Restaurant Accounting

5 Easy Invoice Processing Steps with AP Automation

Your accounts payable process is fundamental to the smooth functioning of your restaurant. After all, without it you can’t pay the bills or keep the supplies coming in. If your eatery is like most, you have regular food orders and must maintain positive relationships with your vendors. That isn’t always easy when your already-busy location has to ruffle through piles of paperwork to get the bills processed in a timely and accurate manner.

There’s a way to solve this issue: automation. With the right system in place, you can focus on what’s really important in your business while satisfying your accounting needs. Often, all it takes is a few tweaks to your existing procedures as well as the implementation of new software that will make things easier and give you more control over the financial health of your eatery. Here are the 5 easy invoice processing steps:

1. Embrace Virtual Invoices

“Virtual” may be a misnomer, but the point here is to accept electronic invoices so you’re not overloaded with paper. If your dry goods supplier is sending orders weekly, and you are not paying them right away, you’ll have a nice stack of invoices piling up on your desk. It’s easy to lose one. You can also miss out on the opportunity to know exactly how much your inventory costs, which is key to cutting expenses.

2. Ditch the Data Entry

Even if you do have some kind of digital back office, you probably have to enter a lot of information by hand. This works, but it’s inefficient, using up time and probably introducing errors into your accounting system. By using a scanner that translates your paperwork into digital text, you have to do far less typing, which means updating your records won’t get delayed to another day.

3. Automate the Payment Process

Since margins are so thin in the food industry, you have to closely monitor your cash flow. That means paying suppliers on time but not necessarily early. If you’re in the habit of paying invoices right away just so you don’t lose that piece of paper, you might want to consider a fully automated payment process. Accept an electronic invoice, approve payment in the system and time it for the due date. Technology takes care of the rest.

Pro Tip: Sourcery has a fully searchable “one-click” vendor pay option, keeping your vendors happy and preserving your time for other aspects of your business.

4. Make It Standard Procedure

You might have several people buying stuff for your restaurant. The sommelier may buy the wines, the chef may buy the vegetables and poultry, while the general manager may handle repairs, maintenance, and office supplies. By standardizing your accounting, for example, and having all suppliers send bills to the same place, you can make your procedures more accurate, timely and efficient.

5. Schedule an Immediate Archive

You know that overwhelming feeling you get when you open your email and there are hundreds or thousands of messages? With automation, you can process your invoices more quickly and immediately archive them. That means your digital life is more organized and you won’t have to take a second look at a stray invoice to make sure you remembered to pay it.

Sound complicated? It shouldn’t. With an automated solution like Sourcery, you’ll have the ease and functionality you desire with your accounts payable system. Learn more at