Restaurant Accounting Software: Which Solution is Right for You?

Running a restaurant is not just about menu planning and providing great customer service. Like any other small business, there are a lot of financial transactions and decisions that go on behind the scenes that can impact how profitable you are. So whether you just opened your restaurant or have grown into a larger operation, it’s important to have an appropriate restaurant accounting solution to meet your needs.

The 8 Best Restaurant Accounting Software and Solutions For Your Business

Luckily, there are several great options if you’re looking for the best restaurant accounting software or if you decide to outsource with a restaurant accounting services firm. Here are some of the best restaurant accounting software and solutions to help manage your financials, all of which can integrate with your restaurant pos.

1. Davo

Sales tax management is tedious and time-consuming. DAVO puts sales tax on autopilot saving merchants time and money. Merchants will never have another costly fine or penalty for a late or missed payment. This is a cheaper alternative to a bookkeeper, accountant, or even doing it yourself. DAVO allows restaurateurs to put sales tax on autopilot so they can spend more time concentrating on what matters.

2. Plate IQ

Plate IQ is accounts payable automation software for restaurants. It extracts line item data from invoices to power your entire AP process, saving you time, increasing the accuracy of your data, and providing granular insight into your spend. This software is known for streamlining back of office operations by automating time-consuming tasks.

3. Bevager

Bevager is a full purchase-management system that spans the entire purchase-to-pay process: distributor ordering, real-time inventory management, recipe costing, invoice/AP processing, and POS software-driven depletion and purchase analytics. This eliminates all manual and redundant admin across the restaurant and puts operators, managers and accountants all one platform. Bevager is mobile-first and allows chefs and bar managers to run their entire food and beverage programs from any device.

4. KitchenSync

KitchenSync provides online bookkeeping and payroll services to independent restaurants, franchises, and hospitality groups. Just connect your bank and POS, scan your invoices as they come in, and watch your financial reports update daily on our platform. From ingredient price change notifications to controller-audited profit & loss statements, KitchenSync compiles all of the essential reports needed to run your high-volume restaurant. Services also include complete AP and payroll management.

5. Shogo

Shogo’s cloud-based web service automates the accounting process between your POS and commonly used accounting packages including Quickbooks and Xero. Shogo replaces your manual sales accounting process by automatically posting your sales information each morning. There is no importing/exporting to perform. The software automatically posts sales activity at the end of each business day, including revenue, sales taxes, tenders, and discounts.

6. Restaurant 365

Restaurant365 is a complete restaurant management solution specializing in multi-unit restaurant businesses and all concepts. This solution is perfect for restaurant owners looking to get rid of QuickBooks. Create budgets, enjoy direct bank connection, and streamline your accounts with their robust software.

7. RSI (Restaurant Solutions Inc.)

RSI, experts in restaurant accounting and operations, provide restaurateurs with solutions to not only survive in the competitive restaurant industry, but thrive. RSI strives to create genuine, emotional connections with each client by providing them with the knowledge and assistance required to reach their financial goals each and every day. They place a strong value on education which allows us to assist operators in driving consistent results by enabling them to become better at their craft; to not only understand how to use their system but more importantly, to become more educated about their restaurant finances as a whole.

8. Compeat

Compeat’s restaurant accounting solution allows restaurateurs to gain insight to control costs, compare financials against budget, control their bottom line, and make smarter financial decisions. For them, it’s black and white (or should we say black and red). The numbers have to be tracked and have to be balanced. With Compeat Accounting your general ledger will be more organized than ever.

Why you need restaurant accounting software for your business

Once you open an actual restaurant, you need to up your bookkeeping and accounting game. You might start out with an Excel template for restaurant accounting, do your restaurant accounting with Quickbooks, choose a third-party service, or hire a bookkeeper to handle all the finances.

No matter which restaurant accounting solution you choose, the key is that you are keeping track of your costs, your revenue, your payroll, and your budget. All of that analysis will help you understand where you stand financially, and help you to make improvements that will add to your bottom line.

