As hotels grow, the volume and complexity of financial data increase significantly. Typical spreadsheets or basic accounting systems cannot handle the scale and complexity of a growing hotel, leading to inefficiencies, errors, and reporting challenges.
The transition to cloud computing is set to have a profound impact on how the hotel industry manages its information and computer resources. Whether you are running a small resort or a large international hotel chain, investing in the right technology can bring significant benefits.
- What is SaaS Accounting Software?
- How SaaS Accounting Software Can Help Hospitality Businesses Seamlessly Scale and Thrive
What is SaaS accounting software?
SaaS accounting software, also known as Software-as-a-Service accounting software, is a cloud-based solution that provides accounting functionalities to businesses. SaaS accounting software operates on a subscription model, where users access the software through the Internet rather than installing it on their local systems.
With SaaS accounting software, businesses can manage various financial tasks, including bookkeeping, invoicing, expense tracking, financial reporting, and tax management. These software solutions typically offer a user-friendly interface and are designed to streamline accounting processes, enhance accuracy, and improve overall efficiency.
Simply put, hotel businesses can employ SaaS accounting software to gain better visibility while leveraging enhanced security and the latest tech innovations from the software providers.
Hoteliers are anticipated to invest 7–8% more in cloud technology over the next two to three years, putting the hospitality sector at "a tipping point in terms of cloud adoption". Cloud-based solutions have a significant current and future influence since they are revolutionising how hoteliers manage their operations and engage with their clients.
A poll was conducted in early 2021 to find out where hoteliers in North America, Europe, and Asia anticipated their organisation's IT infrastructure to be in the next two years. 33% of respondents believed that the majority of their IT environment would be cloud-based.
How SaaS accounting software can help hospitality businesses seamlessly scale and thrive
1. System integrations
SaaS accounting software’s ability to easily integrate with other systems on demand is one of its major benefits. Businesses can expand their operations and develop an interconnected IT ecosystem by connecting their cloud-based accounting software with other systems, such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Property Management System (PMS), etc.
For example, integrating with CRM enables users to view and manage both financial and customer data on a single platform, thus streamlining your operations as a result of the data consolidation, which also lessens the need for manual data entry and lowers the possibility of mistakes.
This integration with CRM can also improve customer billing and invoicing, enhance financial reporting and analysis, improve customer segmentation, and provide more personalised customer communication.
On the other hand, integrating SaaS accounting software with PMS allows hoteliers to save time reconciling bank records with their hotel folios because the hotel's revenue, receipts, and payments are stored in a well-integrated PMS.
Besides that, Saas accounting software also offers flexible options for users to easily connect their bank and Paypal to import bank statements, which can be used to directly reconcile all accounting operations, including credit card, cash, checks, point-of-sale receipts, refunds, discounts, offers, travel agent accounts, corporate accounts, etc.
The bookkeeping-PMS integration allows hoteliers to quickly obtain City Ledger data, monitor the payment deadline in accordance with the terms of payment, and maintain commission costs after taking into account any deductions (tax/surcharge).
These endless integration possibilities will be hard to achieve if the hospitality businesses still use on-premise systems.
Despite the continuous advancements in technology, accounting and finance professionals still rely heavily on manual processes and Excel spreadsheets.
Saas software can enable hotel businesses to automate and streamline various tedious and manual processes. In the hospitality sector, these processes include reservations, check-in, check-out, housekeeping, billing, reporting, and more. As a result, the finance team can focus on acquiring, analysing, and delivering financial insights faster to stakeholders and create a foundation for more agile decision-making
Furthermore, SaaS financial management software offers hotel businesses real-time visibility into their financial data, allowing them to monitor and assess their financial health on an ongoing basis. By accessing real-time information, businesses can track revenue and expenses as they occur, providing an accurate and up-to-date snapshot of their financial position.
With the enhanced visibility, hotel and hospitality businesses can identify trends and patterns in their financial data. They can analyse revenue streams, identify areas of high expenditure, and pinpoint any financial inefficiencies.
Furthermore, real-time visibility enables businesses to analyse their financial performance against key performance indicators (KPIs) and benchmarks. They can set financial targets and track their progress in real time, allowing for timely adjustments and corrective actions. This analysis helps identify areas where the business is excelling and areas that require attention, enabling proactive decision-making to optimise operations and increase profitability.
