As a finance leader in the hospitality industry, the process of choosing financial software to use may seem like an insignificant one.
After all, there are plenty of other important things to think about – such as cash flow, venue hire and more. But financial software is still important, and it can in fact help you solve some of these pain points. Here’s how to choose the right package for you.
In the modern age, many hospitality businesses find that their teams are increasingly distributed. Sometimes, this is all within the same venue – bar staff on the pub floor may use financial software at their electronic point of sale, while finance staff upstairs analyse the volume of transactions, or hotel cleaners may indicate to their managers which rooms are ready for occupancy by ticking them off on a device. Either way, ensuring that the software is accessible in many different locations across a business, and that it is useable on mobile and fixed devices, is important.
It’s also important to ensure that you choose a software package that has a financial modelling capability, too. In a hospitality business, cash flow is a constant concern. Unlike some other sectors, revenues tend to be made right at the end of an expensive process. Often, you’ll need to pay for venues, supplies, furniture and more well in advance of the moment that the first patron heads through the door – and if custom is slow at first, it can take even longer to get to profit.
That’s where modelling software can help. You’ll be able to see at a glance how much revenue you need, and how each change in circumstances or supply chain node could affect revenues over time. In some cases, humans can do this for you – but with only 2.2% of financial leaders telling AccountingWEB that they devoted time to strategic analysis, it’s clear that even among financial managers there’s no appetite or even skills base for strategic thinking. Software, then, is often the answer.
Supply chain management
Finally, choosing a software system with an in-built supply chain manager is vitally important for the hospitality industry. Say you run a wedding venue, and you’re responsible for sourcing everything from the food for the tables to the cake and the drinks. It might be possible to do this manually for several weddings a month if you have a huge team of staff – but in practice, what small or medium-sized hospitality business can truly say it has that? Instead, supply chain management software can chase up undelivered orders, alert you to any price changes and more.
The hospitality industry is unique, and it’s one in which software packages can really make a world of difference. Whether it’s in your supply chain, your financial modelling or your day-to-day processes, software should always be a key part of your plans.