The more frequent and detailed your night reports, the fuller the picture of your hotel's cash flows. In this article, you'll discover the reports you should include in the night audit of your hotel in order to have a complete picture of your daily transactions and achieve the in-sync operation of all your departments.6 mins read
Night reports are essential for every hotel, regardless of size and type, and they must be conducted at the end of every day in order for a hotel to run smoothly. Night reports help you record client transactions and cross-check with the hotel’s front office account so that you can evaluate and complete the daily cash flows, while having a clear image of your clients’ actions and the hotel procedures that took place during the day.
These reports are also known as night audits since they are performed at night when we can overview all reservations and transactions of the day. Depending on our hotel and its needs, night reports may concern from a simple manual recording to a complex procedure based on apps with detailed client records, cash flows, etc.
A complete night audit includes reports on revenue transactions, reservations, room state, guest accounts, and credits up to that time. The more frequent and detailed your night reports are, the more in-depth will be your understanding of your hotel’s cash flows. Below you will find out the reports you should include in your hotel’s night audit to have a complete image of your daily transactions and to make sure all your departments are aligned.
1. Payment ledger report
The hotel night auditor checks the receipts from reservations made during day and verifies that they have been rightly recorded along with the respective charges, making sure that all transactions, such as cash, credit cards, and bank deposits have been recorded to the account of every guest.
Through this process, you will be fully aware of the daily transactions of your guests and you will know at any moment their financial standings, the receipts to date per room, the account balance, and whether a reservation is pending or paid.
2. Occupancy & room status report
Since it is occasionally expected to have over-bookings and, therefore, problems in availability, the night auditor has to check and evaluate the room state, the cleanliness, and the occupancy reports to make the necessary changes to reservations. In case there are problems with room availability or the state of a room, they must come up with a solution plan from the night before. The role of the night auditor is key in these cases, as, if the problem came up the following day during the check-in, it would be very difficult to come up with an immediate and effective solution. It’s also not professional for the front office team to desperately try to figure things out in front of the customer.
3. Non-show report
By recording the non-show reservations in our front office files, we fully control which reservations didn’t show up, we make the reserved rooms available again, and we make sure that clients are charged according to our reservation and cancellation policies. In addition, the auditor makes sure to inform the front office about the non-show reservation, so that, in case they haven’t already, they can communicate with the client, cross-check there was no check-in, and make sure that the reservation dates haven’t changed.
4. Trial balance report
This process is very demanding, so it’s important to have all cash flows recorded, like advance payments and payments in full, extra services requested by clients, food and drinks orders from the hotel’s bar/restaurant, and every other service that comes at an additional cost.
The night auditor has to collect, record, and cross-check all the expenses made per client/room per day and create a complete record card of their account. This process is called trial balance, since it’s based on the data of the total revenue per client per day.
5. Verify room rate report
It’s important to check the room prices and compare them with the cost at which clients have made their reservations, since this way, we ensure that the actual reservation prices meet the room cost (rack rate). By doing so, we can spot possible mistakes in reservation prices and proceed to any actions necessary.
6. Tax report
In this report, we record all taxes and state charges that have been recorded for the current date, month, and year. This report allows us to check the taxes per reservation at any moment and deduct the reservations that didn’t show up or were canceled. Since taxes are based on provided services, it’s important to regularly check our reservations to make sure that the tax report is properly completed. By using this report, we can save time and be fully aware of our tax charges per trimester.
Do you know why night reports are called night audits?
Before the advent of automated front office systems, the best time to write reports was late at night or early in the morning, since visitor and department demands were less at these times than at any other time of the day. During these hours, the auditors could focus on the process and record the specific reports. Despite the use of automated systems, the evening hours remain the most suitable for creating reports even today, since the department can operate without the workload of daytime.
Night reports are essential to ensure the smooth operation of the hotel from one working day to the next. They help verify daily entries, cross-check cash accounts, and build proper communication bridges between the departments. With night audits we have a complete accounting picture of the revenue, customers, bookings, state of the rooms, and their availability.
Their recording can be done manually with pen and paper or even better using a hotel unit management system, a Hotel PMS. Even though we may be quite familiar with the use of manual recording and trust the abilities of our evening auditor, it is still a time-consuming and tedious process with a high probability of error.
On the other hand, using a Hotel PMS system, processes are automated, reports are recorded immediately, crossings per room and customer are done automatically, and the night auditor has a tool that gives them plenty of customization for optimal results.
Finally, if you want to go one step further with the procedures and create smart hotel management, there are also cloud-based PMS systems, with which, apart from the digital and immediate recording of night audits, you will also have full control of reports at any time and from any place. All reports and data are recorded online on the internet in a cloud environment. This way, each department can be updated immediately but also be informed in real time about the data and accounting balance of each customer or each room.