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Like a chef, a restaurant operator or manager needs to operate in an organized environment. With so many moving parts to running a successful bar, it’s a recipe for disaster if you’re not. There are several types of costs that you should consider before investing in a POS system. The Inventory Loss / Waste account has been slid in under the 6000 marker, as some may consider it to belong with the Cost of Goods categories. Assets that have a lifespan of several years or more are referred to as Long Term Assets. 9) Select the location on your hard drive where the new company file will live (e.g. Documents).

A restaurant chart of accounts in either Excel or Google Sheets will provide you a good snapshot of the health of your business. This is something you may be already aware of, and if not, the term itself explains it all. Ranging from accounts payable to credit card outstanding, active loans, to taxes owed, whatever you are yet to pay comes under liabilities. 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.


It helps to ensure that all financial transactions are properly tracked and reported. It also helps to provide a clear picture of the financial health of the business. They include sections related to assets, liabilities, equity, income and expenses. A cash flow report enables you to track the cash coming in and going out of your checking accounts. This document helps you identify how much you are earning from operations and how much from external funding, calculate the amount of money available with your restaurant, etc. It also helps you read between the lines by understanding patterns of financial transactions, based on which you can prepare budgets for the future.

A Restaurant Chart of Accounts for Any Bookkeeper or Accountant can utilize

Learn more about Lavu’s restaurant POS system, which can integrate with accounting software, as well as a variety of other software types. Ensure that your accountant’s software integrates with yourPOS system. This integration will automate reconciliation of your sales records and bank deposits. While accounts must be broken down at least far enough to separate tax lines, combining rarely used accounts will make the overview much easier to understand.

Written exclusively for restaurant operators, in a jargon free and easy to understand style. The author, John Nessel, a forty year veteran of the restaurant business and currently a restaurant consultant, is a Certified QuickBooks Advisor and has been using QuickBooks since 1994. A 298 page step-by-step guide to the most popular small business accounting software program.

We’ve saved our restaurant clients tens of thousands of dollars in taxes thanks to the R&D Tax Credit & FICA Tip Credit, that many traditional accountants don’t bother with. Listen in to hear me break down what the most successful restaurant owners do to run restaurants that make money and give them personal freedom. KPI and reporting features to make a one-stop shop for restaurant financial management. Usually, asset accounts are coded so that 1000 is cash, and then asset subtypes follow by order of liquidity.

Example of Restaurant Chart of Accounts

It helps you have a deeper look into your restaurant’s current financial position and provides sufficient helpful insights to project future trends of its financial performance. These projections can help you plan and take required actions well on time. Moreover, you will have a clearly-maintained record of transactions which you can use during tax season, saving your time and effort. Armed with this information, you’ll be empowered to make more informed decisions about your restaurant, such as adjusting menu prices, reducing waste, or improving marketing efforts. Having a well-organized chart of accounts is essential for any restaurant business.

income and expenses

It also provides a solid framework for organising and categorizing all of the different financial transactions that flow through your restaurant. Keep each individual’s role in mind and come up with ways of holding them accountable. For instance, your accountant should monitor the percentage of cash tips versus cash sales.


By analyzing your accounting reports, this is likely to be easier, enabling you to reach your financial goals. Although there are lots of best practices to consider in accounting, it is more helpful to start with the fundamental. By building on these fundamentals, you’ll gain a better understanding of your restaurant’s financials. This is just the first step to achieving your restaurant’s financial success.

  • As mentioned earlier, your POS systemshould offer featuresthat allow you to integrate with your restaurant accounting software.
  • Liquid assets are the same as current assets – these are mostly cash and can be converted into cash over a period of time.
  • While it is very important to carefully organize your chart of accounts, be careful not to create too many specific accounts.
  • Is your profit and loss statement something you use to pay your taxes instead of as a critical tool for measuring your restaurant success?

A good accountant will guide you through the process while interpreting the data. Be sure to hire an accountant who has worked in the restaurant industry. One way of doing this is asking for referrals from other local managers or owners. Setting up a chart of accounts to fit the restaurant needs generally requires customizing the default choices of any accounting program. 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.

Bars and restaurants can see the short-, medium-, and long-term loans and debts they have. Having a bird’s-eye-view of debt structure can help with strategic payment schedules that maximize cash flow and adhere to budgets. A good chart of accounts lets you see where your business’s money is coming from and going to. It also gives you a good idea of what you can liquidate if the going gets rough.

How to Prepare a Chart of Accounts for Your Restaurant?

Well, accounting brings deep insights into the financial status of your business and its performance in the market. For you to successfully manage accounting in your restaurant, you may consider hiring a restaurant accountant or investing in restaurant accounting software. The owners’ investment in the company is represented in the equity accounts. It is effectively the money that the business owes back to the owners. When an accounting period is closed, the balance of the income and expense categories is transferred to Retained Earnings, which is also an equity account.

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This includes recording each transaction (e.g., a meal purchased) in an accounting journal. Then the payments are recorded in a way a way that allows analysis for accounting purposes. Restaurant accounting is the process of interpreting and analyzing the revenue, cash flow, inventory, and income statements of a restaurant. It allows you to document all financial transactions of your business and determine its performance. That book includes a sample chart of accounts, but notes that “the codes used here are not the only method for classifying the accounts”.

The following investing activities include combines several categories that are often separated on other charts. Putting the discounts into the revenue category implies that this will be a “contra” account. Where most of the sales categories will have a credit balance, discounts will normally have a debit balance. To download a file that will create a fully configured Chart of Accounts in your new QuickBooks Company file.

How do you manage a restaurant chart of accounts?

It is the best document to look for red flags that can literally help you protect from potential financial challenges that may arise in the near future. The profit & loss statement, also known as the income statement typically shows costs and sales. This document can be utilized to determine the revenue earned and costs paid by your restaurant over a period of time . The end goal is to help you identify the need for reducing costs or boosting sales. Particular attention should be paid to your COGS and Labor Expenses, i.e. your Prime Costs. A restaurant’s profitability is often made or lost based on the management of these accounts.

It can also serve as an alert to problems like theft or waste impact the overall business or if rising prices threaten margins. You want to make sure your chart of accounts has enough lines to reflect proper detail, but you also don’t want it to be so complex you can’t manage it. 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.

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Be sure to visit myYouTube channelfor more helpful restaurant management video tips. Overhead expenses consist of rent and occupancy charges, equipment rentals, and amortization. A seasoned restaurant operator, restaurant CFO, consultant, contract CFO, and author of QuickBooks for Restaurants.

Without one, it will be extremely difficult to track your income and expenses, have your taxes prepared or make financial decisions. By categorizing all of your restaurant’s transactions into specific categories in one centralized document, it’s much easier to track your expenses, revenue, and overall financial performance. A typical restaurant chart of accounts will include categories such as food and labor costs, rent, utilities, marketing expenses, and revenue from sales. Restaurant accountants keep track of cash flow, inventory, and income statements.

Optimal accounting solutions for small, medium, multi-unit concept, franchise, and enterprise restaurant operators. Below is a quick overview to help you structure your chart of accounts. The offerings may have too many accounts and subaccounts; on the other hand, it may have too few.