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  • Writer's pictureStephan Busch

Hotel Accountants – a nightmare?

The Accountant

We all have seen him! The little accountant with the dirty glasses, the fast walk, hectic moves. Looking with a weird grin on his face to find our mistakes , pointing them out, butchering us in front of our bosses. Those are hotel accountants. Yes they exist!

Mostly they exist in our nightmares when month end is approaching, budget season is coming or revenues are dropping while costs are rising. They don’t stop counting on those dark days when we find every excuse to talk more with guest and staff because we don’t want to look again at the numbers. We can imagine them but we – hoteliers – don’t want to be reminded. The accountants are still counting without mercy! And they should!

Two different worlds have to meet

All my life in hospitality I have meet all kinds of accountants. Every Manager in a hotel learns sooner or – often - later to appreciate what they do for us. Its true and natural that it takes long to get used to them or even become friends. It is normal because we are different – totally different! And we need to be. We – at the front - need to communicate , understand, calm down guest and staff, come up with new ideas, be flexible, react to all kinds of situations. Accountants have to administer our actions. As they are trained to balance the sheets they often scratch their heads trying to understand with what weird ideas and actions we came up again yesterday. They sort it out for us. They can. They have the patience to sit long hours and get the numbers right so we don’t run into problems with the tax office, local laws and regulations. They balance the sheets and thus keep our backs and heads free for what we have to do. Take care of the hotel, the guests , the staff.

Of course they don’t often understand why we invite guests , why we comp a room and they would like rules and regulations for every possible situation. Understandable but as we all know - impossible. Dealing with people, guest and staff alike we have to use feeling and intuition and how to you write rules for that? You have to follow your guts and how do you put your guts on a spread sheet?

Never leave Accountants to run a hotel alone. It would be a catastrophe. Never let a hotelier or restaurateur run the place alone. It would be also a catastrophe and bankruptcy.

That’s why it is up – hoteliers – to adjust to the accountants, to cooperate and come to friendly terms were all of us can do their jobs in a good relaxed atmosphere. Accountants? We need them! And we can like them too. They can teach us things that we cant learn anywhere else and they deserve respect for it.

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