Restaurant Accounting

10-15 Ways to Improve Your Accounts Payable Process

If you are a restaurant manager or owner, you may find yourself playing an almost never-ending game of catch-up. While attending to the stress related to ensuring your guests have a positive experience and generating superior satisfaction, you also have to handle accounts payable issues. This includes all the problems that can occur at the backend of your restaurant, such as inventory issues, missing payments from your vendors, duplicate invoices and more.

The good news is, there are some ways you can improve your restaurant accounting processes. Use the tips here to make sure your accounts payable are handled and that they run on auto-pilot.

1. Simplify Your Process

Did you know that you may be doing things right now that further complicate your accounts payable? For example, if you pay with a paper check and forget to record it right away, your books may become mismanaged and result in issues down the road.

If you want to simplify your accounts payable, there are a few things you can do:

  • Record payments as they come in
  • Keep a digital record of what is owed, when bills are due, etc. that key employees have access to
  • Reconcile your accounts payable every day (or designate someone to do this)

One of the worst things you can do is get behind. By handling accounts payable transactions as they occur, you can ensure you don’t get behind and that your process is easier to handle.

2. Embrace Technology

When it comes to invoice processing improvements, there have been more than a few upgrades in the past few years. You can now use software that allows you to automate your entire accounts payable process, keep up with due dates and ensure payments are never missed.

Keep in mind, there are several software programs available, so be sure to do plenty of research to find the one that suits your needs.

3. Build a Great Relationship with Your Vendors

In some situations, you may not be able to make your payments to a vendor or other supplier by the due date. By having a quality relationship with your vendors, if you encounter this situation, it won’t be a serious issue.

After all, you need to make sure you are still getting the food and supplies you need. The best way to reduce inventory issues is by clearly explaining the situation to the vendor – before the issue escalates to a non-payment or late payment issue.

4. Understand the Importance of Your Accounts Payable

Unfortunately, some restaurant owners and managers downplay the importance of their accounts payable. However, if you fail to pay your suppliers and vendors, you won’t have the items that you need or be able to adequately take care of your customers. With the proper AP management system in place, you can easily improve the overall efficiency of your restaurant and save money. This leads to a much higher chance of success.

5. Always Monitor Important Metrics

When you have an effective accounts payable process in place, you can trace everything. This includes agreements with vendors, terms of contracts and even clauses. This ensures that everyone is living up to their duties and promises. As mentioned before, technology has come a long way in recent years when it comes to restaurants. With some options you can create virtual scorecards, so you know what vendors always perform well, and which ones don’t. By keeping track of this important information about your restaurant, you will have the ability to better manage your cash flow while addressing issues with vendors or your accounts payable processes.

6. Ensure the Process is Completely Transparent

With a quality accounts payable system in use, you will make it easy for everyone in your restaurant – both the front and back end workers – to gather information about payments, vendors, the payment terms with vendors and more information from any device. With an automated system in place, you can also reduce issues related to redundant invoices, and other problems.

7. Handle Issues as They Arise

A huge issue that many restaurant managers and owners have is putting off vendor issues or payment problems. In the long run, this is only going to create more of a headache down the road. If an issue is noticed with an invoice, the person in charge should take care of it right away. This will help ensure the restaurant continues operating smoothly.

8. Go Paperless

With AP automation services, you can enjoy a paper-free back end. Everything can be done automatically to ensure that you always have the information you need. In the long run this will help you save time and reduce issues.

9. Create Reminders

When it comes to getting organized at the back end of your restaurant, you need to make sure you know when things are due. Allowing payments and invoices to “slip through the cracks,” is one of the worst things you could do. With the right automation software, you can set up reminder and easily take care of vendor payments and other bills before they are due. You will also be able to anticipate payments coming up.

10. Create a Cash Reserve

This is especially important for smaller restaurants. There are sometimes that paying your bills when they are due is a real issue. If you have a cash reserve in place, you won’t have to worry about this. You will still be able to meet your obligations and ensure your patrons receive the quality level of service they are used to and expect.

If you want to ensure your accounts payable process runs smoothly and issues don’t occur in your restaurant, then use the tips here. You should also consider investing in Get Sourcery. This software provides searchable digital invoicing and can help you save time while increasing the accuracy of your process.