Restaurants & Bars
Welcome to RY CPAs!
We’re excited to be working with you!
We want your experience to be the BEST possible, therefore we have developed this Client Success Guide to outline our goals, roles, responsibilities, expectations, process, and FAQ for everything that we’ll be doing for you.
RY CPAs has dedicated itself to liberating business leaders and advisors from uncertainty and stress.
As our client, you are an integral part of this mission.
Our goal is to empower you with accurate and near real-time financials and advice so you can accelerate strategic and informed decisions. This means we will :
- Provide you with accurate and timely financial reporting with the least possible effort from you.
- Try to reach as close to real-time financials as possible
- Ensure you’re completely satisfied with your accounting function and you’re getting the support you need.
- Advise and add value when the opportunities arise
Our Core Values
These are the core values we work and live by every day, we ask that you embrace them and expect nothing less from of us:
- Avoid complacency, strive for excellence
- If it’s not documented, it didn’t happen
Roles & Responsibilities
- Provide one point of contact
- Run third-party delivery sales (Ubereats, Doordash, etc.) through the POS directly or through an aggregator.
- Run banquet room/Private Dining Room (PDR) rentals through the POS.
- Separate cash deposits by date. You can do this by using a separate deposit slip for each day and using that day’s date on the deposit slip. We recommend daily cash deposits.
- We recommend that you pay out ALL tips through payroll. If you do this, then all cash tips will need to be reported as tips received in the POS, or separately broken out in the daily deposit slips.
- Pay owner-operators reasonable compensation (market rate) via guaranteed payments (for partnerships) or payroll (for S-corps/C-corps)
- Do not pay employees outside of payroll. If they need to get paid in advance, then write a check and write “Employee Advance” on the check.
- Respond to questions or open items from our team within 5 days
- Any time spent addressing responses received after 5 days will be subject to billable support hours.
- This ensures that there are no bottlenecks in your accounting and tax cycle, therefore allowing us to constantly deliver on time.
- Do not run personal or affiliated company transactions through the business accounts.
- Request W-9s from any service provider, lender, and landlord for which you are not paying via debit/credit card before paying them (if you pay a vendor).
- Let us know when:
- there is a change in ownership, or you want to change ownership
- you want to make a large purchase or investment into the business
- Send manual check images, payment confirmations, invoices, and receipts to:
- Stay engaged with your client advisor, and keep them in the loop about everything. Question what you do not understand and take advantage of unlimited access, this is not a gimmick.
- Provide feedback – both negative and positive so we can improve and build upon our strengths.
- Try to communicate via email as much as possible. Calls/texts should be limited to emergencies, especially outside of normal business hours.
- Trust in our process and procedures
- Provide one point of contact after the onboarding stage – the Client Advisor
- Answer your questions via email, text, phone, or Zoom.
- Ensure the scope of work is executed timely and accurately
How We Work
Our team works fully remote. We have team members and clients across the US. We also have a team in Armenia, Argentina, and Jordan that support our Client Advisor team, and an India team that supports our internal operations. Our relationship is virtual, but when possible we try to visit your restaurant and meet you in person. This strategy allows us to contribute an unparalleled amount of time, resources, and attention to your books and engagement at a fair price point.
We have the following positions in our firm :
- Managing Principal
- Director of Accounting
- Director of Tax
- Senior Client Advisor
- Senior Tax Specialist
- Senior Onboarding Specialist
- Accountant I
- Accountant II
- Senior Accountant
- Administrative Coordinator
- Internal Finance Manager
Our US team is comprised of CPAs only, and our overseas client-serving accountants have all earned Master’s Degrees at the minimum and gone through a rigorous training program. We take excellence and quality control very seriously, and each one of our team members is living proof of that.
When your dedicated client advisor is on vacation, another US-based CPA will serve as your point of contact, however, the work and deliverables will not be affected because the accountant team will continue delivering. This is the value of the Team-Based Approach.
To successfully execute a Team-Based Approach, we document every single task, procedure, and nuance related to you so we can transfer knowledge between team members seamlessly.
Systems Used to Work With You
Intuit Practice Management
Intuit Practice Management (IPM powered by Karbon) is our engine. It houses every single task and email that gets executed in our firm along with start dates and due dates. It’s also used to streamline the open item and document request process with you. IPM allows us to consolidate all tasks and requests so there aren’t information silos and allows our team to collaborate with you as seamlessly as possible.
The first time you receive a request from IPM you will be asked to enter a four-digit PIN. Thereafter, each time you complete a request, you will be asked to enter the PIN. We request open items through IPM very frequently so we recommend getting used to using this tool. It’s very frictionless!
Quickbooks Online (QBO) serves as the single source of truth for accounting data. This is where we will perform your accounting and house documentation for transactions. When in doubt, you can refer to QBO!
Fathom is the system used to share your monthly financial statements and analyses for your business. You will be required to set up an account to access your monthly deliverable. It includes an endless amount of analysis and financial planning tools. We encourage you to spend some time in there playing around.
