How 4-4-5 Accounting Can Help Your Restaurant's Finances (Full Details)

November 15, 2022

How 4-4-5 Accounting Can Help Your Restaurant's Finances (Full Details)

When you own a restaurant, the last thing you want to do is spend time worrying about accounting. Instead, your focus should be on the food, guests, and growth. Unfortunately, for many restaurant owners, bookkeeping is something that gets postponed until it’s too late. However, there are many strategies you can adopt to make accounting as painless as possible and help your business grow. If you’re operating a restaurant, then the 4-4-5 method of accounting is one of the best options.

In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about 4-4-5 accounting, including what it is, and why it's a great choice for restaurants.

What is a 4-4-5 Accounting Period?

An accounting period is a time period used to record accounting transactions and produce financial statements. Accounting periods can be monthly, quarterly, weekly, or daily. Companies use these periods to track sales, expenses, and cash flow. If you own a restaurant business, you can choose to adopt a 4-4-5 accounting period.

The 4-4-5 accounting calendar features two four-week months, followed by a five-week month. This is because there are actually 13 four-week months in the year. By adopting the 4-4-5 calendar, you can ensure that each period lasts the same number of days, and also ends on the same day of the week, which is helpful when creating financial reports and analyzing your sales data over time.

How Do You Calculate a 4-4-5 Calendar?

The 4-4-5 calendar is easy to calculate. You simply need to divide the four quarters of the year into 13-week periods. You can make the first segment of each period four weeks long, or five-weeks long. What matters is that you have two periods consisting of four weeks and one period of five weeks within each quarterly cycle.

So, you can have a 5-4-4 period, a 4-5-4 period, or the 4-4-5 period that we are looking at in this article. Either way, this method of accounting helps you keep each accounting period consistent and ensures that your periods will always end on the same day, which is helpful when collecting and analyzing sales data.

What Calendar Month is the First Month of a 4-4-5 Calendar Year?

The first month of a 4-4-5 calendar year is whichever month you start using the accounting calendar. If you start using a 4-4-5 calendar on April 1, then the first month of your first year will be April. If you start using the 4-4-5 calendar on October 1, then your first month will be October, and so on.

What’s important to remember is that if you start using the calendar in April this year, then next April will be the start of the new fiscal year for your company for accounting purposes. That said, many businesses choose to adopt the calendar in May because it makes it easy to maintain the 4-4-5 cycle throughout the rest of the year.

4-4-5 Calendar Pros and Cons

The 4-4-5 calendar is an effective and efficient accounting calendar. There are many benefits of using a 4-4-5 calendar for your business. However, there are also a few drawbacks. Let’s go over the pros and cons now.

Some of the key benefits of the 4-4-5 accounting calendar include:

·  It’s easy to use - Although the 4-4-5 calendar is different from the 52/53 calendar, it’s not complicated. In fact, it’s easy to use and understand, making it a great option for small businesses.

·  It’s easy to adapt - You can also easily adapt the 4-4-5 calendar to your needs. For example, if you want to make the 4-4-5 calendar monthly, you just have to add an extra day to the end of each month.

·  It’s easy to stick to - A 4-4-5 accounting calendar is easy to stick to, which is especially important if you are a small business with limited resources.

·  It’s easy to understand - The 4-4-5 calendar is simple and easy to understand, which makes it perfect for small business owners.

Some of the key drawbacks of the 4-4-5 accounting calendar include:

·  Trend analysis is flawed – If you want to compare monthly sales data, you will need to keep in mind that each of the five-week periods will be 25% inflated compared with the other periods because of the extra week.

·  The calendar only has 364 days – This means that you will need to add an additional week every 6 years to account for the missing day, which can be confusing and cause problems if you forget about it.

Why Merchants Use the 4-4-5 Retail Calendar

The 4-4-5 calendar is very popular among merchants. One of the biggest reasons for that is that the 4-4-5 calendar is easy to use. The 4-4-5 calendar has a short duration, which makes it much easier for businesses to stick to their budgets. Additionally, the 4-4-5 calendar is easy to understand and easy to explain to new employees.

Another important reason why merchants like the 4-4-5 calendar is that it’s easy to adapt. Plus, if you want to make the 4-4-5 calendar monthly, all you have to do is add an extra day to the end of each month. If you’re looking for a calendar that’s easy to use, easy to stick to, and easy to explain, then the 4-4-5 calendar might be the best option for you.

How Many Accounting Periods are in a Typical Restaurant?

Most restaurant businesses use a weekly accounting period. This is because many restaurant businesses are seasonal, and weekly accounting helps management plan staffing, cash flow, and other considerations, such as the menu. That said, there are some restaurants that use a monthly calendar, or even a 52/53 week accounting method, but in most cases, the 4-4-5 method is an excellent choice and for that reason, it's industry standard in the hospitality sector.

Why Restaurant Owners Should Use a 4-4-5 Week Accounting Period

The 4-4-5 accounting calendar is a weekly accounting period. Experts recommend restaurant owners use a weekly accounting period because it is easier to track and manage expenses. Not only that, but a weekly accounting period also helps you collect data more quickly and makes it easier to forecast your cash flow. Restaurant owners can use a wide range of accounting calendars, but many consider the best option to be 4-4-5.

Benefits of the 4-4-5 Week Accounting Periods

If you’re a restaurant owner who uses the 4-4-5 calendar for your accounting periods, then there are many benefits. One of the key benefits is that a 4-4-5 accounting calendar helps businesses track their expenses and forecast their cash flow more effectively. If you’re a restaurant owner, then it’s important to monitor your expenses, forecast your cash flow, and track your money. With a 4-4-5 accounting calendar, you’ll be able to do that much more easily and effectively.

What is the Difference Between the Weekly 4-4-5 and Periodic 4-4-5 Accounting Templates?

Both templates offer an easy way to keep track of your finances using the 4-4-5 method, the main difference between the two LiveFlow templates is that the weekly period is broken down into weeks, whereas the periodic template is arranged as a monthly template.

As to which one you should use, it really all depends on how you want to view your accounting periods, but both offer the same breakdown of quarters into 4-4-5 so that you can track your finances consistently throughout the year. When in doubt, go ahead and download them both and see which one makes the most sense for your restaurant business.

How Does the LiveFlow 4-4-5 Weekly Accounting Period Help Your Restaurant?

The LiveFlow 4-4-5 weekly accounting period is very convenient because it allows you to have consistency throughout the year. Because each accounting period ends on the same day, you will be able to create a very in-depth analysis of sales and expenses from one week to the next. This can make it easier to manage things like payroll, cash flow forecasts, and even staffing.


There are many different ways to manage your accounting when you run a business. One of the most popular methods is the 4-4-5 accounting calendar, which breaks the year down into periods consisting of two four-week months, followed by a five-week month. This makes it so that every accounting period ends on the same day of the week, which in turn allows you to analyze and plan your business needs with reliable week-over-week data.


LiveFlow is the premier small business accounting platform that features helpful templates and handy tools. You can download the weekly 4-4-5 accounting template, or the periodic 4-4-5 profit-and-loss template completely for free on LiveFlow. Plus they have dozens of other free resources to help you save time and money on your accounting processes. Best of all, you can explore LiveFlow for free with a 30-minute demo, so be sure to check out LiveFlow today.

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