Additionally, real-time visibility allows businesses to respond quickly to financial challenges or market fluctuations. If there is a sudden decline in revenue or an unexpected increase in expenses, businesses can identify the issue promptly and take corrective action in a timely manner. They can implement cost-control measures or adjust pricing strategies to mitigate any negative impacts on their financial health.
3. Maintenance, update, and scalability
SaaS financial management solutions can be rapidly scaled up or down to meet the changing demands of hospitality companies.
According to a study by Frost & Sullivan, businesses can save over 50% with cloud solutions, increase their capacity whenever needed, and add or subtract users with minimal to no downtime instead of waiting for weeks or months compared to on-premise solutions.
Regular auto-updates are not only a key benefit but also a crucial aspect of SaaS financial management software. With constant monitoring by specialised teams, these software solutions are always up-to-date with the most recent regulations and industry standards. By continuously learning and implementing the latest security measures, these teams ensure that data security is never compromised.
This proactive approach to software maintenance guarantees that hospitality companies using SaaS financial management solutions can focus on their core business operations without worrying about software updates or potential security vulnerabilities. With seamless and regular updates, businesses can stay ahead of the curve and effortlessly adapt to changing market needs.
Moreover, the constant learning and improvement of the specialised teams behind SaaS financial management software further enhances its reliability and efficiency. These teams are dedicated to staying abreast of emerging technologies and best practices, ensuring the software is always equipped with the most cutting-edge features and functionalities.
As a result, hotels can leverage improved security and cutting-edge technology, all of which are bundled into the subscription package.
4. Data security
Enhanced security for financial data is critical for growing hotel businesses to protect sensitive information, maintain customer trust, and comply with regulations.
Hotels handle sensitive financial information daily, from guest credit card details and payment transactions to personally identifiable information (PII). This data is highly valuable and attractive to cybercriminals.
A security breach can lead to severe financial losses, reputational damage, and legal liabilities for the hotel. Protecting financial data is essential to maintaining customer trust and complying with data protection regulations.
What is even more concerning is the ever-changing landscape of cybersecurity threats. In 2022, a staggering 1802 instances of data compromise shook the United States. These breaches included unauthorised access, leaks, and exposure, affecting 422 million individuals.
Thus, hotels must implement robust security measures to safeguard their financial data. Contrary to misconceptions, SaaS financial management software offers a secure environment for storing and managing financial data.
Cloud service providers invest heavily in security infrastructure, employing dedicated teams of experts to monitor and protect their platforms. They implement robust security measures such as encryption, access controls, and intrusion detection systems to ensure data confidentiality, integrity, and availability. These providers also undergo regular security audits and certifications to meet industry standards and comply with regulations.
Moreover, cloud-based solutions offer regular data backup and disaster recovery. Hotels can benefit from automated data backups, reducing the risk of data loss due to hardware failures or natural disasters. Cloud platforms typically have redundant systems and geographically distributed data centres, ensuring high availability and resilience.
Furthermore, cloud-based solutions often offer features like multi-factor authentication, role-based access controls, and audit trails, allowing hotels to enforce strict security policies and monitor access to financial data. These features contribute to a more secure environment for managing financial information.
Standardising reports is crucial in the hospitality industry. Not only do standard reports help hoteliers save time, but the processes also help enhance overall efficiency. By automating the standardisation of reports, businesses can eliminate manual errors and inconsistencies, ensuring that the information presented is accurate and reliable.
With SaaS accounting software, hotel businesses can adhere to the highest industry standards and requirements, as SaaS solutions are designed to comply with globally recognised frameworks such as USALI 11, IFRS, IAS, US GAAP, and even local norms.
By integrating these compliance measures into the software, businesses can ensure that their financial reports are uniform and consistent with regulatory guidelines, thus boosting the accuracy and reliability of the data presented, streamlining operations, and facilitating better financial insights.
With robust accounting solutions at your disposal, meeting legal obligations becomes easier. Instead of spending valuable time gathering and generating data, businesses can focus on analysing essential financial insights for informed decision-making, knowing they will always stay compliant with both local and global regulatory requirements.
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