The Process & Deliverables
So you’re probably wondering what to expect and what the next steps are for each service item in your proposal. Here is the process:
Your relationship with us starts with onboarding. You will be introduced to your Senior Onboarding Specialist via email as soon as your proposal is signed and payment information is provided.
Our Senior Onboarding Specialist will guide you through the onboarding process. Within the first week, they will review your accounting system and discovery call notes and send you a client task checklist through IPM requesting access to the necessary systems. They will also provide a timeline for the onboarding and next steps.
The onboarding process can take anywhere from 2-6 weeks depending on :
- Your response rate
- Condition of your books
- Our ability to get the appropriate access
If you have the Essentials or Thrive plan, then each week you will receive an email from your client advisor or a Senior Accountant from our team with cash balance, cash-short/over, unpaid bills, and bill payments.
Month-End Financial Statements & Analysis via Fathom
You will receive an email from Fathom to view your monthly reports and analysis. You can print these reports to PDF if you prefer, but we recommend viewing them live because they are interactive reports.
You will notice that ratios and trend analysis play a key role in our monthly reporting. Each ratio or KPI is explained in Fathom so that you understand its importance and the industry standard.
Many of the KPIs in Fathom are reported on a rolling twelve-month cycle. The ending month does not matter; the data is just as meaningful for any given 12 months. Rolling 12 data is the best form of financial truth for profit and loss presentation for the following reasons :
- It eliminates every excuse because it includes an entire year – all holidays, annual special events, all four seasons, and all business cycle seasons.
- It eliminates the discrepancies between # of weekends or days in a month.
- It reveals behavioral economics
- There have been studies on how people use annual and monthly data to make key decisions. The results show that control groups who used only annual data to make buy and sell decisions for stock portfolios traded less frequently and had a higher yield than the group that traded only with monthly information. A month is a horrible unit of time to base decisions on. No months are equal, but all 12-month periods are equal.
After rolling 12, we look at rolling 3 and then monthly. The idea is to look at the longest data set first, work our way to the shortest, and not overreact to short-term data. Not every restaurant has consistent activity in every quarter, but when you do have consistency (or a limited seasonal business cycle), rolling 3 is a powerful pacing tool to show a shorter-term picture of your business performance.
The year-to-date view is good only for estimating taxes. Otherwise, it is an invalid time period for analysis.
Payroll Processing & Management w/ ADP
If your monthly plan includes the Payroll Processing & Management w/ADP service item, then we will do the following :
- Monday-Tuesday (following the pay period end date)
- send you a client task confirming that the values in the POS are correct, or request the payroll data
- Wednesday-Thursday (following the pay period end date)
- send you a payroll preview of the payroll asking you to approve the submission
- submit payroll
- recording the payroll on the books
Your only responsibility is to respond to our payroll requests within 24 hours.
Bill Pay & Vendor Reconciliation
If you have the Thrive plan, then your monthly plan includes Bill Pay & Vendor Reconciliation. We will do the following:
- Address emails in [email protected]*
- Download and save statements sent to [email protected]
- Download and save bills and receipts sent to [email protected]
- Move all addressed emails to the Addressed folder within the [email protected] inbox so you can track our progress.
- Request statements from vendors who have upcoming bills due
- reconcile bills uploaded by the restaurant with the amounts shown on the vendor statements
- address discrepancies and request vendor credits and updated statements reflecting the vendor credits
- pay bills after calculating the reconciled cash balance
- provide a report to management showing the bills that were paid.
*Please be aware that we only check the [email protected] inbox on the days listed above, we do not check it every day in order to stay efficient. Therefore, urgent requests should be emailed directly to your Client Advisor.
You are responsible for the following:
- Ensuring all bills left with the receiver at the restaurant are signed and uploaded to [email protected], [email protected], Marginedge, or Xtrachef (whichever is applicable for you). If a bill has been paid via COD/check by the restaurant, please write “Paid with check # XX” on the bills, and write the invoice # in the check memo. This allows us to ensure bills are not double paid. If possible, upload images of issued checks as well.
1099 Preparation & Filing
Payments by vendor are tracked in QBO for 1099 filing purposes throughout the year. At the end of December and/or beginning of January, we will reach out to request missing vendor information needed to file the 1099s. The 1099s will be filed by January 31.
Tax Return Preparation & Filing
Your books are tax-ready throughout the year. Once we close out December your books will generally be ready for tax preparation. You will receive a year-end checklist from us in January to confirm some items such as shareholder/partner changes. Once we receive the responses to these items, we will begin preparing the returns. As long as all responses are received in five days, we should have the tax returns completed by the end of February, unless the IRS delays the issuance of tax forms. Your client advisor will keep you in the loop about this.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Where do you draw the line with unlimited access? What are support hours?
If a team member leaves a meeting with additional work as a result of the meeting, then this additional work is considered out of scope and subject to billable support hours. The exception is if the additional work is related directly to the scope of work. Your client advisor will let you know if a service is subject to support hours. Support hours are billed at a blended rate of $225/hour.
- Who is responsible for tax notices?
