Using QuickBooks for Restaurants? It’s Time to Ditch It

Quickbooks for restaurants alternative

Hey there, restaurant owners! Let’s have a chat about your accounting software.

As a restaurant owner, you’ve probably heard of QuickBooks (QBO), right? 

It’s been the go-to accounting software for small businesses in the US for ages. 

But you know what? Times have changed, and so should your accounting software.

Today, we want to tell you about Xero, a fantastic alternative that’s perfect for restaurant businesses like yours. 

So, grab a cup of coffee (or wine), and let’s dive into the top five reasons why Xero is the way to go.

(And no, this isn’t sponsored!)

5 Reasons to Ditch QuickBooks For Restaurants


1. Superior reporting, anyone?

This is one of the main reasons we love Quickbooks for restaurants. 

QuickBooks has canned reports, sure. But Xero lets you create custom reports tailored to your restaurant’s needs. 

Here’s the example we like to use: 

Think about a custom home builder vs. a large home builder. 

With a custom home builder, you get to work with the architect, designer, and builder to design the home exactly how you want it. 

With a large home builder, you’re going to get more of a cookie-cutter home. 

In this example, QuickBooks Online is the large home builder and Xero is the custom home builder.

And this is a big deal for restaurants. 

As a restaurant owner, you need accounting software that can run reports based on your specific 13-month calendar. (Learn more about the 13-month calendar here.)

Your accounting software needs to have the capability to run weekly reports. 

With Xero, if your business week finishes on a Tuesday, you can customize the reports to run from Wednesday to Tuesday. 

Additionally, with Xero, you have the flexibility to organize your costs in the right way. You can easily organize your costs by prime costs (food and beverage, labor costs), and also by controllable and uncontrollable costs. 

Finally, with Xero’s superior reporting, you can run reports for multiple gross profits and ratio formulas. 

For example, when looking at food costs, you can run simple reports to see food costs as a percentage of food sales. Or, beverage costs as a percentage of beverage sales. 

This is super simple to do with Xero, and not so much with QBO. In fact, if you are even able to do it at all in QBO, it will cost you a lot of money.  

Whereas with Xero, it only costs you a flat $30 / month. 

This reason alone should be enough to convince you to make the switch to Xero as a restaurant owner!


2. Xero loves the cloud

Being cloud-friendly is a big deal these days. Xero is designed to work effortlessly with basic browser functionality, making it a breeze to use multiple monitors and side-by-side comparisons. Trust us; you’ll love the difference it makes!


3. Xero’s bank reconciliation is a game-changer

Xero’s artificial intelligence (AI) is smart. Like, really smart. It does a fantastic job matching bank feeds to vendor names and general ledger accounts. Plus, it’s got an easy-to-read, side-by-side comparison format that streamlines your restaurant’s financial processes. Say goodbye to tedious reconciliations!


4. Xero gets you, the business owner

Xero was designed with you, the business owner in mind, rather than your accountant. Although, we love it too! Xero’s organization and structure make it a cinch for any restaurant business to use. Easy-to-navigate categories like Business, Accounting, and Contacts, and a handy top-down menu, meaning you’ll know your way around the software in just a few tries. 


5. Unlimited users? Yes, please!

With Xero, your monthly subscription includes unlimited users. No more extra fees for added team members! Better segregation of duties and accountability? That’s a win-win in our book.

Aside from these five awesome reasons, Xero also outshines QuickBooks in areas like batch transaction fixes and tracking categories. But we wrote a whole blog post on that here if you’d like to dive into more details.

Using QuickBooks for Restaurants? It’s Time to Ditch It

Is QuickBooks Better Than Xero at Anything?

Just to convince you that this blog isn’t sponsored by Xero, we’re going to dive into a few perks that QuickBooks has over Xero. 

1. QBO Wins: Applying Payments to Bills

QuickBooks Online has a more user-friendly process for applying payments to open bills. Let’s say you’ve recorded all your bank transactions for the month and later decide to enter an old bill that you recently received, even though it was paid a few weeks ago. With QuickBooks Online, you can easily apply the existing payment to the bill without any hassle.  We are not sure how they accomplished this feature, but it is really awesome, and we hope Xero launches this feature sometime in the near future.

On the other hand, Xero doesn’t offer this level of simplicity. To apply a payment to an open bill in Xero, you’d have to remove and redo the transaction, then go to your bank feeds and apply the payment to the bill. While not a deal-breaker, this process can be slightly more cumbersome compared to QuickBooks Online.

2. QBO Wins: Canned Reporting

This isn’t a win for restaurants, but if when it comes to a basic business that follows the 12-month calendar, QuickBooks’ canned reporting is all you need and their reports are quicker and easier to run.  Xero has caught up in this area, but they are still a little behind in this regard, but again their focus was on the custom reporting which is a big win for them over QuickBooks.

Which Accounting Software Is Best For Restaurant Owners?

Sure, QuickBooks has a few perks in general ledger reporting and applying payments to open bills, but let’s be real – Xero takes the cake overall.

Xero outperforms QuickBooks Online in almost all other aspects, making it an excellent choice for restaurant owners looking to modernize their accounting processes. 


How Hard Is It To Switch Your Restaurant Accounting to Xero?

The good news is that once you’ve made the decision to switch to Xero, the rest of the work is pretty easy. 

Especially if you hire us to help. 

Here at U-Nique Accounting, we help restaurants modernize their entire accounting process, from accounting software to POS integration, in just a matter of weeks. 

No, really! 

It’s what our team of accountants are here for. 

In order to set you up on Xero, we’ll grab your QuickBooks Online login and a few extra details, and usually we can handle the rest from there. 

And in the meantime, we’ll take a look over your previous tax returns and bookkeeping to make sure you’re taking advantage of every lucrative restaurant tax break that many accountants typically miss. 

So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to make the switch from QuickBooks to Xero and treat your restaurant to a better accounting experience. 

Just book a quick 15-minute call, and we’ll answer any questions you have.

Embrace the future of restaurant financial management and join the Xero revolution!

Matt C


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