If you have a growing restaurant business, you will at some point hit the dreaded crossroads where the accounting is taking up way too much of your time. If you find yourself spending too much time behind a computer instead of out with your customers, here are a few general tips to help you get back ahead of the game.
- Streamline accounting by developing a standardized accounting process. Ensuring that all of your locations are using the company’s standard definitions and processes can help eliminate duplicate processes and reduce the risk of error.
- Make sure you have a unified chart of accounts for all of your locations. If each location uses different GL codes, then you will have to manually map out where items belong. Start with the chart that has the most items broken out, then map the other location(s) to that chart. For example, even if only one location caters, leave a catering section on the chart and just keep it blank for your other locations.
- Reduce your number of vendors. Having less vendors not only reduces your paperwork, it also increases your buying power. Try to partner with vendors who will supply all of your locations and carry the most of your needs. Also keep in mind that many vendors can provide your invoices electronically, and may even integrate with your accounting software to eliminate the need to manually enter invoices.
- Invest in the right software. Different POS systems and accounting software’s report and process your data differently. You can save a lot of time and frustration by investing in the right systems that work for you and your restaurant. Remember to keep integrations between these systems in mind as this can greatly reduce the need for manual adjustments in the accounting process.
- Run reports weekly. Knowing how your store(s) perform on a weekly basis will a help you make informed decisions about your business. While it may feel daunting at first, you can save money in the long-term by heading off overtime, monitoring inventory, reducing spoilage, and staying on budget by curbing expenses when necessary.
- Seek help if you need it. If you want to keep your own books in order to stay connected with where your money is going, that is completely understandable, but try not to lose site of the big picture. Quality and customer service are often the first things to suffer at the hands of this sometimes daunting task. Also remember, if tax is not your thing, you can outsource just your taxes. And if you simply cannot keep up with entering invoice line items while running a shift, ask someone you trust if they could key items for a few hours each week before you get too far behind and can’t dig your way out.