Independent restaurant owners and franchise groups in Atlanta face several dilemmas: how to increase sales and foot traffic in an increasingly tight market, dealing with the growth of third-party delivery without adding too much competition, controlling costs, and differentiating themselves to demanding consumers. The Restaurant team at Windham Brannon works with established and emerging local, regional, and national restaurant brands and multi-unit operators to advise on the range of tax and accounting issues that impact growth and profitability.
Not all restaurants require audited financial statements. Even for those that don’t, working with an independent CPA on a minimum of compiled statements is important, especially to secure bank loans and other funding or to meet investor or vendor requirements. Windham Brannon provides audit, review, and compilation services to meet the restaurant industry’s reporting needs, including PCI compliance to address payment card data security.
How are you recording sales and expenses? Accounting policies and revenue recognition can change as a restaurant grows; that’s why we work with restaurant owners on accounting and advisory solutions that best serve their current and future needs. Even when the right accounting method is in place, success in the restaurant industry depends on understanding and applying a number of other variables to the business, like budget, cash flow management, risk advisory, payroll, and more.
The way your restaurant is structured matters for tax purposes as much as your ability to meet operational goals. For new restaurant owners or existing operators considering an entity change, Windham Brannon can advise on the available entity types in Georgia and which one is the best fit for funding sources, partner involvement, personal liability, and your exit strategy.
Investing in the growth of your restaurant is exciting, but usually involves spending large amounts of cash to upgrade or add to large equipment and furniture. The good news is that the tax environment for capital expenditures and deductions is excellent. Or, if your growth goals involve combining forces with another restaurant group or other strategic asset management, we can help make the decision easier with financial modeling, tax projections, and due diligence.
Is your restaurant implementing innovative ordering systems, experimenting with new recipes or testing out bulk production processes, or working to significantly reduce food waste? You could qualify for the Research & Development Tax Credit. What about sales tax requirements in multiple jurisdictions? Windham Brannon can help you identify and take advantage of specialized tax credits and deductions, including the R&D tax credit, sales tax credits, FICA tip credit, Work Opportunity Tax Credit, employee and food expense deductions, as well as the 20% pass-through entity deduction and Section 179/bonus depreciation deductions.
Don’t make the mistake of other new restaurant owners and attempt to save money by doing your taxes yourself. An experienced, independent tax consultant is better able to advise on the range of taxable events and how to manage them, identify tax savings opportunities, and conduct projections to ensure you’re not paying too much, or too little. Owing a substantial tax or incurring fines and penalties can have a dramatic impact on the bottom line of your restaurant; Windham Brannon is able to assist in tax planning, projections, and filing as well as IRS controversy and state and local taxes for multi-jurisdictional restaurant operations.
The right technology support can help you drive operational efficiencies, track expenses and food waste, keep an eye on labor, monitor food inventory, and ensure your accounting system is updated in real-time and connected to the rest of your software. Windham Brannon’s years of restaurant consulting experience allow us to quickly identify the best technology solutions for your business and help you implement them, including training back-office staff on how to take full advantage of available software.
As a restaurant owner or operator, you don’t have a lot of time. Even though cost control is a priority, it’s still important to work with an outside tax and accounting advisor who can pinpoint opportunities to reduce tax liability, capitalize on restaurant-specific tax credits, and navigate complicated regulations and accounting standards. Windham Brannon has the experience to look at macro-level industry trends and regulatory changes and apply practical advice to the specific needs of your operation.
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