What is the best restaurant bookkeeping method?

Technology is moving so fast and offering so much change. It is so hard to keep up with what is coming and going. In the field of Food & Beverage, one must ask how does this affect the restaurant bookkeeper and the business owner. There are now multiple methods that businesses can now adopt. Here are a list of some of those methods and some benefits for each.

  • CPA
  • In house restaurant bookkeeping
  • Outsourced restaurant bookkeeping

CPA – Old School accounting methods get financial reports to the owner 10 days after the month has ended. For business owners that have been around for a long time, they would argue that this method is the best. They are already established and have the luxury not to change. They have their spreadsheet and routine down. This method is proven to work, it is just outdated. If you are a brand new start up and select this process of restaurant bookkeeping, it could hurt you in the long run because of the latest technology trends, such as automation.

In house – Some businesses want to keep their information private and prefer to have a bookkeeper come and work at the office.   This can be a great method but depending on whom you talk to. The cost of doing business is increasing making it harder for businesses to have the luxury of having an in house bookkeeper. Paying another employee with additional taxes and benefits may actually become obsolete in the near future. Privacy is not guaranteed with this method as bookkeepers may come and go along with the company’s information. One other factor a business owner should take into account is having the bookkeeper quit for another job. The hassle of having to hire and training are definitely a minus.

Outsourced – outsourcing is gaining in popularity as a growing trend to the next generation business owner.   Depending on which platform you use, outsourcing labor may make sense with the cost of doing business increasing from gentrification or minimum wage and taxes. This is one less employee the owner needs to have on the books. You can hire a bookkeeper that uses Generic or Industry Specific software. You have options there too. The business owner may not feel comfortable with having outside third party service having access to their financials. This is a legitimate concern but depending on what company you settle for, make sure they provide IP restrictions so the only threat of stolen data will come primarily from inside the company. Find a company with a solid reputation. They know the value of trust, after all that is how they get paid.



Generic software is like Quickbooks. Any business can use this platform, they focus is on financial reporting. Generic software has been around forever and acceptance for business owners to use Generic solutions satisfies their level of comfort.

  • Universal appeal
  • Ownership hands off acceptance
  • Bookkeepers do not have to learn something new

Industry Specific

Industry specific software is designed for a certain industry. Software designed specifically for Food & Beverage will have more features that can be offered. Connecting a POS, having vendors directly sending invoice files, custom spreadsheets and reporting can give the owner more insight on their business than generic. Managers, bookkeepers and owners can all log in and share the same numbers as data is updated on one platform. Some features will be specific to management like paying Payables or entering work schedule. Other features will be assigned to the bookkeeper such as reconciliation and paying Sales Tax. The business owner has the flexibility to log in and have a broader range of information, which is definitely an advantage over Generic.

  • Designed specific
  • Wider range of completing work task
  • Custom spreadsheets and reports
  • No exporting files into third party accounting software
  • Industry features
  • End to End Ledger Automation
  • Automated Accounts Payable

Some restaurant bookkeeper software companies now offer both Industry specific platform & virutal bookkeeper. A combination of both specific software and a human double-checking your information at an affordable price could be a service that solves a lot of headache for the business owner.

  • Designed specific
  • Wider range of completing work task
  • Custom features and reports
  • No exporting files into third party accounting software
  • Industry features
  • A pair of professional eyes double checking all the numbers is not a bad idea
  • 1099 instead of having another employee
  • End to End Automation
  • Automated Accounts Payable
  • ACH Bill Pay is an Industry Specific platform dedicated to provide accounting automation and restaurant bookkeeping. We can train for in house or outsource to our team of restaurant bookkeepers. We update your books weekly. For more information, visit us as or email