May 26, 2021

Association, AICPA partner on RRF budget tracking tool

The budget tool is essential for restaurants, bars, food trucks and other entities who need to closely track their RRF eligible expenses.

The National Restaurant Association and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants created a Restaurant Revitalization Fund Expense Tracker to help grantees more easily document their use of funds in specific categories.

The budget tool is essential for restaurants, bars, breweries, caterers, distilleries, bakeries, food trucks and other entities who will need to closely track their RRF eligible expenses.

The Small Business Administration will issue guidance on the annual “use of funds” validation process, and the information the RRF Tracker is designed to record will be fundamental.

Keep your receipts

Along with the Tracker, grant recipients are advised to keep hold of their receipts, invoices, and other documentation that they’ll need to validate the expenses they pay with their grant monies.

“The SBA has made clear that it’s focused on ensuring that grant funds are used for the purposes intended, and restaurants are strongly committed to program integrity,” said Aaron Frazier, director of Health Care and Tax Policy for the Association.

“We want to ensure these small businesses have the tools and information they’ll need to fulfill the technical requirements of the grant while managing their busy restaurants.”

Easy-to-use spreadsheet

The Tracker, set up in an Excel spreadsheet, summarizes available guidance from the SBA to assist operators to keep track of the eligible expenses they incur during the covered period.

Comprising three tabs, the tracker features a Summary page that updates automatically as you enter expenses on the next tab, the Expense Tracker page. This is where you enter eligible expenses into a ready-made form.

If you are wondering which category an expense falls into, the third tab, Expense Categories, provides full descriptions of each eligible expense category, outlining what’s allowed and what’s not allowed.

The Tracker will help RRF grant recipients keep tabs on the limits of eligible expenses to avoid getting tripped up due to an oversight or in an audit, especially if these errors could result in loss of funds.

The tool is available to download on the National Restaurant Association website under RRF Expense Tracker.

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