Finding software can be overwhelming. Software Advice has helped hundreds of restaurants choose the right accounting software so they can manage their finances and focus on making their customers happy.

Showing 1-20 of 106 products

NetSuite

NetSuite is a business management software suite offered as a service that performs enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) functions. It is a horizontal package designed for an extensive range... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 54 recommendations

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Sage Intacct

Sage Intacct is a provider of cloud-based financial management and accounting software. Sage Intacct's software solution is suitable for small to midsize accounting firms and can provide financial reporting and operational insights... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 35 recommendations

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Multiview

Multiview Financials is the flagship ERP system developed, sold, implemented, and supported by Multiview Financial Software. Multiview is designed for organizations ranging in size from rapidly growing small businesses to large enterprises... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 35 recommendations

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FINSYNC

FINSYNC provides multi-user cash flow management in the cloud to US-based small and medium-sized businesses. Businesses can upgrade from payments to invoicing, bill pay, payroll, project tracking, time tracking, expense reimbursement,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 31 recommendations

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Striven

Your cloud-based, all-in-one business management solution. Striven is ready for your business right out of the box. With fully integrated accounting, CRM, inventory, project management, human resources features, it's the only software... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 21 recommendations

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FinancialForce Financial Management

FinancialForce Financial Management (FM) is a cloud-based system built to provide a complete financial management solution for sales and services-orientated companies of all sizes. FinancialForce FM has several inherent applications,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 3 recommendations

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Oracle JD Edwards

Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne is a cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and supply chain management solution that provides ERP applications and tools for finance, consumer goods, human resources, distribution and manufacturing... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 2 recommendations

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Sage Fixed Assets

Sage Fixed Assets is a hybrid asset management solution that helps businesses track and manage the fixed assets through different steps of asset lifecycle. The solution offers integrated accounting features and multiple methods to... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 2 recommendations

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Infor CloudSuite Financials

Infor CloudSuite Financials is a solution suite that provides financial functionality coupled with a source-to-settle supply management offering. The solution is role-based, mobile responsive and delivered in the cloud. It delivers... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 2 recommendations

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Zhub

zHUB is a Focus Softnet implementation partner. The FOCUS9 ERP Cloud software solution includes Advanced Financial Management, Sales Management, Accounts Receivables & Payables, Inventory Management, Manufacturing & Resource Planning,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 2 recommendations

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Sage X3

Sage X3 is a powerful ERP software solution designed for medium-to-large national and global manufacturers, distributors, and after-sales providers and can establish a foundation for your digital transformation. Sage X3 comes with... Read more

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Averiware

Averiware offers an integrated cloud-based enterprise resource planning solution. Key features include accounting and financial management, customer relationship management, salesforce automation, , supply chain management, and human... Read more

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Deskera ERP

Deskera ERP is designed as a powerful and intuitive suite of business solutions with one goal in mind – to make digital transformation simple. This transformation has to be simple and economical. It is why Deskera has trusted users... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 38 recommendations

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Versa Cloud ERP

Every successful business eventually outgrows Excel spreadsheets and old software. If you are looking for new software that eliminates post-it notes, spreadsheets, and add-ons consider Versa Cloud ERP. Versa is modern all-in-one software... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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Microsoft Dynamics 365

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a financial management solution that helps businesses track and manage operations related to accounting, costing, budgeting, analysis and more. The platform offers a rule-based chart of accounts and dimensions,... Read more

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QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online is a web-based accounting solution that caters to individual accountants and small businesses. The solution helps with bank reconciliation, tracking expenses, drafting invoices and monitoring financial reports, among... Read more

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QuickBooks Online Advanced

QuickBooks Online Advanced is a cloud-based accounting solution that helps small to large enterprises manage expenses, projects, invoices and more. It comes with a centralized dashboard, which enables users to gain insights into business... Read more

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Xero

Established in 2006, Xero is a web-based accounting system designed for small and growing businesses. Xero connects small businesses with their trusted advisors and provides business owners with instant visibility of their financial... Read more

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Wave

Wave is an online accounting platform exclusively designed for small business owners, freelancers, and consultants. Wave's software provides features including accounting, invoicing, billing, payment tracking, payroll management, finance... Read more

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Happay

Happay is a cloud-based expense management solution that helps medium to large businesses manage and track expenses. It uses AI and machine learning technologies to automate processes related to expense claims management, reimbursement,... Read more

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Buyers guide


Last Updated: July 4, 2020

While recent studies have shown that the restaurant industry has grown in the past few years, the fact remains that about 17 percent close within their first year of business. There are, of course, any number of reasons why a new restaurant may be forced to shut its doors, but certainly one of the most vital elements of running a successful company is keeping the books. Choosing the right accounting software to help you do that can be overwhelming, to say the least.

There are a ton of accounting systems out there, each with myriad features and applications available for customization. That's why it's important to know the basics about restaurant accounting software before you begin your search for the system that best fits your needs, whether you're tracking payments, payroll or produce.

