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How Restaurant Operators Handle Accounting and Reporting

Proven accounting processes are an essential building block toward achieving profitability. Timely financial reporting, paying bills on time, and knowing where you stand financially require accounting practices that are efficient and accurate.

In this survey, we asked operators to share how they accomplish various accounting-oriented tasks. The results were quite revealing as they showed that operators who adopted good accounting practices were more profitable than those that didn't.

Some of the more common accounting best practices include:

  • Daily recording of sales and receipts

  • Detailed cost-recording of purchase invoices

  • Weekly food and labor cost reporting

  • Counting and computing inventory on a weekly or monthly basis

  • Tracking key inventory item usage on a daily or weekly basis

  • Designating key persons for accounting-oriented tasks

  • Using a POS system for tracking time & attendance

  • Having a Financial Profit & Loss statement at least monthly

Of this list, there were three accounting best practices that were common to profitable operators.

1. Having a Financial Profit & Loss statement at least monthly.

  • 73% of operators that received monthly financial statements reported being profitable.

  • Only 49% of respondents that received just quarterly or annual statements were profitable.

2. Weekly food and labor cost reporting.

  • 75% of operators that received weekly food and labor costs were profitable.

  • Only 60% of respondents that didn't get weekly reports were profitable.

3. Counting and computing inventory on a weekly or monthly basis.

  • 72% of operators that do an inventory at least monthly were profitable.

  • Only 58% of operators that don't compute inventory values are profitable.

The bottom-line is that operators that incorporate accounting best practices are more likely to be profitable than those that don't:

75% of operators that incorporate all 3 of these best practices we profitable

70% of operators that incorporated 2 of these best practices were profitable

61% of operators that incorporated only 1 of these best practices were profitable

Only 29% of operators that didn't do any of these best practices were profitable!

The intent of this survey is to provide our members with helpful insight as to the best way to handle accounting practices by seeing how other restaurants operate. Hopefully, you'll discover some tips and best practices that you can apply to your operation to help you become more profitable.

You can view the results and analysis for the following questions:

What are Your Monthly Expenditures for Bookkeeping and Accounting?
Who Handles the Various Accounting Tasks?
What Accounting Software Is Used?
How Often are Financial Statements Prepared?
Do You Receive Weekly Food Cost or Prime Cost Reports?

How Often Do You -

Prepare a Daily Sales Report?

Record Purchases?

Take a Physical Inventory?

How Do You Track Time & Attendance?
How Often Do You Pay Your Employees?
How Do You Process Payroll?
What are the greatest challenges in getting the financial information you need to manage your restaurant?

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