Help for the SimpleRestaurantAccounting online app

Basics (6)

How to create an account

Click the “Sign Up” button on the right side of the page. You can also click the “Login” button, then select “Create New Account” from the log in page.

No credit card is required to create an account.


SimpleCafeBooks starts with a complete chart of accounts already set up for a restaurant or food service business. The system is ready to use as soon as you register.


Sales can be associated with specific customers, or generic “sales units” such as Daily Sales or Bar Sales. We have set up several sales units that you can use immediately (including Daily Sales, Bar, Take Out, and Dine In) or you can add and change customers as you require from the Names screen. Most restaurants can just use Daily Sales as the sales unit, so they are ready to go without any setup.

When entering sales, you can add a new customer by simply typing a new name.


You will need to enter the names of vendors and employees to record where you spend your money. You can enter them as you go, or you can select the Names screen to enter them first. We give you space to save contact information and other details, but none of that is required to use the system.

If you enter a new vendor name while recording expenses, it will be added to the Names list. You can go to the Names screen anytime to change or add names.

Banks & Credit Cards

We have also created entries in the chart of accounts for multiple bank accounts and credit cards, but they just have generic names like “Primary Bank Account”. You will probably want to go to the Names screen to add meaningful names for the bank accounts and credit card accounts you use for your business. On that screen, you can select which of the generic accounts to associate with that name.

Tax Authorities & Merchant accounts

If you collect sales tax, you may also want to add the tax authority to the Names screen. There is an account in the chart of accounts for Sales Tax Collected that should be associated with this name.

If you accept credit or debit cards, you have a merchant account. If you choose to record payments received into the merchant account in your chart of accounts (so that you can record the transfer to your bank account on the correct date), you should add the merchant on the Names screen. The merchant should be linked to the Merchant Hold account in your chart of accounts.

Note that some business owners will choose to record card payments received directly into their bank account, so there would be no need to refer to the merchant name. This method will save some data entry, but makes the reconciliation report less helpful when comparing to your bank statements, since the deposits are usually off by a few days (and with some merchants, have immediate fee adjustments).

Entering Sales

To record all sales and income from your restaurant or food service business, select the Make Money screen.

Most users will want to record sales on a daily basis. A cash register or POS system will likely be used to keep track of sales, and provide a report with totals for the day. Small locations with a single register will enter one transaction in SimpleCafeBooks for each day they are open. If you have multiple registers, you can choose to add them together and enter a single transaction, or enter a separate transaction for each register.

It is also possible to minimize data entry by summing up weekly or monthly totals from the register, and entering only one transaction per week or month. However, for maximum flexibility in selecting dates for report printing we recommend entering sales records for each day.

The options on the Make Money screen are as follows:

Transaction Type:

  • Select Sales By Unit to enter normal daily transactions.
  • Select Sales By Customer to enter catering or contract sales

Sales Unit or Customer: If you have a single register, or if you get a single total from your multiple POS systems, select Daily Sales. We have also set up sales units for Take Out and Dine In, which you can use if you have totals from multiple registers. You can modify, add or delete entities from the Names screen.

If you are making a sale to a catering customer, or any customer that you wish to record their sales separately, you can select their name, or just type the name if they are a new customer.

Date: select the date the sale occurred.

Goods Sold: This is the area to record the food, beverages, and other items you sold. You should also record sales tax collected, and any employee tips that are being held by the restaurant (usually the tips applied to credit and debit cards).

Payments from Customers: This is the area to record the cash, checks, gift certificates, and card payments from the customers. This area is also used if the customer has an advance deposit or a credit with you. If you are billing in advance of payment, you would select Accounts Receivable.

The total value of all the goods sold must be equal to the total of all the payment methods. If you have a cash drawer shortage on a given day, and you enter the exact amount of cash available from the drawer, then you also need to enter an another line in the Payments section in the account Cash Drawer Shortage (although it sounds counter-intuitive, if the drawer is over, enter a negative number).

Another way to look at it is that everything on the left side of the screen represents the business that needs to be accounted for. Everything on the right side of the screen shows how it was covered.

Billing in Advance & Receiving Payments

With catering sales, there may be a need to record the sale of the event prior to receiving the payment. These sales are also recorded on the Make Money screen.

The sale can be recorded as one transaction, and the receipt of payment can be recorded as a separate transaction on a different date. To create the original sale transaction, proceed as described in Entering Sales, and choose Accounts Receivable as the Payments Received method.

When you are receiving a payment on a sale you previously recorded, select the Make Money screen again.

Transaction Type: select Receive Payment.

Customer: select the same customer you used to create the original sale.

Applied to: if you are applying the payment to a previous sale, choose Accounts Receivable. You can also use this section to record an advance deposit from a customer, under Customer Deposits.

Paid With: This is the area to record the cash, checks, and card payments from the customers. This area is also used if the customer has an advance deposit or a credit with you.

Entering Receipts & Bills

To enter receipts from purchases, utility bills, and other expenses, select the Spend Money screen.

All of the receipts for your food purchases, cleaning supplies, service invoices, and utilities will all be entered in a similar manner.

Transaction Type: select Purchase

Entity: select the vendor or store, or type in a new one.

Transaction Date: enter the date on the receipt or invoice, or the date of the purchase

Items purchased: This is the area to record the food, beverages, and other items you purchased. Food and beverages may be records in the Inventory accounts or the Cost Of Sales accounts, depending on whether you will be adjusting inventory. For bills, select the Utilities account or appropriate expense account. You should also record sales tax paid on anything you purchased.

Paid From: This is the area to record the cash, check, credit cards, or debit cards you used to pay the receipt or bill. Both check and debit card payments should be recorded on the bank account they use. This area is also used if you have an advance deposit with the vendor that they have applied. If they allow you to pay on terms, record this as Accounts Payable.

The total of the items purchased must equal the total of the payment methods. You can use any combination of payment methods, so if you paid with part cash and part credit card you just enter the appropriate amounts on each line.

Paying Debts

Whenever you send a payment for a credit card debt or vendor balance due, select the Spend Money screen.

Some of the payments you send out are not a direct payment for the purchase of goods or services, or they represent goods you have already recorded. These payments are recorded as Payment Sent.

Transaction Type: select Payment Sent

Credit Co: select the vendor or credit card company

Transaction Date: select the date you sent the payment

Debts Paid: In this section select Accounts Payable if you are paying a vendor, or the credit card account you are making a payment on.

Paid With: This is the area to record the cash, checks, cards you use to pay. If you write a check or use an online payment from your bank account, select the appropriate bank account. You could also use a credit card to pay a vendor, or if you roll a balance from one credit card to another.

The total of the debts paid must equal the total of the payment methods.