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Understanding the basics of Restaurant Accounting

two chefs cooking for a restaurant

Many restaurant owners join the industry because of their love of food and people. However, one daunting yet necessary task of running a restaurant is accounting. On top of that, it is one of the most important aspects of running a successful business! Many restaurant owners may not be trained accountants themselves. When that is the case, you will want to use specialized accounting software for restaurants such as QuickBooks. It can simplify the accounting process without compromising on efficiency and productivity. Read on to find out more about the basics of restaurant accounting.

Speak the language

Accounting can sometimes seem like a different language altogether. The first and most important tip for embarking on restaurant accounting is to speak the language. Below are some essential terms you will need to know, some of which are more straightforward than others:

  • Food sales
  • Beverage sales
  • Food inventory cost
  • Operating expenses
  • Cashier’s summary for each cash register you have
  • Break-even analysis
  • Sales and cash receipts
  • … and many more!

Even if you decide to hire an accountant or outsource your efforts, you will need to understand these basic terms to know how your restaurant is doing at any given time.

Choose a good POS system

Not many restaurant owners realize this, but your POS and accounting systems are intertwined. While accounting works “behind the scenes,” your POS system can be said to be the “front of the house.” Today, an increasing number of customers opt for cashless payment methods, and in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, contactless payment.

When your POS system works seamlessly with your accounting system to keep track of inventory, labor costs, payment methods, and more, your life will be much easier. QuickBooks POS (although not generally used in the restaurant space) can connect the two aspects of your business for a smoother accounting experience.  Most restaurants use Aloha, Micros or Revel as their POS system and connect back to QuickBooks for financial reporting.

Go for a specialized accounting software

Whether you handle your accounting yourself, hire an employee to do so, or outsource your efforts, your choice of software is essential. Using the right tools can go a long way in making your job easier, and thankfully, we no longer have to rely on rows of ledgers and numbers today. With specialized accounting software that comes with tools designed specifically for restaurant accounting, you can easily track numbers and derive actionable insights, such as when inventory is running low for a particular product.

Why restaurants should work with Fourlane for QuickBooks

If your restaurant is looking for a software solution to keep on top of your accounting needs, look no further than Fourlane. We always take the time to understand your unique needs and requirements when you engage our services to recommend the most suitable solution for your business. To this end, we have been named Elite QuickBooks Solution Provider by Intuit every year since 2010.

If you need further information about QuickBooks solutions for restaurants, please contact us today. Our hotline is 1 (800) 931-2120.

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About Chelsy Logan

Chelsy Logan is a long-time employee at Fourlane with a matchless viewpoint as she has been involved in multiple departments. As Marketing Coordinator, she immerses herself in content and processes to share Fourlane’s knowledge of QuickBooks and ERP solutions. Chelsy is QuickBooks certified with 10 years experience and a graduate of Southern New Hampshire University with a degree in Business Administration and Marketing. She brings a well-rounded perspective to her articles that attract businesses of all levels.

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