Top Mistakes to Avoid When You Consider Outsourcing Your Restaurant Accounting Needs

Many restaurant owners worldwide are outsourcing their restaurant accounting to save time and money. Outsourcing these services frees up time that would otherwise be spent on bookkeeping and payroll. Moreover, it can help reduce the risk of errors. When you outsource your accounting needs, a professional accountant takes care of the task for you, and you have time for other essential tasks to help your restaurant grow. 

However, finding an accounting service that is competent and trustworthy isn’t always easy. Before you begin searching for an accounting service to outsource your accounting needs, there are certain mistakes that you must avoid, including: 

  • Hiring someone you don’t trust

You must ensure your chosen accountant is trustworthy and reliable. If you’re outsourcing your accounting to an external firm, they will have access to your financial information and history. It could become a problem if your financial information falls into the wrong hands. This makes it essential to find restaurant accounting services you can trust to safeguard your financial data. This can be accomplished by checking a firm’s credentials and qualifications, reading reviews and references from past clients, and asking restaurant owners who have outsourced their accounting needs for recommendations. 

Trust your gut on this; if something feels off, walk away. Remember, walking away won’t hurt your business, but choosing the wrong accounting partner would likely ruin it. 

  1. Falling for a too-good-to-be-true scheme

You must know when to reject an offer if an accounting firm offers to grow your profit through a scheme that looks shady. While many good accounting firms will provide advice and insights on growing your business and increasing profits, they won’t guarantee this growth or outcome. If a firm guarantees growth or yield, it’s a red flag that they don’t truly understand the restaurant industry – and you likely don’t want to work with them. If a firm offers to help you grow, it should do so through a strategic plan designed around your business and current situation. They shouldn’t guarantee this growth but rather commit to helping you achieve it. 

  • Not knowing what is included in the fee — and what isn’t

Before signing a contract with an accounting firm, you’ll need to know their services and cost. However, you must take this one step further and ensure you understand what isn’t included in the price. For instance, many accounting firms will offer their services on a retainer basis, seeking a monthly fee. If you decide on outsourced accounting services, you must understand what services are included in the retainer and what aren’t. If you only receive general accounting services and not bookkeeping services, you may not have the information you need to make sound business decisions.

  • Accepting restrictions on hiring

This may seem like an odd thing to look for, but it’s a good idea to make sure your accounting firm doesn’t have any restrictions on growth or hiring. If you work with an accounting firm that restricts hiring and growing your business, you may not receive the support you need to succeed. For example, many accounting firms worldwide only work with small businesses that don’t employ more than a few people. If your restaurant starts to grow and you need help with hiring, it’s unlikely this firm will be able to help you after some time. Choosing an accounting firm with no growth or hiring restrictions is best. This way, if your business needs to add more employees or hire a new accountant, you have the option to do so.

  • Not asking for a service agreement

If you’ve found an accounting firm you like and trust, don’t start working with them before they have signed a service agreement with you. It’s also essential to understand the terms of the contract before signing it. With this, you’ll be able to find exactly what you are paying for and what you can expect from your firm. It will also help identify any potential red flags or areas of concern that you might not have noticed. Moreover, remember to include a secrecy clause in the agreement so that your financial records with the accounting firm remain your property and are not shared with anyone, including your employees, without express permission from you, your lawyer, or your business manager. 

Bottom Line

It’s important to remember that outsourcing your restaurant’s account isn’t a quick fix to all your problems. However, it’s a worthwhile investment. Outsourcing your accounting frees up time and energy so you can focus on other aspects of your business. If you’re struggling with accounting, hiring an outsourced firm is a great way to get back on track and put yourself in a position to succeed. Nonetheless, knowing the potential pitfalls of outsourcing your accounting is essential. You must take the time to do your due diligence in choosing the right firm for your business.