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 in control of your accounting processes.
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. Using generic accounting software, processes, and terms require employees to create custom processes and “work arounds” that end up creating more work and unnecessary confusion. Restaurant-specific software is tailored to our industry’s unique requirements.
Automate your invoice processing. Manually rekeying invoices takes a lot of time and is subject to human error. Most major restaurant vendors have the ability to digitally send invoice data directly to your accounting system which then can be manually checked or have automatic alerts set should an unexpected entry be present, freeing up hours of your manager’s and accountant’s time while ensuring that nothing falls through the cracks.
Automate your payments. Managing a restaurant is hard enough without adding on repetitive activities like printing checks, stuffing envelopes, and following up with all your vendors. An automated payment process, like Compeat Pay, removes the burden of manually paying bills for restaurant operators through automated options including check, automated clearing house (ACH), and includes a built-in virtual credit card option that can earn cash back.
Have a direct bank reconciliation process. Integrated solutions feed your G/L, A/P, P&L, Daily Sales Reporting, Inventory, Labor and Scheduling, and more into one centralized database that reconciles with your bank, giving you control of your bottom line like never before.
Run reports daily. Knowing how your store(s) perform on a daily 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. Better yet, instead of correcting issues after the fact, you can prevent costly mistakes before they even happen.
Restaurant operators have a million things to do, but none of them should take you away from serving your customers. If you are spending too much time in the back office trying to manage your financials, it may be time to consider implement a consolidated, restaurant specific solution like Compeat to manage your prime costs and maximize your profitability. We help restaurants win.