Accounting for Service - How to Make Financial Roles Fantastic
By Roberta Nedry President & Founder, Hospitality Excellence, Inc. | April 10, 2011
Making service sense out of those that manage the dollars and cents of any hospitality business is a key but often overlooked part of any service culture. Hospitality leaders may go out of their way to pay the bills, secure revenue, finance investments and get reimbursements but they need to ensure that the accounting department reimburses service too.
Service training is critical and obvious for those on the frontline but how does service factor into the daily duties of those behind the scenes and in accounting roles? Managers and employees charged with the art of recording, classifying and summarizing expenses and income of any hospitality environment should also be charged with the art of service in any of those roles.
Ron Albeit, Vice President of Hospitality at Marco Beach Ocean Resort and Fiddler's Creek Country Club on Florida's West Coast teaches a Financial Accounting Course for the Hospitality Industry at a local university. He tells his students that the most important thing that accounting provides is SERVICE! He presents choices and asks students to prioritize inventory, cash, audits and service and is often surprised that service usually ranks at the bottom of the list.
Why is it that those entrusted to watch over revenue often neglecting the very principles that make revenue more solid? Repeat business, referral business, additional income and especially more than satisfied guests depend on comprehensively positive experiences. Guests form impressions and evaluate the quality and delivery of service based on their immediate needs as well as the cumulative experience of each interaction to meet those needs. This includes all the points of contact that involve any member of the accounting team.
"In fact accounting actually has an even more challenging responsibility in that they have to service two very important customers," notes Mr. Albeit. "They must work externally with vendors, creditors, government, past hotel guests regarding accounts receivable or questions on the hotel billing etc… And, they must also work with internal customers; THE EMPLOYEES, especially regarding their payroll!"
Whether three seconds, three minutes or three hours, the comprehensive series of events which take place to fulfill any service request, including events/items handled by anyone in accounting, will be evaluated as one good or poor result. Guests will spend a premium price to receive better service and will base their lodging, leisure and business decisions on those that provide the best.