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).

Posted in: Basics