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Features Restaurant Accountants Need That Aren't Available In Generic Accounting Software

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Nate Lozier
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Accounting is an essential part of running every successful business. It becomes even more important in any tight-margin industries like restaurants where every dollar spent needs to be accounted for to increase profitability.

Settling for generic accounting software can be tempting because the initial investment may seem to be lower, but the truth is that operators can increase their bottom line using restaurant-specific accounting software. In many cases the direct and indirect labor costs for performing managerial duties (such as entering data and manually running reports) are significantly higher than software subscription fees for solutions that provide automation.

Here are some features accountants can benefit from with restaurant accounting software.

POS and T&A Integrations 

Restaurant-specific accounting systems directly integrate with both the point of sale (POS) and time/attendance (T&A) system to save both time and money through the automation of time-consuming tasks like recording sales, tracking deposits, reporting tips, processing payroll and more. Just as importantly, it does so while reducing the chance of human error. Best-in-class solutions can provide sales forecasting, menu mix reporting, and labor optimization in above-store reporting that is typically above and beyond standard POS offerings. Regardless of what POS your restaurant uses, a good restaurant accounting software will likely integrate with it. 

Food Vendor Integrations & Purchase Automation

Restaurant-specific software integrates with hundreds of food, beverage and equipment vendors to bring invoices in automatically. This substantially reduces the time it takes for handling purchase orders, entering invoices, paying vendors, and tracking food purchases and price changes at the line item detail. In addition to direct vendor integrations, restaurant-specific AP automation can provide outsourced invoice processing support, eliminating the need for any manual invoice data entry.

Live Mobile Inventory Counts & CoGS Updates

Understanding the value of the goods on the shelves is critical to knowing the cost of the plates going out the door.  Generic accounting systems can require manual adjustments for inventory counts done on pen and paper, resulting in significant delays in calculating and reporting on true cost of goods sold (CoGS).  Restaurant-specific solutions provide cloud-based inventory counts performed on mobile devices that simultaneously adjust costs based on recent purchase prices.

Direct Bank Connections & Streamlined Reconciliations

Between merchant processing fees, cash handling discrepancies, third party delivery commissions, and disputes/chargebacks, restaurant accountants know that the sale amount recorded at the POS rarely matches what hits the bank.  Live bank feed connections that can be updated daily and streamlined bank reconciliation tools ensure that every penny is accounted for, and nothing slips through the cracks.

Industry-Specific, Real-Time Reporting

While generic accounting software typically provide basic financial reports, restaurant-specific accounting platforms have tailored those reports to the restaurant industry and can provide transparency and clarity between the accounting team and restaurant operators.

Restaurant performance is measured in seconds, not days, and waiting days or weeks for prior month results is like driving down the road while only looking in the rear-view mirror.  With real-time updates provided by the POS, vendor integrations, and direct bank connections, you can rest assured that any member, on any team, is viewing the same data. A P&L statement that’s submitted by accounting to your bank is, line for line, the same version that operations is using for store evaluation, bonuses, etc.


Because restaurant accounting software is specifically designed for the unique needs of the restaurant industry, the solutions save accountants and operators alike a lot of time and headaches. The number of integration allow data to flow seamlessly between any and all parts of your back office, POS, vendors and bank. And by doing so in real time, you can have the confidence your team is seeing the same information.

While generic accounting software may seem like a cheaper option, restaurant-specific software can save time and money through automation, reduce the chance of errors, and increase profitability by accurately tracking every penny spent. In the restaurant game, where every penny matters, those benefits are invaluable.