experience in the hospitality industry over the past 10+ years.  I have worked in both the front of the house management role as well as the back end financial reporting and bookkeeping role.  I understand how they are related and how they need to work together in order for the restaurant to succeed.  The restaurant POS system is a very crucial piece of the puzzle for the restaurant to succeed.  As a restaurant bookkeeping specialist I consider the POS system for a restaurant to be a critical aspect of a setting up a tight bookkeeping system.  

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Topics: Restaurant Bookkeeping, Restaurant P.O.S, QuickBooks For Restaurants, Point Of Sale, Restaurant Bookkeeper, Restaurant Accounting, Restaurant Industry