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Restaurant Accounting in 5 Easy Steps

Tom Santoro, Product Owner, Restaurant365

Accurate, detailed restaurant accounting is one of the key factors for maintaining a healthy profit margin. But setting up detailed reporting about profit and loss statements, menu item sales, inventory  and labor costs can be a daunting task. 

Here are five easy restaurant accounting steps to help you take control of your financial health and add to your bottom line.

1. Integrate your POS system with your restaurant accounting platform

An accurate general ledger, with up-to-date sales journals, provides a complete picture of the cash flow and financial health of your business. But manual POS data entry, including exporting and importing information from systems that don’t speak to one other, is time-intensive and error- prone.

A restaurant accounting system that’s integrated with your POS system allows you to automate data entry. Financial transactions are automatically posted in the sales journal, and labor data is aggregated in the system, facilitating data-driven scheduling. Labor information collected by your POS can be pushed directly to your payroll processor. 

POS and restaurant accounting system integration saves you time and helps you make informed decisions.

2. Automate invoice processing

Accounts payable automation starts with capturing invoice data in a digital format. Ideally, your vendor sends invoices directly to your accounting system, or your store-level managers upload the invoice into the system.  Through a combination of technology and human validation, the system captures all the invoice information directly into the AP automation process, thus eliminating manual data entry.

3. Create an automated Accounts Payable workflow

By automating the correct routing of invoices through workflows, you can reduce missed payments or errors. Create customized workflow automations for approvals of transaction types and adjust by location or category by setting up approval level thresholds. 

4. Organize payables management with Accounts Payable automation

With integrated, end-to-end AP automation, you can streamline accounts payable without using costly third-party bill paying services. After approvals, assign payment through automated ACH, ACH+, or single-use virtual card processing. Some partial AP automation solutions only provide check or ACH, while others offer only digital or card methods of payments. When selecting a solution, look for a variety of payment options. Additionally, those payments should be automatically recorded in the system. 

5. Integrate bank information to streamline the reconciliation process

Monthly manual bank reconciliation used to take days. But an integrated, direct bank connection, brings in data daily and uses rules to match bank activities − effectively, reconciling your bank data every day.

If you have external accounting users, like a part-time bookkeeper, you can integrate bank information while still maintaining security. A restaurant accounting platform that allows you to grant users access to only what information they need (by specific location or level) ensures your data is kept secure.

A fully integrated restaurant accounting solution brings together your general ledger, accounts payable/receivable, bank reconciliations, budgets, forecasts, and financial reports, all in one central database – ultimately, helping you make informed decisions that add to your bottom line.

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