Hotel Accounting - A Look to the Future

Updated: Jul 16

Howard Field suggests 12 possible USALI enhancements to bring the system in line with current hotel operations

Centred around the development of the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry, the principles of which have largely remained as originally published in 1926, the hotel accounting history recently published by HOSPA and HFTP covers the period up to the Eleventh Revised Edition, that was published in 2014.

This article takes the opportunity, while the Twelfth Edition revision of the USALI is in progress, to reflect on the potential for alternative views of hotel operating performance.

The departmental formats and related revenue and expense allocation standards used by the USALI have over the years become prescriptive. This approach has resulted in there having been relatively few innovations in hotel management accounting despite the many changes in the structures of ownership and styles of operation that have taken place during the last decades.

Examples of hotel operating KPIs that are not easily determined by referring to USALI style accounts include:

  • revenue and profitability by customer

  • total revenue and profitability by market sector, such as leisure, corporate, group, MICE

  • revenues and profit contributions from residents compared to non-residents

  • identifying a hotel’s variable, semi-variable and fixed costs