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The restaurant business is one with limited profit margins; in the tough financial scenario today, it has become imperative to manage the accounting and bookkeeping of a restaurant business efficiently. The smallest mistake in the financials of a restaurant can force even an expert restaurateur to quit the business. If you check out business brokers in your area, you will come to know that the highest businesses for sale are in the restaurant industry. In such a situation, experts in the field suggest in-house cost-cutting measures like hiring an accounting and bookkeeping service provider for taking care of the books of your restaurant business.
A majority of restaurants fail due to the inadequate financial knowledge of the restaurateurs and due to the fact that many of them deal in cash and in the end lose out on the record keeping for their business. If you do not want your restaurant business to fail, it is of utmost importance that your books of accounts be healthy. While it is true that restaurateurs have very little resources to hire a professional accounting and bookkeeping service provider for their business, the ‘I will manage it myself’ approach can be fatal for the business.
As a restaurant business owner, the following are some points you need to keep in mind when it comes to accounting and bookkeeping for your business:
• Attain basic knowledge
The most visible mistake of the restaurant industry is that the owners have very little knowledge about accounting and bookkeeping. While it is not necessary to know the whole process in depth, restaurateurs should at least be aware of some basics like Profit and Loss Statements, Balance Sheet, Statement of Cash Flows etc. You can leave the rest of the financial details to your accounting and bookkeeping service provider, but these basic statements are a must-know for you as an owner.
• Have a proper accounting system in place
As an owner, you will be unaware of the financials of your restaurant business if you don’t have a well-organized accounting system in place. Softwares like QuickBooks, Great Plains, Peach Tree, MYOB etc. are a great tool for your day to day accounting and bookkeeping. If you can’t find a software that is suitable for your business, you can even get a custom-made one developed for you through an accounting and bookkeeping service provider.
• Have a 4-week accounting period
A 4-week accounting period is recommended for restaurants by accounting and bookkeeping firms, due to the fact that it has many advantages for the business. The numbers compiled for 4 weeks are then comparable for performance and earnings to ,say, the last month or the same week last year. Also, in a system when you pay staff bi-weekly, it may eliminate the need for payroll accrual.
• Record all your business transactions
If you can’t do this yourself, hire an accounting and bookkeeping service provider specializing in restaurants. But recording ALL transactions of your restaurant is a must-do for a successful restaurant. (It is the secret to the success of many restaurant franchises today.) Don’t depend on your bank statement or credit card bills for a list of income and expenses. All transactions must be kept in a record which will be useful at the end of the year.
• Hire a professional accounting and bookkeeping service provider
There are many professional accounting firms which can work as back-office service providers. Many of them even specialize in accounting for the restaurant industry. They charge anywhere between $15-40 an hour and can be an easy alternative to hiring someone in house.
As a restaurant owner, you should take the above-mentioned points into consideration for a healthy business in this time of financial crisis. A professional accounting and bookkeeping service provider will help you to not only ride through the recession, but also ensure the sustenance of your business in the longer run.
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