HB exclusive: Benefits of industry-specific financial software

By Jack Fritsche 

Accounting software is commonplace in every industry, but one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to finding the right package for your business. While accounting software like QuickBooks can handle general bookkeeping and daily expense tracking, they lack the specialized tools needed to drive financial performance. For the hospitality industry, customized data analytics are essential in understanding and reacting to the ever-changing market to boost bottom lines and improve operational efficiencies.

Powerful data management and accurate financial analysis aren’t the only reasons hoteliers are opting for hotel-specific accounting software. There are many benefits to investing in an industry-tailored solution that will elevate property performances and drive cost savings across the board.

Complimentary industry expertise
Investing in an industry-specific accounting provider is a two-for-one deal. By partnering with an accounting vendor that caters to the hospitality industry, hoteliers are also assured a high level of market expertise alongside their accounting services, which is an invaluable tool, especially in today’s unpredictable climate.

Additionally, hotel-specific accounting software offers greater access to industry resources through strategic, third-party partnerships with hospitality data providers that deliver key industry data sets to customers.

Such essential tools and expertise can only come from a provider who specifically caters to the hospitality industry, and generic accounting software is too widespread to provide the same level of industry-specific resources.

Efficient PMS integrations
Hotel accounting software provides smooth integrations with popular property management systems (PMS), making the process of aggregating data from multiple systems more efficient and more secure.

Created by industry veterans who understand the specific needs of hoteliers, hotel-specific solutions are designed to automatically integrate with PMS systems while nonspecific accounting software requires additional back-end configuration for custom integrations between systems.

For example, payroll system integration with a generic accounting platform is rarely supported and requires manual data entry, welcoming opportunities for inaccuracies, slow reporting and unnecessary labor costs. With the proper industry-specific accounting software, integrating payroll is part of the full package.

Automating the process of data integrations with a hotel-specific provider mitigates the risk of inaccurate reporting and enables real-time analysis of property financials.

Business intelligence for the industry
Data management and analysis are among the most critical aspects of hotel accounting. In fact, business intelligence modules are expected in most modern accounting software. However, non-hospitality packages don’t offer tailored propriety and industry data to efficiently support property operations. And while these generic solutions might offer simple instructions and easy installations, they often oversimplify the accounting process, jeopardizing opportunities to enhance bottom lines by potentially leaving large cost savings on the table.

Industry-specific software providers offer expansive proprietary data sets to calculate factors such as RevPAR, occupancy, ADR, GOP and more in real time, which can help tighten daily operations, streamline accounting functions and save costs through reallocating and reorganizing capital.

Surprisingly, on average, many smaller hotel operators do not regularly budget or forecast for their properties, typically doing so once a year as opposed to the quarterly or weekly trend of financial, sales and labor forecasting practiced by enterprise-level hotel companies. This can result in a loss of cost-saving opportunities. No matter the size of a portfolio, a hotel-centric accounting provider can assist in forecasting and budgeting to find new vitality through dedicated BI features that help hoteliers recognize areas for improvement and create data-informed strategies to resolve issues.

Scalability
Particularly for new and growing hotel portfolios, it is important that operators use an accounting software that will stand the test of time and help expand operations seamlessly.

Having an accounting platform that can easily scale with a growing hotel management company’s portfolio is critical to smoothly and efficiently onboarding new properties. Generic financial software like QuickBooks and similar packages simply cannot support that kind of scalability. On the other hand, tailor-made hotel accounting solutions are designed to grow alongside their customers’ portfolios and support the associated scale of their operational expenses.

Conclusion
As the travel industry continues to recover from 2020, accounting technology is a crucial investment for hoteliers. While generic accounting software may be helpful for basic accounting tasks, its financial packages are not well-equipped to handle the unique nature of the hospitality industry. Investing in an industry-specific accounting software brings near-immediate cost savings and offers the convenience of managing expenses from any device in real time, allowing hoteliers to get back to what they do best—serving guests with the highest quality of hospitality.

Jack Fritsche is a regional sales executive at M3.

This is a contributed piece to Hotel Business, authored by an industry professional. The thoughts expressed are the perspective of the bylined individual.

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