from a number of different vendors, is general accounting. Most businesses
with a manual system of accounting use an integrated approach for their general
ledger, sales, accounts receivable, purchases, accounts payable, payroll, and
inventory control. Hotel front-office system, reservations, registration, and guest
accounting can also be integrated into this system. Today, there are integrated
software packages available for computerization of this work.
Most hospitality operations have already or will soon computerize their payroll
systems. One of the reasons is the time savings computerized payroll software
provides. Each time the laws relating to employment change, such as for
minimum wage rates, tax deduction rates, and unemployment insurance rates,
the software needs only an upgrade to accommodate those changes. In addition,
payroll software programs provide, at the user’s request, state and federal quarterly
reports, W-2s, and transmittal forms. A great number of business operations
prepare their payroll and maintain employee records and information using
a computerized payroll program within their system.
For locations where food and beverages are recorded, two types of systems
are available—electronic cash register (ECR) and a point-of-sale (POS) system.
Basically, the ECR is a stand-alone electronic register, whereas a POS system
may link several ECRs to a separate remote host computer, the sales register is
primarily a keyboard rather than a separate machine. Customer service terminals
respond to creation of customer checks by issuing instructions to the food
preparation area for menu items, and print out the customer’s bill (customer
check). Unfortunately, the acronyms ECR and POS are often used interchangeably.
Technically speaking, a POS system is more sophisticated than a standalone
ECR, even though today’s ECRs can provide a great deal more sales and
cost of sales information than their predecessors (mechanical sales registers).