Accounting Programs Used in the Hotel Industry

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Hotel managers are often faced with the challenge to propose and procure the appropriate technology and software to run their operations. This article describes major factors to weigh in selecting accounting software for the hotel industry.

Accounting software is used to track the profitability of hotel operations and identify trends in the hospitality industry. Careful consideration of the purpose, functionality and desired results from accounting software must be taken prior to selection and purchase.

How to Select Hotel Accounting Software:

Decisions governing selection of accounting programs depend on multiple factors including the uses of the accounting programs. Savvy customers will not fall into the trap of selecting software packages based solely on the number of features or a high-end price but rather will match the needs and concerns of their hotel properties and industry requirements to specific accounting software offerings.

Decision Criteria Used in Selection Process:

Major factors identifying selection of accounting programs used in hotels are: ---Annual revenue ---Budget ---Location ---Multiple sites ---National or international location ---In-house vs outsourced operations

Areas of Functionality in Hotel Accounting Software:

Accounting software encompasses multiple functions of a hotel’s operations, ranging from data mining to running financial reports. Functions covered in accounting software programs include: --Accounts payable
--Accounts receivable
--Budgeting
--Cash management
--General ledger
--Sales analysis --Payroll --Procurement --Order entry --Fixed assets --Inventory management

Trends in Hotel and Lodging Accounting Software:

The hospitality industry has had steady growth, with increasing demands for internal controls and financial accountability. Accounting software is crucial in measuring and tracking the hotel’s profitability. Vendor selection is influenced by the robustness of the operations needed for hotels to run their daily operations. Customer satisfaction with specific hotels is shaped from the customer’s initial interaction with the reservations department to their final experiences with the billing department. A high degree of accuracy and customer service quality levels are important throughout the entire process. Hotels rely on different tools, including their accounting software, to increase their effectiveness and make them more competitive in their core business.

Hotels can decide to purchase accounting software dedicated solely to one function or can invest in enterprise software. Some chains have opted to outsource their accounting operations to major computer companies and accounting firms.

Accounting Software Metrics in the Hotel Industry:

Accounting software is used to track room-rate revenues and identify any discrepancies that require remediation and corrective actions. The percentages of room-rate vacancy and seasonal trends are evaluated and measured against the best establishments to assess hotel performance.

Standards Used for Accounting and Auditing in Hotel Industry:

Accounting software incorporates the widely used Generally Accepted Accounting Standards (GAAP) and focuses on key measures unique to the hotel industry, such as revenue per room (RevPar). Knowledge experts should be familiar with both general accounting rules as well as industry specific guidelines.

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