What to Expect from a Restaurant Accountant

restaurant accountant Sep 23, 2019

Have you ever wondered what a restaurant accountant does for a restaurant business? Why are they important and what you should expect? Watch this video, or continue reading below, to learn.

Look, I feel your pain. I've been an operator and received my P&L anywhere from 15-90 days after a period closed. Getting it that late doesn't help me - all it does is help me look backwards. But you should expect more from your restaurant accountant because you need more to run a profitable restaurant.

If your restaurant accountant is giving you your profit and loss statement even 15 days into the next period, all you're doing is looking backwards. Many restaurant owners feel like they're overpaying their restaurant accountant and then don't want to be charged more so they don't call and ask questions for fear of being billed. Instead they wait until the end of the year and then get a big bill when the accountant is redoing all of the books to make sure the taxes are paid. And all the accountant did was that - they never helped you use your financial reports to affect your restaurant.

That's not right. You need to work closely with your restaurant accountant and set expectations.

I've had this experience running a restaurant myself and seen it over and over working with thousands of restaurant owners like you. That's kind of why I'm so excited about my second life at the Largo group because I can help change that for you.

Number one, you must require your financial statements five days after you've given them all the data. It's a partnership. That means if you delay getting them data, you're delaying when you get your numbers. Give them all your bills, invoices and expenses, and within five days you should have a restaurant profit and loss statement. You should have a balance sheet all done.

Speaking of the balance sheet, they should tie it out. They should reconcile every single one of your accounts so you know your numbers are 100 percent accurate.

Your accountant should also assist you with cashflow planning. Your accountant should be your financial professional to help you manage your business, not just tell you your food costs is off. The tools in QuickBooks aren't enough. If you have to have a math degree to read it, it's of no use to you as a restaurant operator. Your restaurant accountant needs to create a cash flow planner for you over the next 12 months by week so you know when you're going to run into trouble, how much money you should have in your bank when you go off season and so on. That way you can continue to operate and make the money you deserve.

Another thing to expect from your account? Help controlling your checkbook. Look whether your accountant writes your checks and you sign them, or they actually pay the bills for you with a plan making sure you still have control of your checkbook, it should save you time.

Speaking of saving time your accountant should be doing your payroll for you literally putting the numbers in to your payroll system for you and help you plan the cash flow you need to make that payroll. Why should you be sitting in front of a desk just typing in some numbers when somebody else can take those hours of work off your shoulders so that you can work on something bigger like budgets.

Last but not least is taxes, Whether it's making sure your sales tax collected is accurate and paid on time or meeting with you on a quarterly basis to review your taxes. You know, tax planning? They help you determine where your sales and profitability are going so you know how much money to put aside for taxes. They are there to help you avoid surprises.

If you'd like to learn more about reducing your stress with restaurant payroll, download this free report, Why Doing Your Own Restaurant Payroll Is a Waste of Time. Or watch this webinar on  The Largo Group's own restaurant industry expert David Scott Peters' YouTube channel

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