It’s no secret that technology has advanced in leaps and bounds over the past decade. Accounting software is no exception; there are hundreds of accounting systems on the market today that promise amazing results and efficiencies. But accounting software is not one-size-fits-all. Just like you wouldn’t use a retail inventory system to manage your hotel rooms, a hospitality-specific accounting system can deliver tremendous value because it is created to solve the challenges that hoteliers face.
In this article, we’ll explore the key benefits that an accounting system designed for hotels, such as M3, can provide. Thousands of hotels use M3, making it the most popular accounting software for hotels in North America, and we’ll use it as a standout example of technology solving common pain points in hotel operations. M3 also won the Best Finance & Accounting Software honor (for the third year in a row!) at the 2023 HotelTechAwards. With such a system in place, you can reduce friction between departments, make back office tasks more efficient, and find insights that can boost revenue and profitability.
Real-time data management ensures accuracy and accessibility
Hotels generate a lot of data, and if the data isn’t handled properly, you can end up with inaccuracies or missed opportunities. A modern accounting system like M3 will ingest data from various hotel systems, like your property management system and point of sale system, and report it in real-time. This process gives you confidence that all of your reports will show fresh and accurate data and your teams will benefit from easy access to their data. No more waiting for reports to update at the end of the week or month; real-time data management gives you immediate access to the insights you need.
Automation eliminates unnecessary manual labor
Traditional accounting processes and legacy accounting systems often require considerable manual labor, such as creating invoices and issuing payments. A system like M3 does the heavy lifting for you: automating repetitive tasks while keeping you in control of tasks that require more oversight. As one HotelTechReport reviewer puts it, “I like how easy it is to prepare my financial statements, how easy it is to upload my documents, invoices, among others, to the system. I feel like it makes my workday easier.” By connecting various data sources, setting up rules for expense logging, and scheduling reports, your finance team can get hours back in their workdays to focus on more impactful and strategic responsibilities.
Managing cash is easy with real-time financial access
Unexpected expenses pop up frequently in hotels, so it’s important to have access to cash when those needs arise. This applies especially during low season when cash flow slows down and you’ll want to keep a pulse on your key financial metrics. M3 offers that real-time glimpse into all of your financial accounts, both at the corporate and property level, making it a solid solution for management companies or hotel groups with multiple assets. M3’s dashboards allow the right stakeholders to monitor customized financial reporting to spot those areas of opportunity and liquidity.
Cloud-based software solves for decentralized systems
Legacy systems are often decentralized, which leads to different types of data living in different silos. New cloud-based technology provides valuable links between systems so different types of data can flow into one single report or dashboard, eliminating those collaboration-killing silos. Not only is a centralized source of truth convenient for users, but it also fosters increased collaboration between teams and gives leaders tools to make better decisions. A hotel SVP in Orlando, an M3 user, shared in a HotelTechReport review that, “the ability to see everything in one program is a big time-saver for my team,” demonstrating that hoteliers at all levels – from the back office to the boardroom – value centralization.
Reporting functionality delivers specific, useful insights
Of course, centralized dashboards and user-friendly tools are only great if they deliver great results. M3’s reporting and analytics functionality allows hoteliers to unlock revenue opportunities and spot potential red flags early. One HotelTechReport user especially appreciates that M3’s tools are “designed specifically for hotels, by people who understand the needs of hoteliers. A good match for any hotel organization, from a single property, to a large portfolio group.” The hotel industry uses specific metrics on financial statements, which means a generic accounting software won’t do nearly a good enough job. Integrations with other on-site software, like PMS and POS data, bring additional value to M3’s reporting suite, and software that’s not hotel-specific would lack these important integrations.
Whether you work with a boutique hotel or a national chain, it’s clear that modern accounting software can provide immense value to your business – if that software is purpose-built for hotels. Unique challenges and specific use cases make it critical to leverage a hotel-specific accounting system in order to reap the full benefits it can yield, like time and cost savings.
This article was created collaboratively by HotelTechReport and M3 and was originally published by HotelTechReport.