What are the basic accounts for a take away business?

I would really like to know where to start with a simple business structure and how to set up it’s accounts. This will be a takeaway shop with no customer accounts, just suppliers. At this point I am not thinking about using inventory tracking and being new to accounting outside of a simple spreadsheet, I’m not exactly sure where to start.

What would be the basic accounts I meed to set up in the software?

I would love to find some basic guides on how to achieve this and how best to track cash in and out. Cash in will always be from customers buying my product over the counter and will either be cash or eftpos.

cash spent is where it gets tricky for me as I don’t really understand when purchasing stock if it’s a purchase order, invoice or cash purchase and the difference between. If someone could point me towards some tutorial on this I would be much appreciative. At the moment we are only in the throws of setting this up and so I am trying to learn this before we get started. I realise that I have a lot to learn, and hope that you can bear with me.


You might start at http://www.accountingcoach.com. There are many other accounting tutorials on the web. You may have to consult a local accountant to be sure you are complying with necessary laws or regulations.

Save this forum for questions about Manager once you have a basic understanding of how you want to set up your records.

You’re right, I’ve been on a one track mind since deciding to go with Manager.io. I’ve been playing with it blindly and not really grasping it or the actual structure. I was kind of hoping that someone could give me a basic framework to start from. But your point is taken on board. Thanks, and thanks for the link.

  1. Purchase order is just a document you can generate for supplier. It has no impact on your figures.
  2. Did you make a purchase on credit? Then record it under Purchase Invoices tab. Did you make a purchase where you paid immediately? Then record it straight under Cash Accounts tab. Basically credit purchases go under Purchase Invoices tab and cash purchases go under Cash Accounts tab.
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Welcome to Manager :relaxed:

I was in a similar position to you last year, although my knowledge was slightly ahead of yours in that having done accounting before I understood the difference between Purchase Orders and Purchase Invoices.

As Tut says, your first step is to learn basic accounting to understand the basic accounting concepts such as purchase orders and purchase invoices.

What I found worked for me was the following:

  1. Setting up Manager with a dummy company and playing with the transactions for a couple of days gave me a good understanding of how Manager works.
  2. Once I had setup my real Company accounts as I thought that I needed them to be setup, I then contacted my accountant and we went over the accounts and corrected anything that I had got wrong and explained why.
  3. At the end of the year, I realised that while I was recording the transactions and was obviously compliant for VAT and Corporation Tax purposes I found that I needed to break up my expenses into sections (look at sub accounts in releases) so that I could separate company operating expenses that incur regardless from expenses that are incurred in the process of making a sale. I also created a section for Salary, Business Mileage and Use of Home that is money that my company pays to me so while legally an expense to the company, its income for me as the person! Separating them made it easier to determine where I can make savings and where I can increase income. So you will need to review how you want to setup your chart of accounts probably a few months after you have run the business with Manager.

In short, you need to learn basic accounting from the website that Tut suggested as well as other websites, then setup a dummy company account and play with the settings. Once you have passed that stage, you then setup Manager for your real company and configure as you think is appropriate. Then you call your accountant in and get them to review how you are doing things. At the end of the first year (not necessary every year), book a meeting with your accountant and go through your chart of accounts and see if they are optimally setup as you will know better after running the company for one year what expenses and income you will be getting and what information you actually want to obtain from the Summary Page.

Onto some specifics. Avoid some common mistakes.

Purchase Invoice reference number should be the invoice number supplied by your supplier. Many people myself included when moving from Excel to an accounting program tend to continue using Invoice 1, Invoice 2, Invoice 3 numbering format. This is wrong because you do remittance advice for example (a document that you send people to say that you have paid their invoice if you do it by banking transfer), the remittance advice will use the reference number on your invoice. Their Invoice Number will mean something to them - Invoice 1 reference will mean nothing to them!

Also Manager will record the invoices by order of date anyway, so there is no point to invoice 1, invoice 2 concept.

Use an accountant - both at the beginning and at the end of the first year for Manager. Can’t stress this enough. Many people waste a lot of time and money trying to do everything themselves instead of paying the expert to get it setup correctly from day one. This also applies to determining whether you should setup your business as a sole trader, LTD Corporation or Parternship etc.

