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Tips from a Cafe Accountant

Here’s our top bookkeeping tips for cafe owners.

Cafe Bookkeepers

Every business is busy. Hopefully you’re busy on profit generating activities, and not just busy being busy. Cafes and coffee shops, in particular, can have massively busy periods of the day. You know how fast time flies when you’re serving at lunchtimes or breakfast times. These are times when having processes and systems followed by all the team, really pays off.

Here are our top tips to busy cafe owners to keep control and focus on profit making activity.

  1. Use Xero.  Join the many cafe owners already using the best cloud accounting software there is to save valuable time on the paperwork. Xero is affordable and real time. With your bank transactions fed straight in, available on any device – your tablet, phone or laptop, you can keep up to date from within your cafe. You can manage inventory items, contacts, key files and documents, sales and payroll – all from Xero.
  2. When stock is received – Check the order and the delivery note. Cafes tend to have high order and delivery volumes, and it’s easy to be overcharged or have the incorrect items delivered, both situations causing inconvenience to you. There’s nothing worse than running out of take away coffee cups or milk, during your rush hour.
  3. Keep an inventory list.  Use Xero to create a list of all you buy and supply. Or use one of the many business apps that link seamlessly into Xero. Why? Knowing what you’ve got in stock and how quickly stock turns over, will become key performance indicators for your business.
  4. Keep all cafe paperwork in one central place and ensure you all know that is the system. This is a low cost, sure fire success tip. All paperwork in one place only. This means anyone doing the bookkeeping, scanning receipts, checking deliveries can access all the papers. Once it’s been processed – keep in somewhere else. It’s a simple in-and-out system, use coloured box files to make it even easier, simple and economical.
  5. Keep all your supplier and equipment information in one central place. This will be a file of all the necessary phone numbers, serial numbers, guarantees, service phone numbers, health inspectors, certificates and help lines. Basically, all your key info, that any staff can access, for when things break, stop, need servicing etc. Keep a physical copy and an on-line file in your cloud storage. That way, if it’s power failure or wi fi failure, you can still act fast to prevent total disaster.

Finally, let your accountant be your friend! Once you know that the key reason for looking at your past financial data is so you can plan for your future, you can access more powerful & useful information. If you want to grow your cafe, you’ll find time saving bookkeeping apps will be life changing, and once you start forecasting things like cashflows and profits you can see your business plans in financial pictures – this helps if you need to raise finance, helps you have clarity of thought and lets you analyse your cafe performance versus others in the cafe industry.

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Top tips from the cafe accountant