How to Keep Accounting Records for a Small Restaurant

A cash register can do much of the work for calculating your restaurant’s sales revenue. Even if you run a small restaurant, you will need to keep accounting records in order to file and pay taxes, and understand the financial workings of your business. Some restaurant accounting, such as closing out register totals, should be done daily. Other tasks, such as payroll, can be performed weekly or every other week. Tallying an expense ledger is usually a monthly task, and payroll tax forms must be completed and filed quarterly. Sales Totals A small restaurant should keep records of its sales revenue after each meal shift as well as totals for each day. Even relatively simple cash registers will print reports tracking food sales in different categories such as entrees, appetizers and beverages, as well as sales-tax totals and amounts that customers pay in cash, checks and credit cards. Creating a spreadsheet that tracks totals in each category for each meal enables you to identify and prepare for busy shifts and compare sales across different days and weeks. Payroll Your cooks and servers depend on your payroll system to write their weekly paychecks and withhold income and Social Security and Medicare taxes. Most restaurant employees earn wages rather than salaries; multiply employee hours by their hourly wage to determine base payroll amounts. Servers and bartenders are also liable for payroll taxes on income they earn in tips, so ask them to report their tip income on their time sheets. Deduct income tax using IRS tax tables, and multiply tip and wage income by .0565 as of 2012 to determine Social...

How to Calculate Monthly Sales Tax for a Restaurant

Restaurant customers in some states must pay sales tax. Not all states charge its consumers sales tax to generate revenue. Some states rely on other forms of taxation, such as property tax or state income tax. If your restaurant is located in a state with sales tax, your gross sales are typically subject to sales tax. This means you must collect the tax when you sell something to a customer. You also need to apply for a resale permit in your state, authorizing you to collect sales tax. Normally, the permit costs nothing, but you will be required to submit regular sale tax reports along with the collected taxes — usually monthly. Step 1 Determine your tax rate. Not all restaurants in your state will necessarily have the same tax rate. Sales tax rates can vary by city and county. Contact the agency where you applied for your sales tax permit if you need to find out your tax rate. This is a percentage amount. Step 2 Distinguish between taxable and non-taxable items you sell at the restaurant. For example, if your restaurant includes a bakery, some carry-out items might be tax-free in your state. Information regarding taxable items are available through the government agency issuing resale tax permits. Related Reading: How to Figure the Amount of Sales Tax in Texas Step 3 Talley up the sum total of all the taxable items sold in the restaurant during the month. Step 4 Multiply your sales tax rate by the sum total of all the taxable items sold during the month. For example, it your tax rate is 10 percent,...