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A Mini Guide to Accounting: Food & Beverage Edition

As a food & beverage business, we imagine that recipes are second nature to you. Whether you’re recreating a signature dish, or mixing a good old espresso martini, the importance of following instructions to achieve a consistently positive result is just common sense in your line of work. The question is, do you take this approach to accounting?
Accounting as a recipe

We imagine your answer to our above question was, eeeeeh - no...and we don’t blame you. Balancing a book is nowhere near as exciting as prepping for your killer takeaway menu.

We may not be food and beverage experts, but we know a thing or two about accounting - and in many ways, you can view your finances as a recipe. A perfect balance of organisation, good software, and understanding will lead to success. So, before we get too hungry, let’s go through the recipe for accounting success.

Get your books in order

First thing’s first, in order to keep your finances under control you need to sort out a bookkeeping system that works for you. You can’t know for sure what you’re raking in if you don’t know what’s going out.

However you choose to track this, these are the areas you need to focus on.

  • Food Sales - keep track of the amount your business earned during each mealtime of the day. Ideally, record these daily.
  • Food inventory costs - how much stock you’re buying.
  • Cashier summary - all the transactions entered at each cash register.
  • Operating expenses - Record all expenses like rent, startup costs, loan payments, employee wages, marketing, utilities etc.

From these, you can get a clear picture of how well you’re doing, and an honest view of where you may need to make changes.

Eyes on the inventory

Inventory is, other than labour costs, your biggest expense. This is one of the most common areas where businesses fail - either ordering in too much and wasting money, or too little and losing out on sales. But how can you track this?

Well, if you’ve got a bookkeeping system in order, you can start to run super handy reports, which will highlight where you may be overspending! You can use the figures of how much you’ve spent in the past, to figure out how much you need in the future (by the way...it’s called forecasting!).

Get on top of your taxes

Now, this one’s a biggy. Do taxes make you feel like you’ve locked yourself in the walk-in freezer? You’re not alone, but it doesn’t have to be this way! To have stress free accounting, you need a plan for your taxes, or even better, opt for an integrated tax planner.

By knowing exactly what you’re going to have to pay, you don’t need to worry about deadlines creeping up, or even worse, fines popping through the letterbox. By planning ahead or outsourcing this work, you may even find that you save money, thanks to R&D tax credits!


Labour costs are a huge part of business for you, and managing payroll without an HR department is nothing short of a nightmare. We recommend that you outsource this, so you no longer have to worry about:

  • Payslips
  • Pensions
  • HMRC submissions

...now doesn’t that sound glorious?

Turn chaos into clarity

Now, with all that being said, we know that you didn’t get into your line of work because you love dealing with these responsibilities. But guess what? We do love it! At Accountancy Cloud, our passion is to turn accounting chaos into clarity, so you can get back to the stuff that you actually care about. Get in touch today.

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