Restaurant accounting brings some challenges often not found in other industries. To get started properly, whether you use a POS system or not, there are several items that must be properly setup and monitored to ensure restaurant profitability.
- Setting up a chart of accounts for a restaurant allows you to track your highest costs, food and beverage costs and labor, separately from your other expenses.
- Sales items and sales tax should be tracked.
a. You will want to track best and worst selling items so your menu can be modified as needed. Additionally, your staff can be trained to promote products that generate high profit margins.
b. Each month, you will need to file a sales tax return with the Department of Revenue and you will need to be able to substantiate your sales.
- Setting up employees, payroll items and time tracking can be cumbersome. However, each of these is necessary to ensure that employees are properly paid. Moreover, you can monitor (and stop) early clock-ins or employees clocking each other in by putting proper controls in place. A good POS system can help you with this.
- Handling cash over/short tracking is a must. Good cash policies will help to prevent theft.
- Recording daily sales (or Z-reports) from your POS system allows you to monitor profitability by product, item or employee (depending on how much you want to track). Templates can be established in your accounting system or an interface between your POS system and your accounting system can help to minimize the amount of time required for data entry.
- Recording bank deposits and credit card deposits and reconciling them against bank and credit card statements helps to improve cash flows and prevent theft.
- Maintaining a day sheet so managers can compare POS system daily cash against cash in the registers and safe each night before they leave reduces the loss.
Being a restaurateur is a challenging task. You must be chief cook and bottle washer as well as chief of hospitality, management, quality and controls. You can make the task much less daunting by establishing policies, procedures and systems that simplify matters.