Three Ways to Overcome Hotel Accounting Challenges

Deloitte’s 2018 Travel and Hospitality Industry Outlook reports that the global travel industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in the world. While increased corporate travel demand and a healthy economy paint a rosy picture for the hotel industry, the report also warns that the lodging ecosystem is vulnerable to threats from multiple fronts. Hospitality businesses are becoming more cost- and profit-conscious and guests are placing increased importance on price, quality, and the level of services they receive. Hotels of all sizes are seeking out technology solutions that can help increase revenue, minimize costs, and maximize profits without affecting service quality.

These unique challenges require hotels to be nimble, educated, and equipped with the latest technology to streamline processes and drive financial performance. Owners rely more and more on financial benchmarking data to ensure they are getting the most out of each asset and each management contract. Hoteliers are turning to robust accounting tools and hotel-specific accounting partners to balance these challenges. Below are three ways that smart accounting solutions can address unique needs of hotels.



Cloud-Based Reporting for Labor

Unlike some businesses that may only have a few types of employees, hotel employee range from guest-facing staff at the front-desk, hotel restaurant, and in housekeeping to back office and IT staff. One hotel can have part-time, full-time, and tipped employees. Managing payroll is a constant challenge, so it’s critical for hoteliers to have a way to monitor daily labor costs, manage overtime, oversee daily payroll transactions, and have access to simple reporting functions. Adopting a cloud-based reporting system can offer seamless labor monitoring and management from clock-in to paycheck while giving hoteliers on-demand management of earnings to manage transactions in real time.


Centralize Multiple Data Sources 

Most hoteliers have access to an array of data sets, including STR reports, PMS data, guest satisfaction surveys, comments, and financial data from multiple properties. With an overwhelming amount of data, paralysis-by-analysis is all-too-common. Hoteliers may have a difficult time deciphering what story the data is telling and which levers to pull to remedy an issue or to replicate success. Business intelligence and analytics tool can point to where efficiencies can be improved and how to best reduce expenses. Adopting an operations management platform that allows hoteliers to import data into one centralized dashboard combines critical accounting and performance data to aid hoteliers in identifying trends and making more informed decisions.


Back-up Accounting Teams

Hotels live or die on the ebb and flow of fluctuations in their business. In-house accounting teams are regularly affected by a variety of foreseeable events such as seasonality, portfolio turn-over, and one-time events, but also unexpected events such natural disasters. The past year was no exception. Hoteliers must expect the best but prepare for the worst and have a back-up accounting team in place ready to resume operations in the event of a disaster. Whether the needs are short-term or necessitate a longer plan, hotel-specific accountants can scale on demand to offer the needed expertise and ramp up quickly.

Globalization and developments in information technology have led to dramatic changes within the travel industry. Because the hotel industry has a very specific set of needs, it is imperative for hoteliers have the right tools to navigate today’s challenges. The global travel industry shows no signs of slowing down any time soon, so hotels must incorporate cutting-edge technology to streamline operations, optimize labor management, and access critical data while preparing for the next unexpected event.


About the Author
Scott Watson is executive vice president of sales and marketing at M3, a cloud-based financial platform and services company built by hoteliers, exclusively for hoteliers.