Best Restaurant Accounting Software: Top 9 Best Restaurant Accounting Software (2022)
Restaurant accounting software keeps your finances in check. From invoicing to P&L generation, accounting software can save your managers time and energy.
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How to Choose the Best Restaurant Accounting Software
Restaurant accounting is one of the main responsibilities of a restaurant management team. It touches virtually every area of operations. Many restaurants use professional accountants for their bookkeeping, while others take on the task alone. Some do most of it themselves but work with an accountant around tax season.
Whatever your approach may be, keeping your restaurant accounting organized and up-to-date means you’ll always be on top of the business and how it’s doing. It also means being able to come up with ways to improve operations. When you have meticulous and proactive restaurant accounting, you can answer the following questions at any time:
Is enough money coming in to cover every expense, from payroll to equipment repairs to inventory to rent?
Is every menu item pulling its weight?
Are controllable costs being tracked and managed?
Which growth metrics are we monitoring?
How can we increase employee pay?
To successfully track every data point, every KPI, and every sales trend, relying on spreadsheets or pen and paper is not enough.
This is where restaurant accounting software comes in. Many different accounting platforms are available, with a wide range of capabilities and integrations. Some only have one or two functions but do those perfectly. Other software power every part of a restaurant’s accounting operations, from inventory to profit and loss reports, to balancing your ledger.
Identify your financial strengths and weaknesses
Choosing the Best Restaurant Accounting Software
When choosing accounting software, consider the price, the number of locations, and which functions you need. Then, get the opinion of your peers in the industry or a professional accountant — they’ll know what works for your niche.
Get informed about how a great restaurant accounting system can help you streamline operations and save time — so you can focus on the interpersonal side of restaurant management, from ensuring customers are having a great time to supporting your team.
Here’s the list of best restaurant accounting software, compiled from FitSmallBusiness and The Balance SMB.
Food Service Ace
Restaurant365 is a popular restaurant management platform with virtually all the functionalities a business could need to stay on top of their finances and manage their team. It also integrates with the best POS systems, meaning there’s no need for double data entry.
Pros of Restaurant365
A restaurant-specific platform created specifically for the challenges of restaurant management
Paper invoices are a thing of the past with Restaurant365’s integrated and automated AP process
Very comprehensive, helping to increase sales, control food costs, and optimize labor
Cons of Restaurant 365
This system is costly, with its most basic accounting package starting at $289 per month and billed annually. Restaurant365's most popular package, which bundles accounting, operations, scheduling, and more, is $399 a month billed annually.
MarginEdge is a restaurant management and operations system with an emphasis on invoices, food costs, and inventory. It’s not a standalone accounting system, but it integrates with Sage and QuickBooks to make those systems cater to restaurant business needs.
Pros of MarginEdge
Links right to your POS, feeding all the menu and sales data you need into the platform, helping you control food costs
Automates invoice processing by reducing paperwork and manual data entry by processing invoices through MarginEdge
Generates a daily controllable costs P&L that shows where costs can be trimmed down and reinvested
Cons of MarginEdge
Although it generates data and insights that help restaurants do their accounting, bookkeeping, and costing, it’s not primarily an accounting platform.
Price of MarginEdge
MarginEdge costs $300 per month, per location for their whole platform: no tiers, no having to compromise on functionalities.
Food Service Ace
Food Service Ace is a platform made up of several mobile apps designed for restaurants — specifically, multi-unit businesses. It’s a series of tools that can be combined and customized to fit the needs of managing your restaurant.
Pros of Food Service Ace
Completes major accounting tasks quickly, like accounts payable, accounts receivable, fixed assets, general ledger, and budgeting
Receive insights from data-rich dashboards and reports
ACH payment processing means no more stuffing envelopes
Catering and commissary specialization features
Prioritizes inventory and procurement by working with your preferred vendors to secure exactly what you need in stock, right when you need it
Cons of Food Service Ace
The system is composed of several mobile apps, which could appeal to some teams but may feel limiting to others who prefer to use a desktop for accounting tasks.
Price of Food Service Ace
For Food Service Ace, “pricing is based on services selected and number of locations. All pricing includes a set-up fee and a recurring monthly fee,” says their website.
QuickBooks Online is popular for a reason: it’s robust and it can tackle virtually any typical accounting task. It’s not made for any specific industry, but it is popular in all kinds of small businesses because it’s straightforward and affordable.
