Starting a restaurant is a dream for many, but few are able to make that dream a reality.
Those who do successfully launch their first restaurant will come lots of hard work. One of the core foundational pieces of its success is the ability to manage its restaurant accounting and bookkeeping. The basic accounting principals for restaurants include making sure the business is accurately tracking all restaurant costs, revenue stream, profits and losses, and financial potential.
What Are the Best Restaurant Accounting Tools in 2020?
- Sage Intacct
- QuickBooks Online
- Plate IQ
Luckily, restaurants no longer need to rely on accounting experts and paperwork to manage their accounting. Instead, today’s most successful restaurants are able to properly track their restaurant’s accounting and finances with restaurant accounting software.
8 Best Restaurant Accounting Software Tools
Using the right software can help in making accounting easier for an organization. Below is a list of some of the 8 best accounting software tools available for restaurants to leverage in 2019. We’ve ranked the products by user-review scores from G2.com.
Rating: 4.8/5 star rating
Overview: ZipBooks brands itself as an easy-to-use and well-designed restaurant accounting software that makes accounting for businesses simple. The cloud-based platform offers all the basic accounting features for invoicing, accounting, and reporting, while also still offering advanced features such as custom email sends, time tracking, and sophisticated financial reports.
An advantage of using ZipBooks specifically for restaurants is its ability to integrate with many of the most popular restaurant POS systems that restaurants use, including Stripe and Square. One of the biggest perks for small-business restaurants looking at ZipBooks is that the basic, entry-level subscription is free for restaurateurs.
- Starter: Free
- Smarter: $15/month
- Sophisticated: $35/month
- Accountant: Customer quotes
Rating: 4.6/5 star rating
Overview: FreshBooks is a cloud-based SaaS platform that helps restaurants with accurate accounting and reporting with double-entry bookkeeping that helps categorizes related expenses. This reporting enables owners to make data-driven decisions.
The tool also includes all the basic features of accounting software such as time tracking, custom invoices, cash flow monitoring, and monitoring the overall financial health of a restaurant.
- Lite: $7.50/month
- Plus: $12.50/month
- Premium: $25/month
- Select: Customer quotes
Rating: 4.5/5 star rating
Overview: TouchBistro is an all-in-one iPad hardware POS and cloud-restaurant management tool with core features such as table and order management, restaurant floor planning, mobile payment processing, employee scheduling, menu design and management, and inventory management. The cloud-based system also has features allowing restaurant owners and managers to access reporting & analytics, manage reservations, build loyalty programs, manage digital menu boards, and more,
While it’s not a restaurant accounting software specific solution, its accounting features pull in all data around inventory, marketing, and revenue into a single database, allowing restaurants to create reports and financial reports quickly. This makes it a solid solution for a restaurant’s accounting problems, as it is already built into its POS system.
All of the following pricing is for a combination of TouchBistro’s hardware and software offerings.
- Solo: $105/month for 1 license
- Dual: $209 for 2 licenses
- Team: $359 for 5 licenses
- Unlimited: $539 for 6+ licenses
4. Sage Intacct
Rating: 4.3/5 star rating
Overview: Sage Intacct is a cloud-based full accounting software solution that serves a variety of industries including restaurants. The tool’s users have cited the accounting platform’s accounting journal entries and tags for financial management as two of the app’s best features.
The platform offers core financial solutions with robust automation processes. Sage Intacct is one of the most well-known and established accounting solutions, with one of the platform’s biggest perks being that it integrates with other established enterprise software suites such as Salesforce, ADP, and much more.
Pricing: Sage Intacct does not provide public pricing information and requires prospects to reach out for a custom quote.
Rating: 4.3/5 star rating
Overview: Xero is a small-business, cloud-based accounting software that also serves a variety of industries outside of restaurants. The tool allows restaurants to streamline their finances and keep an overall view of the health and status of a restaurant’s cash flow at all times.
A few of the best features that restaurant owners will enjoy is its inventory management, variety of integrations with popular restaurant POS systems, and CRM integration for managing customer and partner information. For restaurants outsourcing its accounting, Xero offers realtime information sharing that can be shared with an accountant of a bookkeeper at any time, anywhere.
- Started: $9/month
- Standard: $30/month
- Premium: $60/month
6. QuickBooks Online
Rating: 4.0/5 star rating
Overview: QuickBooks Online is an all-in-one tool for small-business accounting, and is one of the most popular and well-known accounting tools for smaller businesses with over 5.5 million customers and 2,200 reviews on G2.com. Its dashboards and invoicing features are easy and straight-forward, making restaurant accounting simple for owners and managers.
Overall, Quickbooks Online’s browser-based app gives small-business restaurants all the basic tools they need to manage their accounting – from expense management, inventory management, time tracking, tax management, cash flow management, and more. Restaurants that use Quickbooks should also consider the company’s in-house POS system, Quickbooks Point of Sale.
- Simple: $20/month
- Essentials: $40/month
- Plus: $70/month
- Advanced: $150/month
Rating: 3.6/5 star rating
Overview: Restaurant365 is an all-in-one cloud-based software that gives an owner complete control over the financial health of their restaurant, all accounting management, and overviews of all operations. Restaurant365 is interesting as it can be used to solve all restaurant management problems, but is an accounting and bookkeeping solution first and foremost. Other restaurant software platforms that are all-in-one solutions tend to normally be the opposite of this, with POS and inventory features being the core problem-solving solutions.
Also known as R365, the accounting software allows restaurant owners to combine all the data from their POS system, payroll process, vendors, and bank reconciliation into one database. Users of the restaurant bookkeeping tool cited their favorite features as both the back-office accounting and front of house POS accounting as the most beneficial solutions the tool provides.
- Basic: $129/month
- Core: $249/month
- Essential: $359/month
- Professional: $429/month
8. Plate IQ
Overview: Plate IQ is an accounts payable and invoicing automation solution that restaurants can leverage to manage their business accounts payable, vendor invoices, bill pay needs, and financial reporting. It markets itself as a complete accounting automation platform, with automation features that allow operators to capture invoice data and keep better and cleaner records. Vendors and suppliers are able to update and manage their records with just a few clicks, and digital reports save in the cloud.
Two key selling points of Plate IQ are that it is built specifically with restaurants and hotels in mind and that it integrates with over 100 different software platforms, many of which are designed for restaurants.
Pricing: Plate IQ does not provide public pricing information and requires prospects to reach out for a custom quote.
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Key Features of Restaurant Accounting Software
- Revenue Tracking: Allows restaurants to track revenue from food and drink transactions.
- Expense Tracking: Allows restaurants to track all costs from food, equipment, employees, labor, and other expenses.
- Payroll: Allows restaurants to manage employee wages and compensation, as well as tip splitting.
- Inventory Management: Tracks all ingredients and perishables to keep your restaurant fully stocked and operating.
- Financial Reporting: Allows restaurants to view all their financials in one app – from generating profit and loss statements, restaurant balance sheets, and cash flow overview. This gives restaurants the tools to take actionable steps from their business’s data.
- Integrations: Most restaurant accounting software requires the tool to be integrated with a restaurant’s existing POS technology.
Next Steps for Your Restaurant
A restaurant accounting solution will allow you to spend less time with bookkeeping, and more time making your business more successful.
Learn more about running a world-class restaurant:
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