Restaurant Accountants vs CPA: What’s the difference?

Stay updated with current accounting standards, business compliance, tax preparation tips, and latest news.

    03 Apr 2023

    The restaurant industry is a hive of energy, imagination, and quick decisions. When it comes to managing a successful restaurant, curating the menu, fostering an excellent client experience, and maintaining those tables full regularly are only drops in the bucket. Your customers are never aware of all the labor that goes behind the scenes. Maintaining bookkeeping for small restaurants and being aware of business cash flow is one of them. Despite its importance, it is an avoidable distraction which generally gets deferred to a later date.

    In this post, we'll contrast two services— restaurant bookkeeping services and restaurant CPA services—that can help address this aspect.

    What’s the difference between bookkeeping and CPA services?

    Accounting is a profession that exists to deliver suitable and timely financial information. An essential component of accounting is bookkeeping. As an owner, you need to choose between hiring someone to manage your small restaurant bookkeeping and accounting services or outsourcing to a professional CPA. 

    The accounting teams that manage both the administrative side of accounting and strategic advising typically work for CPA in Surrey Canada companies.

    Think of a strategic accountant as the chef, and a bookkeeper as the line cook.

    Accounts payable, accounts receivable, sale tax, payroll, and credit card administration and reconciliation are just a few of the services offered by bar and restaurant accounting and bookkeeping services teams. These are the regular employees who make sure business finances are available to ensure smooth running of operations.

    Restaurant bookkeeper job: What do they do?

    A certified bookkeeper has finished a course in each of the responsibilities-listed areas.

    Among the duties of a restaurant bookkeeper are:

    • Gather, analyze, and summarize account information, assist the controller or director of finance to create financial reports.
    • Examination of the daily cost of food and drinks
    • Upload your monthly and daily journal entries.
    • Maintain books of accounts - balance sheet, income statement, cash flow statements, etc
    • Assistance with monthly, quarterly, and annual audits from the controller/director of finance
    • Help with supervision and monthly inventory count
    • Create a chart of accounts, specify bookkeeping policies and procedures, and structure a system to account for financial transactions.
    • Upkeep of accounts through allocation, publishing, and verification of transactions
    • Reconcile the general ledger, the balance sheet, and the bank and credit card entries and transactions to settle the accounts.
    • Outline invoices for accounts receivable, go over payments, and record deposits.
    • Keep accurate historical records by filing paperwork.
    • Assure correct and timely completion of the monthly, quarterly, and year-end closing processes.
    • Confirm that all business transactions are appropriately recorded and accounted for by reconciling the main financial reporting software with the point-of-sale system.
    • Conduct and control general ledger operations.

    For a simple guide article for restaurant bookkeeping. Click here.

    Why hire a restaurant bookkeeping service?

    Reduces time. The blend of administrative work and financial accuracy that bookkeeping provides is exciting. However, unless you enjoy numbers, bookkeeping tends to become a tedious and time consuming task. 

    An expert watching your finances. The margin for error reduces when a focused bookkeeper handles your books of accounts. Besides, keeping up with the changing tax laws and regulations is better off with an experienced bookkeeper.

    Faster financial analysis. Your books are kept organized and current by a bookkeeper. Running reports or keeping tabs on your overall financial situation is now simple and quick. You may readily see which expenses are depleting your budget and how much revenue you need for business sustainability.

    Audit Ready. The confidence of having well maintained books of accounts is bound to encourage you to make effective decisions, without worrying for the audit compliance.

    What are CPA services for restaurants?

    Consider CPA services as providing the entire range of financial services as opposed to just bookkeeping. As a result, CPA services not only provide bookkeeping but also a dependable financial advisor.

    Let's review what a restaurant Chartered Professional Accountants Canada is in order to better comprehend what restaurant CPA services entail:

    What does a restaurant CPA do and should you hire one?

    A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) has the right education and experience to advise and assist in setting up controls to manage your bar and restaurant accounting and bookkeeping services and comply with tax and legal obligations and adhere to defined accounting standards.

    Bar & Restaurants owners should strongly consider engaging professional CPA services for smooth financial position of your business and keep it in adherence with CRA requirements.

    Improved Visibility To Your Restaurant’s Financial Performance

    The restaurant sector is known for its tight profit margins. Hiring an experienced Chartered Professional Accountant ensures that your restaurant's financial records are always accurate and up to date. This gives you visibility into how your business performs and allows you to track your expenses, revenue, and cash flow. 

    Saves a significant Amount of Money & Time

    Hiring an in-house accountant or a bookkeeper can be pricey, especially when you factor in pay - payroll taxes, employee benefits, and wages. Outsourcing your bar and restaurant  accounting and bookkeeping can provide you with more value for your money and access to expertise without the added payroll costs. It also means you won't have to deal with turnover or hiring costs, and you won't have to train or manage new employees. Outsourcing allows you to save the time it would take you to do bookkeeping, allowing you to focus on your business growth.

    Streamline Payroll Processing 

     As a restaurant owner, paying your staff on time and correctly is one of your key responsibilities. Paying employees may appear to be a straightforward operation, but it is rather complex. Every employee will have different pay and hours of work, depending on their experience and role - whether they are at front of the house, back of the house, or managing operations. Also, you may have some employees who get paid an hourly wage while others get a salary. Plus, you’ll have to account for tips as well.  Employee payroll is subject to regulations on tip reporting, state unemployment, payroll taxes, social security, and medicare taxes. 

    Restaurant operators that manage their payroll face a high amount of exposure since submitting payroll taxes erroneously or late can result in severe fines and create significant liability issues. Outsourcing the payroll is a surprisingly low-cost way to assure consistency and dependability in bookkeeping. Outsourcing your payroll process to a professional payroll provider, like CJCPA, not only ensures that you comply with requirements, but also saves you hours of work each paid month.

    Knowledge of software updates aligned with regulations 

    POS Systems, accounting, and bookkeeping software are ever-evolving and aligned to your business growth, industry, and CRA regulations. While new software features are frequently introduced, keeping up with them while running your restaurant becomes nearly impossible. When you outsource your bookkeeping, you gain access to the most advanced accounting software and tools, which are specially designed to automate your accounting process while keeping your books in order.  The experts are familiar with these updates and can help adopt changes faster with accuracy.

    CPA v/s restaurant bookkeeping services!

    You can keep your restaurant's books organized with the help of bookkeepers and CPAs, both of whom are beneficial.

    The main distinction?

    A bookkeeper's primary responsibility is keeping track of business transactions. But, a CPA will conduct a more thorough financial analysis to make sure that financial KPIs are being met.

    Outsourcing your accounting and bookkeeping services has many benefits. Some of the main benefits cited by CPA clients range from feeling supported and valued to feeling secure and at ease. 


    Hiring professional accounting and bookkeeping services for bars and restaurants in Canada can save both time and money. Searching for qualified accountants is time-consuming as you may need a team for managing your Restaurant’s Accounts. Instead, outsourcing it to a specialized firm like CJCPA would be a less expensive & more effective alternative, enabling you to concentrate on your love of hospitality and aptitude for cooking and giving unparalleled experience to your patrons. 

    Regardless of how big or little, new or established your restaurant is, outsourcing your bookkeeping can help your business expand. With our comprehensive bar and restaurant accounting and bookkeeping services, our knowledgeable team assists eateries with all of their specific financial needs. Get in touch with us at 604-560-8020 or Today. 

    We are here to keep your books organized!

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