Hotel Accountant Job Description
Hotel accountants oversee hotel budgets, staff payroll, and overall finances. This skilled position is ideal for candidates who enjoy accounting and customer service. Hotel accountants are detail-oriented employees and work with a high ethical standard. They also get to enjoy the perks of working at a hotel without working the nontraditional hours that other staff often experience.
Hotel Accountant Duties and Responsibilities
Hotel accountants may work with different kinds of taxes and budgets depending on the size of the hotel where they work, but they tend to perform the same duties overall:
Manage the Budget
The main duty of the hotel accountant is to monitor and manage the hotel’s overall budget. This is a broad responsibility that encompasses a lot of individual tasks and duties, such as monitoring expenses and making adjustments where necessary.
The hotel staff need to be paid, and the hotel accountant is responsible for processing payroll. This is especially important to perform in a timely manner so the hotel staff can be paid appropriately.
Hotel accountants track employee expenses through expense claims and company credit card purchases. Expense tracking is important for tax and reimbursement purposes. This can also help provide budgeting information so accountants can create future budgets.
Hotel managers and executives want to be informed on the overall finances of the hotel, and it’s the hotel accountant’s responsibility to create and present reports on these figures. As such, hotel accountants should be familiar with tracking and analyzing financial data.
From time to time, hotel accountants will perform audits on overall hotel operations. This includes auditing cash registers, credit card statements, and banking accounts. These audits ensure nothing out of the ordinary is happening with the hotel’s finances.
Hotel Accountant Skills and Qualifications
Hotel accountants should be financial gurus who have great attention to detail. To be successful, they usually possess, at minimum, a bachelor’s degree in finance, along with any appropriate certifications. Most employers also prefer their hotel accountants to have previous experience in the hospitality industry. Employers also like potential candidates to have these skills:
- Accounting skills – first and foremost, hotel accountants should have at least some skill in finances, budgets, and accounting. They should be familiar with balancing budgets and understanding how different money habits affect overall financial performance
- Financial data analytics – hotel accountants should be able to analyze financial data, organize it, and present it in a clear and professional manner
- Cashiering experience – many hotel accountants have previous cashiering experience, preferably in a hospitality environment. They should also be intimately familiar with point of sale systems and software
- Attention to detail – hotel accountants should be able to find the smallest of errors and correct them before they become serious problems
- Ethical approach to work – since they work closely with money, hotel accountants should be ethical in the way that they work. This includes reporting employees who are stealing from the hotel and identifying loopholes in the budget that can be exploited
Tools of the Trade
Hotel accountants often use and should be familiar with the following tools:
- Property management systems (Opera, Frontdesk Anywhere, Maestro)
- Bookkeeping software (QuickBooks, FreshBooks, Xero)
- Point of sale (POS) and cashiering systems
- Microsoft Office Suite (especially Excel)
Hotel Accountant Education and Training
Hotel accountants should hold a bachelor’s degree in finance or accounting. Many hotels require their accountants to hold certain certifications, such as the Certified Hospitality Accountant Executive certification. In addition to education and certification, hotel accountants usually need training on the hotel’s exact policies and procedures when it comes to financials.
Hotel Accountant Salary and Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), hotel accountants earn a median salary of just under $40,000 per year. The top 10 percent of hotel accountants make around $60,000 per year, and the lowest 10 percent make around $24,000 per year. Full-time hotel accountants are typically offered a full benefits package including health insurance and vacation time. Many hotels also offer their employees special discounts on room rates.
The BLS reports that the hotel accountant job will neither grow nor shrink over the next decade. As technology advances, many of the duties for hotel accountants will be automated. As such, the same job can be performed by fewer hotel accountants, creating a stale growth environment.
Are you interested in pursuing a career path as a hotel accountant? Check out some of the following resources to learn more about the profession from those experienced in the field:
National Society of Accountants – The NSA provides a wealth of knowledge to accounting professionals in any industry. Its mission is to encourage accountants to gain professional credentials and help its members to succeed.
World Finance Network – This LinkedIn group consists of over 190,000 members and provides a great platform for general discussion among accounting and financial professionals. This forum gives you a place to seek career advice, explore job opportunities, and share knowledge.
Accounting Made Simple: Accounting Explained in 100 Pages or Less – This book, written by a certified CPA, provides a comprehensive introduction into the world of accounting. The concepts outlined in the book are detailed in easy-to-understand ways for accountants of all experience levels.
The Tax and Legal Playbook – Well written and positively reviewed by readers and industry experts, this book discusses the topics of taxes and finances. If you’re new to the accounting world, you may not fully understand exactly how taxes and budgets fit together. If so, this book is a great reference for you that will continue to serve you through the years.
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