Laurie Stanwick looks at the benefits of Sage Intacct in managing financials across multi-entity hotel businesses, and highlights the importance of seamless consolidation in a post lockdown era.
As the hospitality sector navigates a post lockdown era, having up to date insights and full visibility of the business is more crucial than ever before. Unfortunately, many organisations are relying on spreadsheets and manual processes to handle their core financials, leaving them not only vulnerable to inaccuracies, but delays which hold the potential to impede planning and decision-making.
Modern Accounting Solutions
Modern accounting systems typically address this gap in a single business entity, however not all systems are created equal, and the multi-entity nature of the hotel industry means that capabilities must extend beyond core automation.
There is little point having an accounting system in each hotel or entity if they can’t connect, and core sales and procurement information has to be manually transferred to the corporate or global system. So, with the majority of hotel companies managing multiple entities in different locations and often, with different business models, what is the best approach?
As Hastings Hotels, the largest hotel group in Northern Ireland operating seven luxury properties, discovered, finding a platform which can deliver a consolidated view of its diverse portfolio, from its city based hotels, to country retreats and spas as well as golf courses, is paramount in enabling the kind of in-depth management information necessary to enable faster, more informed decision making within the business.
CFO Peter Gibson explains: “Planning for the future can be a tricky at the best of times, never mind in the midst of a global pandemic. Using Sage Intacct, we now have much improved visibility of higher quality information. We can slice and dice the data, according to hotel, or department, and identify trends and anomalies across, say food and beverage, housekeeping, spa services or customer service. The availability of these insights on an intuitive dashboard means that minimal skills are needed, but that everyone has up to date information from which to perform their role to the best of their abilities.”
A Multi-Entity Package
Sage Intacct not only provides multi-entity, multi-currency, multi-location transaction visibility and consolidation, but delivers a full view of the entire business’ financials from a single log-in. This fast, user friendly means of accessing insights into any area, from food and beverage costs, to laundry services or spa profitability means that not only the finance team, but managers across the organisation, can have access to a live picture of every aspect of every entity of the business. Sage Intacct’s cloud architecture and mobile accessibility as standard ensures that it works across any device in any location.
Everything within Sage Intacct is preconfigured and data can be categorised according to location, entity, accounting period or currency, in a couple of clicks. Flexible enough to drill down into specific areas without the need to navigate a complex route to accessing information, and scalable enough to support mergers and acquisitions, or simply bring new vendors on board easily, Sage Intacct facilitates a common chart of accounts which is incredibly intuitive to use. For example, new entities can be set up instantly with configurable rules for inter-entity transactions, bank accounts, and more. They can simply inherit the group’s existing lists, process definitions, and charts of accounts, or new ones can be created.
Looking to the Future
As uncertainty prevails in the sector, few businesses can afford to plan using inaccurate or outdated data, therefore opting for capabilities which seamlessly consolidate insights across every entity and geography really is a prerequisite for any system selection in 2021 and beyond.
If you’re in the market or curious about exploring a new financial management software solution, you can sign up to one of our coffee break demos, get in touch via the website, or call us on 01606 871332.