Whether you like it or not, you will have to deal with finances and the tedious task of bookkeeping when you run a restaurant. Having accurate and up-to-date numbers and cash flow visibility is integral to your restaurant's operations. Perhaps you have been managing these tasks yourself or having your accountant do it for you, but there is one important thing to note: bookkeeping is entirely different from accounting.
A bookkeeper handles your day-to-day financial transactions, tracks your sales tax obligations, pays your suppliers, and reconciles your accounts every month. An accountant, on the other hand, works on your taxes, audits, and advises your restaurant on ways to cut costs, manage menu pricing, and may even research potential expansion opportunities.
Due to these reasons, it is essential that you have someone that has been hired to specifically manage your books and the daily duties that they entail.
When hiring a bookkeeper, keep these important tips in mind:
1. Look for a bookkeeper that has knowledge and experience in the restaurant industry
Restaurant bookkeeping has its own unique needs, and therefore you must consider hiring someone who has both knowledge and experience in the restaurant industry. An experienced restaurant bookkeeper should be able to help you set up your chart of accounts to track different costs and sales by channel accurately.
A bookkeeper with restaurant experience should also know and be able to deal with different sales and liquor taxes, determining when you need to remit them and what amounts are owing. They should also have a solid understanding of your cost structure and produce reports that provide you with visibility of your cash flow.
Tips are another unique aspect of restaurant finances, and your bookkeeper must have specific processes in place to manage them.
Lastly, it is important to keep in mind that not all bookkeepers are also certified payroll practitioners; therefore, if you require payroll support, you will need to hire a bookkeeper capable of helping in this area.
2. Look for someone who has familiarity with restaurant accounting technology
Accounting technology is always changing, and therefore it is vital that you select a bookkeeper that stays up to date with all of the technology changes that are happening.
They should be familiar with this technology and understand their integrations. Being knowledgeable on the different POS systems, accounting software, and other available tools will ensure that they can manage your books accurately and efficiently.
3. Decide what type of bookkeeper works best for you
Above all else, one of the most important considerations when selecting a bookkeeper to manage your restaurant's finances is to decide what type of bookkeeper works best for your business’s individual needs. Some business owners decide that outsourcing is best, while others choose an in-house bookkeeper.
To help you make this consideration, consider the fact that bookkeeping isn't necessarily a full-time job, especially if your restaurant operation doesn't involve multiple locations. When it comes to hiring, the traditional thought would be to hire someone full-time or part-time to work in-house, but that may not be the best solution from a financial perspective.
Often times outsourcing is better than hiring in-house for the following reasons:
- There is no need to deal with turnover, training, or managing additional employees.
- It can save you a considerable amount of money.
- It gives you access to both bookkeeping and often payroll expertise.
- It frees up your time and saves you from having to manage these tasks yourself.
Finding the right bookkeeper for your restaurant business can seem like a daunting endeavor, but fortunately, it doesn't have to be. If you are looking for the right outsourced bookkeeper, look no further. Enkel has the experience and knowledge of the restaurant industry that can help you keep all of your books in order and give you accurate and timely access to your financial data. For more information on how Enkel can assist you, contact us today.