Please send all tax notices to [email protected] If the tax notice is related to work performed by our team, then addressing the notice is considered in-scope no matter how long it takes. If the tax notice is related to work performed by you or your previous accountant, then the time attributable to resolving the notices is considered billable support hours.
- What do you do to protect my data and information?
Our client data and email accounts are managed by OnlineOwls. OnlineOwls is a Managed Security Service Provider that provides cutting-edge offensive and defensive strategies to assist organizations in improving their information security posture to limit attack surfaces and risks businesses face every day. Utilizing proprietary technology combined with real-time threat intelligence and industry-leading best practices, their services offer 360-degree auditing and protection for our networks, devices, cloud technology, and staff members.
We also have a Cybersecurity insurance policy to protect us in a worse-case scenario. Our insurance policy is through the AICPA insurance program designed specifically for accounting and tax services.
- Who owns my accounting data?
We prepare and manage your accounting data, but you own it. This includes your QBO and all source documents that we store to prepare your financials. If you ever want to leave us or move your accounting in-house, we’re happy to transfer admin access for your QBO and all documents upon request.
- What do you mean by [email protected]?
For Thrive plan clients, we set up and manage an [email protected] inbox under your domain name. For example, if you own Big Petes BBQ, and the domain name bigpetesbbq.com, then we will ask you to set up [email protected] for our team. This email will be used to interact with your vendors to deal with Accounts Payable issues such as requesting vendor credits. It’s meant to replicate an in-house accounting team for a business of any size.
- When do I email [email protected] versus my client advisor?
[email protected] is meant for Accounts Payable-related issues. You shouldn’t send vendor introductions, invoices, receipts, statements, vendor credits, or any other vendor related issues to your client advisor. These will go to [email protected]
- Should I use [email protected], [email protected], or [email protected] for providing documentation? Also, what documentation should I send?
They all end up in the same place, so it’s up to you.
- How should I ring up my third-party delivery (Ubereats, Grubhub, etc.) orders?
All third-party delivery orders should get processed through the POS using the pricing that is shown in the delivery platform. We recommend using a system like Chowly to consolidate your third-party delivery systems. Whether you use a system to consolidate these orders, or if you’re inputting the orders manually, we recommend inputting the orders as if it’s a regular sale and using the third-party delivery tender for payment. We recommend setting up a separate tender in your POS for each third-party delivery provider.
- How do you account for fixed assets and depreciation?
Our default policy is to record fixed assets and depreciation on a tax basis unless you’re required to have a GAAP audit, review, or compilation. When you purchase a fixed asset, we will determine whether it needs to be capitalized or expensed based on the IRS’s cost segregation guide for restaurants. If the purchase is a fixed asset, then we will record tax depreciation in that same month for that fixed asset. Most fixed assets qualify for accelerated 100% depreciation in the year of purchase, so you will see a large depreciation expense on your P&L in the month of purchase.
- How do I know my vendor balance aka Accounts Payable?
Your vendor balance is updated on a weekly basis in QBO if you’re a Essentials or Thrive client. You can access this information by going to QBO > Reports > Unpaid Bills. Alternatively, you can run an aging report by going to QBO > Reports > Accounts Payable Aging.
- Will you make sure we have documentation for all transactions?
We will save and organize documentation (such as receipts, invoices, bills) and attach them to transactions in QBO for all documentation that you send to [email protected], [email protected], or [email protected] All documents uploaded to Marginedge/Xtrachef will automatically get uploaded to QBO. If you requested that we don’t add any transactions that don’t have documentation during your onboarding, then there could be delays in your accounting process if you don’t upload documentation.
- How do you deal with missing bills?
When there are missing bills (that we haven’t received from the restaurant) that appear on a vendor’s statement, then we will email the vendor to request a signed copy of the bill. If the vendor can’t provide a signed copy then we will either (1) request it from you via a client task, or (2) take the vendor’s word, based on your preference.
- Why can’t I run personal expenses through my business account?
You shouldn’t run personal expenses through your business for multiple reasons, but here are the top 5:
- It makes your financial statements meaningless for analysis
- You could mislead external stakeholders and provide inaccurate financials resulting in potential legal action. One of the main rules in running a successful business is to have it always ready for sale. And if you’re using the business as a personal bank account then no one will want to buy or invest in something like that. A savvy investor/buyer will know if your numbers are lying, so don’t compromise your valuation because you don’t feel like transferring money to your personal account.
- It could pierce the corporate veil, meaning you could lose your limited liability shield if you were ever taken to court and they could prove that your business account was being used for personal expenses.
- If the IRS catches you doing this then they will start questioning all of your legitimate business expenses.
- If the personal expenses are classified as distributions then your distributions could trigger a red flag from the IRS because they’re very high in proportion to your salaries.
- What are the benefits of paying all tips through payroll?
We recommend paying all tips through payroll for the following reasons:
- You don’t need to worry about reporting cash tips separately through payroll, or underreporting tips to the IRS.
- It allows us to reconcile tips received with tips paid out more accurately because we see all transactions related to tips.