The Side Dish

Finance to Table Education for Operating Your Restaurant

Should I be outsourcing my restaurant accounting services?

Restaurant owners wear a lot of different hats in the course of running a business. Unfortunately, accounting-related duties can easily fall by the wayside when you are being pulled in so many different directions. It often comes up at inopportune times, like when you need to better understand cash flows or get ready for tax prep. Or worst of all, when responding to a tax compliance notice, and then you’re left scrambling. Here are five reasons why outsourcing your accounting functions is a good idea to put on the menu:

Accountability

Sure, you have the best of intentions to get on a proper schedule with your QuickBooks file and bank statement reconciliations. You probably promised yourself you would make sure to do a better job of keeping credit card receipts on file too, after going through your taxes last year. But it’s easy to let the accounting work slide when you’re busy. You don’t have to go at this alone. Working with an outsourced accountant can keep you on track in this area so you don’t find yourself overwhelmed again at the end of the year. 

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Accuracy

You need to make sure the data you’re looking at is reliable. We often find a lot of cleanup is needed with new clients before they see reliable numbers. Is this really how much cash you have in the bank? Is that really your payroll spend? Do you understand your liabilities? You need solid information in order to make solid decisions. A good accountant can show you what numbers really matter and make sure they are correct.

Expertise

You may know your own restaurant operations inside and out, but there are plenty of accounting and tax considerations that probably sound like a foreign language to you. You want to make sure you’re not leaving money on the table. Be sure you know what qualifies for a business deduction and what does not. Are you sure payroll is being handled correctly? What about software utilization? Make sure you’re using your POS and accounting software as efficiently as possible?

Working with an outsourced accountant with restaurant expertise can ensure you are making the most of your software investment while giving you the expertise you need to keep surprises to a minimum.

Flexibility

It is no longer necessary for restaurant owners to be tied down to a single location. Outsourcing your accounting functions gives you a variety of resources, from electronic bill payment processing to hosting your accounting software in the cloud. It allows you to collaborate with your advisors from anywhere to give you the flexibility you need. This puts you in control of how you manage your business and gives you the opportunity to pull financial data in real time.

Tax Ready Financials

There is no need to scramble to get the books closed to meet tax deadlines. There are ways to gather the proper information throughout the year to make your annual 1099 prep a breeze. Your accountant can ensure timely close and preparation of financials to allow for better tax planning and a smoother tax preparation process.

 

Helen Colón

 

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