Using Cloud Accounting in the Hospitality Sector

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As a hospitality business with a lot of experience using cloud accounting software, you might think you know everything there is to know.

You use the software to automate bookkeeping and bank reconciliations, keep track of your finances in real-time and use the mobile app to stay updated while on the move. You also no doubt know about receipt capture and cashflow forecasting.

But there’s always something new with cloud accounting and processes to improve — are you sure you’re using your software to its full potential?

Integrate your existing tech with cloud accounting software

Cloud accounting is about so much more than Xero or Sage — it’s about the thousands of apps that you can integrate with it to do more with your main cloud accounting software.

Now, we understand you probably do everything digitally, from stock management to table bookings and maybe even table orders, but the beauty of app integration is that cloud accounting software can bring everything together. One login, one system and no more feeling overwhelmed.

There are literally too many to talk about in this article, but some of the apps that you can integrate with your software include:

  • Point of sale. By connecting your point of sale with your accounting software, you can truly say goodbye to paper receipts, making your bookkeeping far simpler and reducing paper waste at the same time.
  • Stock management. If your point of sale system can ‘talk’ to your stock management system, that lets your staff work more efficiently and avoids frustrating customers.
  • Staff management. You can even integrate your rotas with your software with apps that provide optimisation tips.
  • Booking software. Have your booking system always at hand with apps like Timely.

Consider other integrated apps

Then there are the apps for things you might not have thought about — it really is a case of ‘there’s an app for that’.

So, want to create social media videos and posts to enhance your marketing? Ripl will automatically use your smartphone’s videos and photos to create professional, branded content. 

Worried about your employee’s efficiency? Why not use time management apps to track the time of tasks and keep a record that you can revisit with your staff?

Looking to ditch paper orders? There are apps that facilitate digital order or allow customers to order via their smartphone.

Don’t overdo integration

While it might seem attractive to get every possible app and integration, always remember why you embraced technology in your business in the first place: to make your finances easier to look after and give customers a better experience by speeding things up and reducing the chance of error.

In other words, don’t add more to your cloud accounting system just for the sake of it because, if you do, it’s probably not saving you time or money — just costing you setting up time and pointless subscription money.

What about AI?

AI: it seems to be constantly in the news. What role does it play in hospitality?

Well, several cloud accounting tools already use AI. Automated data entry, bank transaction categorisation, cashflow forecasting, invoice reminders and recommendations — many of these features use machine learning. AI can also enable rota optimisation, stock management and similar software.

For the hospitality industry, particularly hotels, dynamic pricing is especially helpful by helping hotels adjust their prices in real-time, based on demand and other factors.

Of course, there are areas where AI probably won’t be suitable for some years now, but when it comes to finance and accounting, it’s the obvious choice for a lot of businesses.

However, a word of caution: relying wholly on cloud accounting and AI and nothing else for your accounting could hold you back: sure, the technology can create reports and cashflow forecasts, but are you sure you know exactly what all the numbers mean? Will they help you to decide a course of action in your business?

You might hold out for an AI that can give specific business advice. But even if such a tool eventually enters the market, you should still be cautious. After all, AI can only work well if it has accurate data, and it bases its outputs on what’s come before – not on an informed opinion about what might work in the future.

Therefore, you shouldn’t cut humans, finance professionals and accountants out of the equation. Sometimes, you simply can’t beat a mind with real experience and understanding of business problems.

Talk to us

Ultimately, every hospitality business is different so there may be a solution we missed in this article — but if you talk to us about your business, we’ll be able to give you specific advice on getting the most out of your cloud accounting software.

If you would like to discuss how we can support your business with our accounting outsourcing and virtual CFO services, please get in touch. We look forward to hearing from you.

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