You do not need to create a purchase invoice to record an expense. For example, if you get bank charges, you do not get an invoice from the bank, so the procedure would be to go to cash accounts, spend money and select bank charges and put in the Payee and Amount. A purchase invoice is only meant to be used when you receive and invoice from a supplier. A purchase order is used when you want to put an order on the system, but you are not planning or ordering the product just yet and thus don’t have an invoice from the supplier yet.

Journal Entries - probably your accountant will be the only person that will actually use the journal entries. You can do almost everything in Manager without using Journal Entries. Journal Entries is meant for transactions that cannot be done anywhere else in the program.

Manager Basics

  1. You create a company by clicking Add Business and this will create a default set of accounts with the name of your company.
  2. Go to Customise and add the modules that you want to use and remove any modules that you don’t want to use
  3. Go to settings and open each and every item and configure it as you think is appropriate before you do any transactions in Manager.
  4. I would pay particular attention to the Chart of Accounts and look at Sub Accounts and Custom Control Accounts (see the release notes for further details) as this will enable you to setup the accounts so that you are compliant as far as tax goes, but more importantly, you can see what you are spending money on and what you are making money on and you can change suppliers or review your sales tactics. The whole point of the summary page and the reports is to help you identify where you can make savings on your expenses and how to increase your income. To do this, you need to setup the chart of accounts so that you can easily see where your money is going.

Hope all this helps.


I suppose point 2 is technically correct - you don’t have to create a purchase invoice if you are paying the invoice immediately. but I just find it preferable to have a system where if I get an invoice, I create a purchase invoice and then pay the purchase invoice and just use cash accounts spend money for things like bank changes, VAT payments etc where I don’t receive an invoice. Having all your invoices from suppliers in the purchase invoice tab makes it easy to print off all your expenditure bar things like bank charges etc.

Neither way is wrong I guess, but maybe I am just used to having to use a purchase invoice even if paying the invoice immediately. Just a point that I thought that I would mention. Also in the future in Manager, hopefully we could have a feature where we could print all invoices for the month as I and many other people like to have a paper copy of the purchase invoice especially for tax audits.

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I know I’m splitting hairs here, but if say you receive a delivery, there is a purchase invoice with it and you pay the driver/deliverer. It’s immediate in the sense that you’ve received it and paid for it, but it had been despatched without payment. Is it a case of one over another or it really wouldn’t matter? (my guess is, paying the driver, you would consider that immediate and put it against the cash account). Thanks for your answer!

edit: it looks like dalacor pretty much answered this as I was typing it :smiley:

That’s an awesome answer in so many ways! Thanks! I will be seeing my accountant in the coming weeks. I think for me the biggest confusion is just that there are so many options, accounts and settings available! But thanks again and I’ll be re-reading your answer a couple more times I think :slight_smile:

Sorry for another reply to the same post, but wanted to say again: THANKS! You’ve provided some good key words in here that have enabled me to open up some very pertinent tabs.

Yes the problem with starting any new software is that it can feel overwhelming the options and settings within the program. Which is why I recommend that you create a dummy company and play with the settings first and see how things work as you do things in the program. Manager is by far the simplest accounting program that I have ever used and I trialed a dozen programs before settling on Manager. so it won’t take you long, but you do need to create a dummy account to familiarise yourself with how things work in Manager and it will become second nature in the space of a couple of months as there is pretty much no learning curve.

It will become more about learning how to do things accurately, for example, if you get 5 cheques from 5 clients you don’t go to sales invoice and receive money for each invoice as this will show as 5 transactions in your bank in Manager, but only one transaction on your bank account with your local bank. This is another mistake that I made and my accountant said that I needed to go to cash accounts, receive money and select accounts receivable, then customer and then invoice and you do another four lines and do the same for the other four cheques so to make them all on the same transaction. This stage will take you the longest - learning the little known tricks of how to use accounting as best practice.

Don’t forget to read the guides https://forum.manager.io/c/guides and the release notes - https://forum.manager.io/c/releases?order=created

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