chart of accounts for a restaurant

Here’s where you’ll put all credit cards, credit lines, sales tax, payroll clearing, outstanding gift cards, and more. The power of a restaurant chart of accounts is its ability to quickly convey all of your critical performance information. It’s a detailed overview enabling you to spot any potential challenges or opportunities.

So you’ll need to assign account numbers with a designated digit to represent each of your major account classifications. Many restaurants prepare them quarterly, semi-annually, or annually. Payroll in the restaurant industry can be challenging as the process of tracking employee hours is complex. Multiple wages and staff positions are the norms in the restaurant industry and the ability to accommodate different rates is key. Another key takeaway is to understand that the above can be manipulated to serve your particular business. The Chart of Accounts is fluid and should help you better manage your business, rather than your business running you.

Prepare your restaurant chart of accounts

Using that information, you can make the financial decisions for your restaurant that will minimize your expenses, maximize your profit, and keep your customers happy. Without a restaurant accounting system, this would all be a jumble and you would not have the information at your disposal to help you make the best decisions. Developing a restaurant accounting system is similar to setting up an accounting system for any small business, but there are important differences to consider. Restaurants have slim profit margins, so keeping on top of their key performance indicators is essential. When someone decides to open a restaurant, particularly for the first time, they’re usually driven by a passion for food coupled with a dedication to hospitality. However, while being a good chef and having a winning personality are two key ingredients, those are not the only ones.

chart of accounts for a restaurant

Whether you are a new restaurant or have recently made changes to your business structure, we can help. 19) Now select the file you downloaded in the first step of this process. You’ll understand exactly where your money is going so you can make changes right away to save more of it. You’ll be able tobetter communicate with your accountantand get practical ways to run your restaurant bookkeeping restaurant more efficiently. Food cost management enables you to see where you’re doing well… and what areas need improvement. Calculating Cost-to-Sales Ratio allows you to compare your business to other businesses without sacrificing accuracy. Well,the restaurant industry average is between 26% and 36%… so anywhere in between those numbers is where you want to be.

Additional menu

Most accounting packages come with a chart of accounts loaded into the software, but it’s important to make sure you are using one designed for restaurants. Henry+Horne has a great template that we use as a starting point for all restaurants; however, you should always expect to customize it to your unique business. Once you have a handle on your costs, it’s time to dive deep into your sales data . A thorough review of your sales by subcategory is a good jumping-off point. You can then take it a step further and examine your POS data to see how your menu is performing, dish by dish.

Paying your restaurant staff, including front-of-office staff and kitchen crew, is part of your labor costs. Most accounting software comes preloaded with a few different chart of account templates. You will be asked what industry you operate within, and then you will be given a preset chart of accounts.


Other important features are invoicing, accounts receivable and accounts payable management, employee scheduling, and menu planning to name a few. Bookkeeping is the process of recording financial transactions and organizing receipts and other documentation. Accounting, meanwhile, is the practice of analyzing the information supplied by the bookkeeper and developing reports to make the numbers understandable to a non-business-oriented person. Another option is to do the bookkeeping yourself and only retain an accountant. It is a plus if you can hire a bookkeeper and accountant familiar with the hospitality industry. New accounts are typically numbered 10 digits apart, so your first two bank accounts may use 1010 and 1020 as account numbers in the chart of accounts.

An organized restaurant environment starts with restaurant and bar inventory software like BinWise Pro. But it’s ultimately reflected in a restaurant’s chart of accounts, which is a manager’s mise en place, immaculate refrigerator, and financial oracle. A restaurant balance sheet shows assets, liabilities, and equity to reveal a restaurant’s financial position on a given date. A profit and loss statement (P&L) is often referred to as an “income statement.” Both statements include the same financial data.

The selection of sales and cost of goods accounts on most systems does not provide for the separation of food and beverage categories that are needed. With it, you can accurately track incoming money and determine which channels yield the most significant results. You can also easily track spending to identify whether problems like theft or waste impact the overall business or if rising prices threaten margins. Finally, it takes a dramatic load off your accounting team around tax time, enabling them to act as advisers to the business rather than strict number crunchers. This is the first step to being on your way to running a restaurant that gives you the personal and financial freedom you deserve. A chart of accounts sets your financial plan into motion because that which we measure improves.

This ratio ensures that you’re making a profit from each menu item. Monitor your cash flow, which refers to the amount of cash coming in versus the amount of cash going out of your business on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Track your consumables and supplies to calculate the value of the food you have in stock and determine the average daily inventory costs. Choose a system that is easy to use for employees and customers that can seamlessly tie in with your accounting software. As a restaurateur, you have enough on your plate, which is why so many seek the assistance of professional accounting services.

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