Night Auditor

Last / Next  2010-12-04 05:30:27 / Classification:Lodging

CAREER PROFILE
Duties: Prepares revenue reports; reconciles supporting documents; posts transaction information to the appropriate folios; closes the registers from the front office and any point-of-sale registers (bar, restaurant, gift shops)     

Alternate Title(s): Auditor; Bookkeeper     

Salary Range: $7 to $12 per hour      

Employment Prospects: Good to excellent       

Advancement Prospects: Good       

Best Geographical Location(s): Anywhere in the United States with hotels and resorts      

Prerequisites:     
Education and Training—A degree in accounting is generally required, although extensive experience in the field may substitute for a formal education; computer literacy, including a knowledge of various spreadsheet programs; knowledge of a foreign language is helpful     
Experience—Work experience in an accounting office, preferably for a hotel    
Special Skills and Personality Traits—Able to work nights and weekends; detail-oriented; able to function with little supervision; must enjoy reconciling a balance sheet at the end of every night’s work        

Position Description     
A Night Auditor, as the title implies, works nights, generally from 11 P.M. to 7 A.M. Duties may include checking the front office accounting records for accuracy, summarizing and compiling information for the hotel’s financial records; tracking room revenues and occupancy percentages; performing a food and beverage audit; preparing a summary of cash, check, and credit card activities; posting room charges and room taxes to guest accounts (folios); processing guest charge vouchers and credit card vouchers; verifying all account postings and balances made during the day; and monitoring the current status of coupons, discounts, and other promotional programs.     
At some properties, the Night Auditor also works as the front desk agent, and maintaining the sundry machines in extended-stay motels, handling guest requests, late registrations, and early check-out procedures; cashing checks for guests; and taking any reservations that come in during the night. Depending on the size of the property, the auditing may take an hour a night, with the rest of the time spent at the front desk, or it may take an entire evening, with very little time dealing with hotel guests. The Night Auditor reports to the auditor or head bookkeeper. Because so many hotel employees speak English as a second language, it is helpful if the Night Auditor can speak a foreign language to better communicate with other employees.     
Unless a Night Auditor works several nights a week at several hotels, there is no travel officially associated with the job. A Night Auditor might attend conferences and professional seminars, requiring some travel. These skills are easily transferable, so an auditor wanting to relocate can do so easily. Relocation costs generally are not paid for auditors.       

Salaries       
Night Auditors are often hired on a part-time basis or are considered hourly employees when they are on a full-time basis. They can expect starting salaries in the range of $7 to $12 per hour, depending on the location and size of the property, experience, and responsibilities.     
Full-time Night Auditors usually receive vacation and sick leave and life and medical insurance. They may also be eligible for retirement investment programs. They also receive free or discounted food and beverages at the hotel and lodging discounts within the chain of hotels.      

Employment Prospects       
Even with most hotels using computer programs to track expenses and guest charges (eliminating the need for using an old-fashioned 10-key calculator), the costs and expenses still have to be verified for accuracy. Figures must be entered, and someone must make sure they are in the right categories and charged to the right accounts. These functions are almost always done overnight when the front office business is relatively slow. Therefore, there is always a need for Night Auditors.      

Advancement Prospects       
Night Auditors can move up to become full-time auditors or bookkeepers and progress from a small motel to larger, more prestigious properties, then into supervisory positions. With additional education they may become certified public accountants.     

Education and Training      
A high school diploma is the minimum education required. Training in Lotus 1–2–3, Excel, and other software programs is helpful, particularly for those who aim to become full-time CPAs or accountants. In some older hotel or motel properties, the use of a 10-key calculator may be necessary. A foreign language is helpful.      

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits        
Experience in a hotel or travel-related industry keeping books and tracking accounts is important. A good head for math and problem-solving is required. The ability to work nights, generally alone and unsupervised, is essential.     

Unions and Associations      
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) provides information about career development and opportunities. It conducts regular regional and national meetings and seminars.      

Tips for Entry      
1. Meet Night Auditors for advice on internships and job openings.       
2. Work as a Night Auditor on weekends for hotel, auditing, and guest relations experience.     
3. Read about the hotel industry in trade publications, either by subscription or on-line.    
4. Take courses leading to a certified public accountant degree.

CAREER LADDER


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