The hotel sector: How French Duncan has adapted to a changing market


19 December 2016

French Duncan has a long history of providing expert, specialist services to the hotel sector. Since we were first established the hotel sector has changed beyond recognition.

Many leading hotels now contract out non-core services, such as housekeeping, leisure and spa facilities and even their food and beverage operation, preferring to focus on the core business of maximising profitability on the sale of rooms using real time Revenue Management to increase occupancy and rate. The availability of real time information is critical to this, allowing operators to change strategy quickly and effectively.

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How can we as accountants and advisors adapt to these changing needs?

For many years accounting and financial information has been historic – monthly accounts presented in a spreadsheet perhaps seven or ten days after the month’s end. While the importance of accurate financial information is critical, this time delay limits the opportunity to take decisive, corrective action. At French Duncan we believe that these days are in the past and that real time financial information can be available to decision-makers whenever and wherever they want it.

We have developed a revolutionary online accounting service specifically for hotels – replacing the outdated internal model with a product enabling hotel operators to have key financial information at their fingertips when they need it and in the format of their choice.

French Duncan’s Hotel Accounting facilitates integration of the daily financial information received from the hotel’s Property Management System providing up to date information on a daily and cumulative basis. Using leading online software this information can be presented graphically providing a snapshot of the individual hotel or group of hotels’ performance. This allows the operator to quickly establish areas of concern and to take the appropriate corrective action.

These dashboards not only provide information on the previous day’s trading but provide a real time update of Business on the Books, highlighting gaps in future occupancy and allowing online booking channels to be opened or updated. This is a powerful combination of information – present and future.

Although entirely suitable for an individual hotel property, the service becomes even more powerful in a multi-site business, and our leading software is also able to deal with groups where there are multicurrency and multi-jurisdictional tax rate requirements, making it suitable for international businesses as well as those based in the UK. Increasingly UK operators now have responsibility for continental or international hotel properties – this is readily dealt with by our all-encompassing service.

Some of the features of our hotel accounting service are:

  • Automation – income, banking and purchase ledger all fully automated, eliminating the time consuming and expensive issue of manual data entry
  • Uniform System of Accounts for Lodgings Industry – management accounts are presented in this industry standard format
  • Dashboards – real time income and KPI statistics are available daily
  • Fully managed accounts payable – incorporating Bacs payments and supplier statement reconciliations to ensure accuracy, completeness and efficiency
  • VAT management – all industry specific VAT issues dealt with
  • Detailed monthly accounts pack with powerful Business Intelligence reporting
  • Cash Flow Forecasting
  • Real Time, Online information

 A truly unique and powerful service offering!

Author: Ian Bremner, HLB UK, Director of Outsourced Accounting at French Duncan LLP

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