Jo Fuller, Percipient, looks at the importance of accounting standards in the hospitality sector, and explains how it has incorporated USALI into Sage Intacct and Sage X3 to drive best practice and create a common framework across the industry.
The bedrock of any organisation, the accounting function not only processes core financials, but delivers analysis and management insights from which to inform planning and strategy.
Many hotels across the world have utilised USALI (Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry) to support a consistent means of presenting operating statements and financials, for many years, in order to support this function.
The framework allows hotels to analyse activities of a property according to pre-determined standards. Crucially these allow hotel organisations to organise information, measure the assets, provide data to both internal and external stakeholders, including regulators, and then use the insights gained to plan, develop strategies and budget appropriately.
Typically, this spans pricing, sales, purchasing, cost of goods sold and materials, and cost of staff, to better understand the level of profitability at both a departmental level, for example, bar versus spa, as well as comparisons across different hotels within a group.
But there is a significant amount of work involved in adopting the standards, which contain thousands of different accounting codes, many of which aren’t directly relevant to modern hotels. This means that the process of interpreting, contextualising and implementing the standard can be prohibitively time-consuming.
In response to this, Percipient’s USALI experts have utilised their wealth of expertise and experience in the standard to optimise the value contained within Sage Intacct and Sage X3 for its hotel customers. Through undertaking extensive work to interpret, distill and refine the most relevant aspects and codes of USALI, and dimensionalising these within Sage Intacct and Sage X3, USALI’s standard reports have been incorporated into these leading platforms to facilitate consistency and ease. This ensures that accounting processes can be adopted and accessed seamlessly, and represents a standardised means of accounting across the entire sector.
The inclusion of USALI’s common processes, department schedules, codes and reports mean that every hotel property is accounted for in precisely the same way.
Not only does this consistent way of accounting across every property underpin best practice, reduce risk and facilitate productivity, the use of clear steps, templates and reports means that FDs and accounting personnel can immediately pick up and run with accounting functions at new properties, whether it’s a newly acquired hotel or new role.
Through making this information available in dashboard format to all stakeholders, best practice is adhered to, accuracy and timeliness optimised, and consistency guaranteed. Detailed data can be uploaded according to location, whether it pertains to EPOS, time & attendance or sales, to track the relationship between resources and income, and maintain tight control over spending and profitability in real-time. It also provides customers with the ability to better manage, track and code processes to ensure consistency, clarity and in addition, facilitate the smooth integration of entities as and when mergers or acquisitions take place.
Best Practice in a Package
The application of USALI to Sage Intacct and Sage X3 delivers the very latest capabilities and standards from which to demonstrate best practice, optimise process performance and drive optimum levels of efficiency in the sector, and represents the latest development in Percipient’s mission to promote best practice and making the process as seamless as possible for its customers.
So irrespective of market, hotel size, or management structure, hotels within a chain can be compared in a quick, consistent, easy to understand way, to identify trends, anomalies or flag performance issues.
It can look at the extent to which it is advantageous to maintain certain services or staff arrangements in order to generate profit, without having to manually crunch numbers which inevitably will results in a lag and potential for inaccuracies.
Having the very best foundation from which to launch new services, initiatives, whether internal or external, is imperative as we embrace a new era of hospitality. Taking a modern approach to standards through adopting these as part of a leading ERP platform, is without doubt, a game changer in instilling resilience, and driving market share for the hotel industry going forward.