Here's what we'll cover:

What Is Restaurant Accounting Software?
Common Functionality of Restaurant Accounting Software
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Cloud-Based vs. Perpetual License Software
Market Trends to Be Aware Of

What Is Restaurant Accounting Software?

Running a restaurant means keeping up with a lot of things, not the least of which is expenses. Fortunately, a good accounting system specifically geared toward your industry can alleviate much of this work by managing every aspect of your business's finances. Most restaurant-specific accounting systems offer the following modules:

Essentially, restaurant accounting software will offer the same modules as general accounting systems, but the functionality will be more directly tailored to restaurant management. Most restaurant bookkeeping software offers integration with other systems, such as point of sale (POS) and tax management or expense tracking and payroll.

Payroll overview in Xero

Payroll overview in Xero

Common Functionality of Restaurant Accounting Software

Expense tracking Tracks every dollar spent—from the purchase of ingredients for recipes to the cost of keeping the lights on. This function ensures business owners or managers won't miss anything, so that the books will always be balanced at the end of the quarter and there won't be any surprises when tax season arrives.
Inventory tracking Ensures businesses comply with the U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Practices (GAAP) and tracks what a business spends on ingredients or supplies in order to provide a comprehensive report of where money goes. Inventory tracking software is especially important for restaurants because it can save money by preventing over-ordering and help chefs plan menus according to the availability of ingredients.
POS integration When integrated with restaurant-specific software, POS systems help servers calculate bills with state tax, incorporate tips, adjust inventory and print receipts. Some systems work with tax reporting modules to automatically produce filled-out government documents.
Payroll processing Some systems offer their own payroll tracking capabilities, while others are designed to work with stand-alone payroll software. Either way, having a reliable system in place allows restaurant managers to keep track of employee hours, automatically calculate payments and cut checks, cut down on human error and generate employee tax documents such as 1099s or W-4s.
Reporting tools Prevents managers or restaurant owners from having to manually code data in order to see where money is going. Reporting tools can provide specific sets of information to provide as narrow or broad a view of a business's finances as is necessary.
Banking integration Some systems allow businesses to link their bank accounts directly to the software to enable one-click payments and faster deposit times. This can save a great deal of time by taking over the menial task of manually recording every purchase or sale.
Profit/loss statement Keeps a running tab on the real balance of funds throughout a fiscal quarter, and produces reports whenever managers need them.

What Type of Buyer Are You?

The first step in determining which restaurant accounting system to invest in for your business is to figure out what kind of buyer you are. The majority of companies fall under one of the following three categories:

Small businesses looking to grow. Think of this as the local restaurant that recently made the decision to expand—be it through extending hours and bringing on more servers to cover those shifts or opening a second location. You may already have an accounting system in place, but you're quickly finding that growing means keeping more plates in the air (pun intended), and investing in a more capable software system is the best way to manage that.

Best-of-breed buyers. Restaurants that fall into this category are likely looking for software that offers a specific feature, such as payroll or inventory. Functionality will definitely be the most important consideration for this buyer, but integration—for example, an accounting system that can be linked to a tax management system in order to fully automate paperwork and IRS reporting, should not be overlooked as it can mean the difference between hours of manual data input and automatic data sharing. Beyond that, software that can integrate with other solutions can make things easier down the road when these buyers get ready to grow.

Enterprise or multilocation buyers. This bucket holds those eateries that are already very well-established; think multiple locations and availability in many different regions. These businesses are already operating on a relatively large scale, but may be prepared to upgrade accounting software to a more robust enterprise resource planning suites (ERP) that will offer fully integrated functionality. ERP systems afford large entities the ability to consolidate multiple companies and operate at an international level.

Cloud-Based vs. Perpetual License Software

As with most software markets, restaurant accounting software is offered in two forms: via perpetual license or by paying a monthly or yearly fee to use cloud-based accounting software.

When it comes to cost, businesses typically spend more upfront on perpetual licenses. This price tag can vary depending on things such as service tier, level of customer support and any update or maintenance fees. Cloud-based software, however, is usually priced per month according to the number of users or employees and the number of applications required.

Over time, the costs for each type of deployment will converge, but this should still be a consideration for restaurants that might not have as much room in their software budget at first.

Market Trends to Be Aware Of

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). SaaS is a subscription-based software deployment and housing model. With this type of system, users log into a web browser in order to access the software. SaaS offers much lower upfront costs and faster implementation, and it is quickly becoming commonplace in markets such as retail and human resources.

Mobile accounting. As we come to rely more and more heavily on our cell phones and mobile devices to get stuff done, accounting vendors (and other market-specific software, for that matter) are now offering mobile integrations. This allows you to access cloud-based software on your iPhone and do things such as snapping a photo of a receipt and uploading it, then watching the software automatically incorporate that transaction information into your accounts.