BlackLine Blog

April 30, 2019

How Hospitality F&A Teams Can Achieve Digital Finance Transformation

Digital Transformation
2 Minute Read

Michael Shultz

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The hospitality industry is continually up against daunting challenges. The global and local economy is always in flux, as hotels and restaurants deal with fierce competition, fickle and demanding consumers, fluctuating prices, and frequent staff turnover.

The seasonal nature and often 24/7 services offered within these companies creates a flood of transactions being recorded daily. Everything from purchasing a beverage at a restaurant to reserving a hotel room online results in sales for the company, which ultimately requires validation from Accounting.

As a result, finance and accounting teams spend an untold amount of hours manually reconciling bank deposits and credit card transactions with data from point-of-sale (POS) and other third-party data systems.

And, unlike other industries, hospitality organizations sometimes manage portfolios of properties or hotels, which frequently requires the preparation of multiple financial statements.

So, keeping the general ledger (or multiple general ledgers) accurate and up to date can seem like wishful thinking, even when you’ve dedicated a small army of accountants to manage these financials.

A manual, spreadsheet-driven approach to complex and high-volume transactions introduces multiple issues that can take a bite out of performance and profitability:

  • Inefficient, error-prone work

  • Expensive, labor-intensive manual processes

  • Inability to quickly spot and resolve discrepancies

  • Limited visibility into store cash and deposits

  • High risk of manual errors and oversights

Throwing more accountants and spreadsheets at the problem is not the answer. Hospitality accounting teams need automated solutions that can enhance visibility, control, and efficiency across their unique financial management processes.

Register for our upcoming webinar to hear how Hyatt and the Best Western Premier Grand Canyon Squire Inn modernized their finance and accounting functions with automation. Then, read on to learn more about how your organization can take control of the financial close.

Managing Complexity & Compliance

Hospitality organizations have complicated operating and ownership structures, making it difficult for accountants to ensure compliance with international laws and regulations.

It may be reasonable to manage finance and accounting across a handful of locations with Excel and an entry-level accounting application. But as the business grows, visibility at Corporate is extremely difficult, and the ability to drill down into data at each entity becomes increasingly impossible.

Expanding to dozens or hundreds of locations increases an already onerous workload, limiting the ability to scale. Global locations introduce the complexity of monthly financial and intercompany consolidations across multiple locations, in addition to daily reconciliation, verification, and validation processes.

Automation is a Key Ingredient for Success

Accounting automation is the most effective solution, and can deliver the error-free financial close so critical to both compliance and reputation. The right technology equips accounting teams to automate complex, manual, and repetitive processes while increasing the speed and accuracy of reconciliations.

When the reconciliation process is automated and standardized, transactional issues can be identified and resolved in hours or days, not the weeks often needed with a manual approach. And minimizing manual accounting work eliminates a significant obstacle to growth, while also mitigating the risk of error and fraud.

Automation provides the real-time visibility that hospitality accounting teams need to ensure optimal regulatory compliance in this era of heightened compliance rules and enforcement.

The right platform provides the highest degree of data integrity and the level of performance visibility required to improve cash flow management and revenue forecasting.

Save your spot at our May 16 webinar to hear how Best Western Premier Grand Canyon Squire Inn and Hyatt embraced automation, increasing visibility and streamlining the month-end close.

About the Author


Michael Shultz