Business Accountants: 11 Expert Restaurant Bookkeeping Tips for Financial Success


Managing finances in the restaurant industry can be challenging due to fluctuating expenses and slim profit margins. To ensure your restaurant remains profitable, it’s essential to implement effective bookkeeping practices. In this guide, we’ve gathered 11 key restaurant bookkeeping tips to help you navigate the unique financial landscape of the restaurant business.

  1. Regularly Reconcile Your Accounts: Maintain up-to-date accounting records for revenue, labor, food, and operating expenses. Reconciliation ensures accuracy, helps identify errors like incorrect deposits or cash variances, and facilitates tax compliance.

  2. Treat Required Tips as Restaurant Income: Follow IRD guidelines to distinguish between automatic gratuities (considered restaurant revenue) and discretionary tips (considered employee income) when accounting for tips.

  3. Claim Tax Credits on Employee Tips: Restaurants can claim a tax credit of tips reported by employees, providing an incentive for accurate tip reporting on employee forms.

  4. Choose the Right Accounting Software and POS System: Select accounting software that seamlessly integrates with your POS system, offering features like inventory management, payroll, and bill management tailored to restaurant operations.

  5. Consider Outsourcing Bookkeeping: Hiring an external bookkeeper with restaurant industry expertise can ensure impartial financial oversight, reducing the risk of manipulation or errors in your records.

  6. Address Errors Promptly: Correct errors as they occur, whether related to timecards, deliveries, or server receipts, to prevent financial discrepancies from accumulating.

  7. Regularly Review Financial Reports: Analyze profit and loss statements, sales reports, inventory reports, expense reports, and menu performance reports to identify areas for improvement and growth.

  8. Audit Your POS System: Verify that your POS system accurately codes menu items, taxes, and sales tax rates to ensure correct billing and reporting. Establish a separate account for sales tax to avoid surprises when tax payments are due.

  9. Outsourcing Payroll: Consider outsourcing payroll to save time, ensure accuracy in payroll tax reporting, and stay compliant with labor laws. Look for payroll services that offer additional tools for managing tips and attendance.

  10. Streamline Accounts Payable: Automate your accounts payable process to monitor bill due dates, simplify payment authorization, and streamline transaction tracking, reducing data entry and errors.

  11. Monitor Prime Costs: Track prime costs, including food and beverage costs, salaries, payroll taxes, and benefits, as a key indicator of profitability. Regular monitoring helps identify cost fluctuations and areas for cost-saving measures.

Restaurant bookkeeping presents unique challenges, from managing tips and auditing POS systems to monitoring prime costs. To navigate these complexities successfully, consider outsourcing bookkeeping, investing in the right accounting software and POS system, and maintaining accurate financial records. By implementing these expert-approved tips, you can ensure the financial health and profitability of your restaurant business.



Your Outside Team



Need a bit of assistance with your business? Contact an Outside Accounting team member today and learn more about our fixed fees. You won’t regret it.

Aside from business consultation, we are business accountants Wellington who offer accountingbookkeeping, payroll services designed to help you achieve greater financial success.

You can click here to speak to a businessaccounting and bookkeeping firm. We will give you a call to know more about your needs. We will explain to you how we can improve your business. 




Wellington Accountants | 

Business Accountants | 

Construction Accountants 

Property Accountants 

Contractor Accountants 

Hospitality Accountants |

Property Developer Accountants | Accountants Wellington | Wellington Accountant | Restaurant Accountants | Cafe Accountants | Business Consultation | Business Adviser

AddressLevel 2, 182 Vivian Street,
Te Aro, Wellington 6011, New Zealand 

Mail: PO Box 24-457, Wellington 6142

Phone04 889 29 75

New Zealand Accounting, Bookkeeping & Property Business Consultancy Services | Wellington & Lower Hutt Xero Property Accountants Business coach business consultation business adviser

Business Accountants: Understanding Changes in Residential Property Taxation

Recent years have seen significant adjustments to the tax landscape, particularly concerning residential property. The government has responded to calls from various quarters to address investor demand in this sector. Notably, recent changes have been initiated to reverse tax policies affecting residential property, aligning with promises made by both National and ACT during their election campaigns.

Read More »