A key area in accounting, accounts payable ensures that all bills are paid on time
and all discounts are taken minimizing the costs of the hotel. Accounts payable
clerks work closely with the purchasing department to verify that all invoices to
be paid are indeed invoices of the hotel.
In a big hotel, you may see one, or a few, assistant controllers. In smaller hotels,
there may not be any. The controller divides the various functions to be performed
so that the workload will be even. For example, one assistant might be responsible
for daily transactions while another works on special projects, budgets, analyses,
and the like.
Guest and City Ledgers
A hotel keeps two ledgers: the guest ledger is associated with the guests staying
at the hotel while the city ledger contains all other billings. It is important that
the accounting department has a person in accounts receivable working with the
city ledger so the hotel is able to bill and collect revenues due.
Night auditors get their name because of the hours they work. At the end of the
day after most hotel guests have retired, these auditors begin recording charges to
guests’ accounts and verifying the revenue for the hotel. However, with computers
and various technologies, the hotel industry can post charges instantaneously. Some
hotels have actually changed the night auditors to become day auditors.
Besides revenues charged to guest rooms, a large hotel earns the bulk of its food
and beverage revenues through banquets. The banquet auditor’s function is to verify
the correct revenue for billing. This individual works closely with the banquet
staff, the sales office staff, and the accounts receivable clerks.
A big hotel may have its own credit manager whose function is to check and grant
credit. In today’s business world, many transactions are done on credit rather than
cash or cashier checks. It is, therefore, the credit manager’s responsibility to conduct
such investigations to be sure that a person or company is creditworthy.
Food and Beverage Controller
This is a fun and challenging position, as it has both accounting and food and beverage
components. While performing all analyses of food cost percentage, yields
on meat, and menu costings, the food and beverage controller also works with the
chef to design new menu items, taste new products, and even be a mystery diner
to taste-test the menus in other foodservice establishments.
The duties of a front-office cashier are often incorporated with the front-office
personnel. When guests check out, it is the duty of these cashiers to charge the
guests the correct amount and secure a form of payment.
Pause for a minute and think how many cash banks there are in a large hotel: a
few at the front office, at least one in the restaurant, at least one in the gift shop,
and so on. The general cashier is the person who is in charge of all the cash banks
in the hotel. He or she also makes all deposits of checks and credit card receipts.
This is a nice position to have in a hotel. An operation analyst performs analyses
to help managers operate the hotel more effectively. From guests’ statistics to revenue
trends, the operations analyst does it all. However, not all hotels are able to
afford an analyst on the payroll. If this is the case, an assistant controller often
performs these duties. For smaller hotels where there is not an accounting office
on the property, this function is done at the regional level.
Payroll employees calculate the pay rate with the hours worked to do the payroll
so paychecks are released on time. Payroll functions also include filing all payroll
taxes and tip credits for tipped employees, as well as keeping track of vacation,
sick pay, and other payroll-related deductions.
A systems manager is not depicted in Illustration above. Since the various accounting
functions cover the entire hotel operation, the systems manager or systems analyst,
whose job is to take care of all technology issues, is normally founded within
the accounting department. In a smaller hotel, the controller or an assistant controller
may take on this responsibility. Normally, this position is found at a regional
or corporate level and systems analysts will be dispatched to assist the property
I've heard of an income auditor. Does he not appear in the hotel accounting department organization chart? Then which department in a hotel does he belong to? Is he independent from a hotel accounting department, which department in a hotel should we put he in?
Income Auditor / Accounts Coordinator/ night auditor are actually doing the same thing, depends on the size of the hotel. they divided the daily audit tasks into two parts, which are day and night. A night auditor or income auditor in a 500rooms hotel usually could do both day audit and also night audit since most of the income auditor must has night audit experience.