Don’t Count The Beans, Cook Them

As hospitality businesses struggle to find staff to do their accounts and bookkeeping in-house, what are the advantages of contracting-out?

Marc Bertorelli, Business Development Manager of Paperchase, the UK’s leading hospitality accounting specialists explains the joys of contracting out to a specialist.

Whilst you are sitting there in the early hours of the morning, following a busy service, trying to make sense of your bookkeeping and conscious that you are weeks behind with your VAT return, you are suddenly reminded why you got into hospitality. It was to cook and serve great food, to make people happy, to deliver the joy of the dining experience, not to be a bookkeeper!

I talk to a lot of hospitality business each week and the current thread that we are hearing is that restaurants are struggling to find qualified staff to do their accounts in-house. The larger chains and groups, of course employ account teams, whilst for the smaller businesses, the owner will try and do as much of this work as possible, which is not always the best idea.

I struggle to understand why restaurateurs, who work with the finest producers, the best fish mongers, the best cheese suppliers, the best butchers, and the most specialist service providers, would have a stab at doing their own accounting and bookkeeping. To be the best, you must hire the best.

Whether you’re logging your own hours doing the books or utilising a staff member to look after the bookkeeping process, you’ll be able to free up some time, as well as be able to reduce wages and expenses, by contracting out. You will also have more time to allocate to your business, where you could be building vital business relationships, whilst your stress levels will ultimately reduce.

The other downside of employing an in-house team, is who will train and manage them? Remember, it’s very difficult for a non-accountant to hire an accountant. For sure you can have an in-house team, but a large amount of the work will be very administrative instead of strategic. A solution would be to employ one highly qualified individual who can make the strategic decisions and think long term for your business, and then employ Paperchase to do the rest of the day-to-day admin.

Advantages of contracting out accounting services for your restaurant

There comes a time in the cycle of every business when it is the right time to contract out certain time-consuming, administrative tasks, and there are a number of advantages when doing so. The first advantage is there are no recruitment costs, and in the event of a member of staff leaving, or becoming sick, there is no race to recruit replacements.

So, it’s less expensive to hire a bookkeeper or accountant than to employ a full-time staff member to complete the same tasks. In addition to wages, don’t forget the typical expenses an employee can cost your business such as: recruitment fees, NI & Pension contributions, holiday pay, sick leave, employee benefits and other employee packages. By contracting out to Paperchase you will pay a single set monthly fee.

A professional accountant or bookkeeper specialises in the work they do. They will be aware of changes in legislation that may affect your business. You may be spending more time than you want on processing and reporting your own accounting and payroll information, and not enough time doing what you should be doing, which is running your business and giving your customers the best experience. The right advice at the right time could end up saving your business money over the long term.

We are Paperchase, the UK’s leading hospitality accountancy and bookkeeping practice, and hospitality is the sector we exclusively cater to. Outsourcing to Paperchase or contracting out as we like to call it, means we become your accountancy team. With over 600 fully qualified staff, fully employed in our own offices, we have a vast resource that we can put to work on your project and contracting your bookkeeping and accounts to Paperchase is easier than you would think. We have over 30 years of best practice advice to offer, we are always up-to-date on the latest legislation, and we have seen and done almost everything.

Are there downsides to contracting out? No, not the Paperchase way. Our daily, weekly, and monthly reporting keeps you in control. Your Paperchase Account Handler is there to keep an eye on your business and to inform you of your performance in the areas of the business you should be focusing on. Our overall holistic view of your business will tell us where your purchasing may need improvement, where your stock taking needs attention, whilst helping with menu planning pointing out where your food costs are too high for certain dishes and with a little fettling, you could be making more profit per plate. We can help with staff rotas, and for all these facets of your business we have software-based solutions to provide the support you need.

With over 450 restaurants as clients and offices in London, Europe, India, Dubai, Canada, and the USA, we are the leading specialist hospitality bookkeeping and accountancy service provider, and with the benefits of scale, we are often the most cost-effective solution.