Restaurant accounting is a unique beast. You can be a huge success in the restaurant business with decades of experience in all the positions from head chef to general manager, however, you still may not be an expert when it comes to restaurant accounting processes. Where do you start? Do you know what a profit and loss statement looks?
Choose an Option for Keeping Your Records
You have to first figure out how you are going to keep your records. In most cases, this is based on your personal preferences and budget. There are several options to consider, including the following:
- Paper ledger: If you have a lower volume of business, and you aren’t exactly comfortable with technology, working on paper is a straightforward option. You can utilize a basic ledger book; just make sure to carbon paper everything you do. The downside is that this method is extremely at risk of human error. This is one of the lowest cost options, however, when you provide these records to your accountant for taxes, they will likely charge more than if you used a restaurant-specific software.
- Spreadsheet: Another fairly simple option is a spreadsheet. Once created, you can use this to export your information to your accountant.
- Small-business accounting software: You can find many software options (discussed below) to help you keep your records.
- Restaurant-specific programs: There are software programs specifically for restaurants that offer features such as point of sale and ordering and inventory management. This option is more expensive initially but makes your record keeping easier and less time-consuming.