Pros of QuickBooks Online
Cost-effective pricing plans
Specifically designed to simplify tax filing
Quickly track expenses and income, create invoices, take payments, organize receipts, manage inventory, and get business insights
Integrates easily with any restaurant management tools you use, like an inventory platform
Cons of QuickBooks Online
Not made with restaurant operations in mind and needs to be integrated with a restaurant-specific platform to bridge the gaps in the system
Price of QuickBooks Online
QuickBooks Online is very reasonably priced, at $22 - $140 per month depending on which functionalities you need.
Made for small businesses, startups, and freelancers across industries, Wave is one of the only free options for accounting software.
Pros of Wave
Software is free - a huge benefit for very small businesses and brand-new operations
Invoicing, accounting, and banking capabilities are all included in their free package
Generates important reports like a P&L or overdue invoices and bills
Cons of Wave
Easy to outgrow. Restaurants have complex accounting needs that only get trickier as you open up more seatings, hire more staff, and even open new locations. Wave might not have the functionalities needed to grow with your business.
Price of Wave
Their accounting platform is completely free, but adding on things like payment processing, payroll, and accounting advisors adds to monthly costs.
Xero is a common alternative to QuickBooks Online, with a wide range of accounting capabilities ideal for any small business’s accounting and banking needs.
Pros of Xero:
Convenient mobile app to access all your accounting tools wherever you are
Pay bills easily with Xero connecting directly with your bank
Keep track of inventory and use the information to populate invoices and orders
Categorize and reconcile every dollar in and out of your bank accounts
Create reports in Xero and collaborate on them live with your accountant
Cons of Xero
The system isn’t built specifically for restaurants, meaning certain capabilities might not fit your needs and will need customization upon onboarding
Price of Xero
Xero is very reasonably priced, ranging from $12 - $65 a month depending on their plan. All plans include standard accounting functionalities.
Zipbooks is another free-to-start accounting software used to manage your restaurant’s finances. It’s somewhat less robust than Wave, but the paid tiers have very helpful functionalities.
Pros of ZipBooks
Locks completed books so that you never worry again that someone changed a number by accident in the wrong spreadsheet
Connects with multiple bank accounts
Edit transactions in bulk
Cons of ZipBooks
ZipBooks has a free tier, but it only includes the bare minimum — sending invoices, accepting payments online, and managing unlimited vendors and customers — which doesn’t scratch the surface of the accounting needs of a restaurant.
Price of ZipBooks
ZipBooks ranges from free to $35 a month. Custom pricing is available for businesses that need more functionalities and a bespoke package.
Davo is a sales tax-focused software designed to simplify tax time for small businesses. It’s not a complete accounting system, but it can make filing taxes much easier every year.
Pros of DAVO
Set aside sales tax daily — no need to do it yourself after each service or week
Prepares and files your return, helping you to pay your taxes in full and on time
Integrates with all major POS systems
Cons of DAVO
It’s just one piece of the accounting puzzle. It can be helpful to teams who are DIYing their accounting, but those who work with an accountant or a robust software like QuickBooks may not need it.
Price of DAVO
DAVO is available for $49.99 per month, per location, with no hidden fees or long-term contracts.
Plate IQ is a hospitality invoice and accounting platform that aims to help restaurant managers and operators “spend 80% less time on invoices and focus on the work that matters,” according to their website.
Pros of Plate IQ
Automated invoice processing and accounts payable
Pay vendors directly with ACH, check, or PlateIQ vCard
Integrates with accounting systems and POS systems
All processed invoices are searchable on the platform
Cons of Plate IQ
It’s not a full-service accounting platform - it's a platform to integrate with accounting systems used by a restaurant to reduce manual invoice processes and save time.
Price of Plate IQ
Plate IQ doesn’t share payment info on their website, so requesting a demo is the best way to find out their prices.
Identify your financial strengths and weaknesses
Restaurant Accounting Software Should Work with Your POS
No matter which accounting software you use, it’s critical to make sure it can integrate with your point of sale. Great restaurant POS systems not only process your payments but also generate incredible data that can and should be used in your profit and loss reports, all your KPI checkups, and around tax season.
Working with a professional accountant can be a worthy investment for your business, and investing in the right restaurant bookkeeping and accounting software can make your daily operations easier than ever — and help your business reach new heights.
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