Here are 3 restaurant accounting tips for both new and seasoned restaurant owners:

1. If you’re a small operator, consider starting with a beginner solution.

If you fall into this category, you can usually get by doing DIY accounting for a while. You can use basic restaurant accounting spreadsheets to run your numbers since things might not be so complex…yet.

Microsoft Excel is the most well-known and popular spreadsheet software on the planet, so it’s a good option. There’s also the Google version called Sheets if you want to do your bookkeeping on the cloud.

It’s a fairly intuitive program to use, and most people are already familiar with it. Once you set up your Excel template for restaurant accounting, it’s just a matter of plugging in the numbers. Since you probably have it already, there is no investment or if anything, it’s a minimal cost.

As for cons, all it takes is one human error of entering the wrong number to throw everything off. The more complex your business gets, the more likely it is that you might make a mistake.

Start calculating all of your important business metrics with help from our Food Cost Calculator.

2. If you’re growing, consider restaurant accounting software.

As your business matures and you start to hire more staff, put in more orders, and serve more guests, you’ll not only be too tired to sit and stare at a spreadsheet at the end of the night, but it’s probably outgrown its usefulness. That’s where restaurant accounting software comes in. It can still allow you the autonomy to do your own finances, without having to hire a bookkeeper.

Business accounting software is widely available, with the most popular ones being QuickBooks, FreshBooks, and Wave. Most of the time, you’ll have to pay a nominal monthly or yearly fee for the software, but the time saved can be well worth it. Is it possible to do your restaurant accounting with Quickbooks? Absolutely.

These programs help automate most of the time-consuming data entry that you’d have to do if you were using spreadsheets. That also means there’s less chance of human error. Additionally, multiple users can work with accounting software and you can set restrictions. And because this software is usually cloud-based, you have the convenience of accessing it anytime, anywhere, and from any device, and all information will sync. You can also connect it to your financial banking accounts making transactions even easier.

Restaurant accounting software also features many handy tools to help you quickly pull up reports, generate invoices, and track income and expenses in a visually friendly way.

As for the cons, these programs are generic in nature, meaning they can be applied for any small business use. If you’re looking for something that is more tailored to restaurant accounting specifically, you’ll have to look ahead to our next category of accounting options.

3. If you’re a veteran in the industry, look into these more advanced solutions for restaurant accounting

If you really want to find a solution that is customized to your exact needs, there are a number of restaurant accounting services available that can scale as your business grows. These third-party accounting platforms are specifically designed for the unique needs of a restaurant business, so you might get additional helpful tools that a more generic accounting software wouldn’t have.

One example is Plate IQ, which is primarily an accounts payable automation platform for restaurants. Another is KitchenSync, which offers restaurant and franchise owners online bookkeeping and payroll services geared to their needs. Restaurant Solutions (RSI), has a fully integrated restaurant accounting system tailored for independent restaurant owners. (For more options, check out Upserve’s featured accounting platform partners.)

These services are similar to that of the accounting software above, but with the added bonus of being tailored to a restaurant owner’s needs. It is likely a bit more expensive than some of the previous options, however, once you weigh the time saved and efficiencies that it adds to your work day, you may consider it a worthy investment.

No matter which solution you choose, another consideration is whether or not you want to look into restaurant accounting firms or a part-time bookkeeper or accountant to go over your finances, just to make sure everything is on track.

Making sure your restaurant accounting program is accurate and doesn’t take too much time away from your other business responsibilities is important as your business grows. Consider which of the above solutions is right for you, and if you choose to invest in a software or service beyond your DIY spreadsheets, consider it a necessary cost of doing business.

Food can account for 35% of expenses.
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Ryan McSweeney

Ryan McSweeney started his restaurant career as a dish-washer at the Sundae School Ice Cream Parlor in Dennisport, Massachusetts. For five years he served Cape Cod vacationers the biggest scoops of their favorite flavors. He spent many more years in the service industry, and brings his knowledge and love for the restaurant-world to Upserve where he provides the best restaurant technology to restaurateurs around the country.

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Ryan McSweeney

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