01 Aug Benefits of fully integrated accounting and booking software
How much time and money are you spending on separate systems for managing your front and back office?
Learn about the benefits of integrating your accounting and reservations software.
Here’s what we’ve learned about tour operator software solutions – multiple and disparate systems for different business functions are often a barrier to productivity, accuracy, and reputation. Nowhere is this clearer than when tour operators are using an external accounting system. If it’s not properly aligned with your booking and operations solution, you’re running the risk of increased errors. Not only that, but you’re also faced with double entry or exporting/importing of data – which is time consuming – and you won’t be able to streamline your processes by leveraging automation. And of course, none of your financial data is in real-time, because it’s only as accurate as the last update. It means you don’t have access to instant strategic, real-time management information. For example, managers are not able to have a quick snapshot of the amount of business a consultant or department has generated on a given day in order to spot-check turnover and expected profit.
And when it comes to reporting, you can spend a lot of time and money attempting to build reports by merging information from your booking system and your external accounting system. In fact, we’ve known tour operators who’ve had to employ full-time staff to carry out those reporting tasks – technical people who are expert at pulling data out of standalone systems and putting it all back together. As you can imagine, this requires a significant outlay in resources.
Bringing it all together in a fully integrated reservations and accounting package
Like most businesses, tour operators and destination management companies need to be well along the path of digital transformation. Software solutions exist to enhance your business to be able to perform more efficiently, distribute more effectively, and scale up without the need for additional human resources.
Having all your accounting fully integrated with your booking solution is a cornerstone of realising these goals, and provides the detailed management information you need to drive operational and strategic decision-making. You can instantly analyse your business by any combination of clients, markets, divisions, departments, consultants, suppliers and products.
In addition, by implementing an integrated solution, your Reservations, Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable teams will be significantly more efficient and error-free. Some simple but core business processes best illustrate this:
- Ensuring that bookings are fully invoiced to your agents/clients prior to travel date
- Accurate information on how much you should be invoiced per booking by each supplier (which may not always match the supplier invoice!). Think back over all the suppliers you’ve overpaid in the past – how much does it add up to? And how much has it impacted your profitability?
- Management and follow-up of bookings with outstanding payments prior to tour departure
- Allowing your reservations teams to monitor agent/client and supplier payments on their own bookings, including seeing the full financial picture with actual profitability. This is particularly important for groups/MICE where tour consultants liaise with clients for all matters related to their booking including deposits and money outstanding
- Controlling offline and online booking activity via agent credit limits.
Tourplan: the unique, travel-based accounting solution
Tourplan’s accounting modules will provide you with everything a standard accounting system has – Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, General Ledger, MIS, Management & Financial Reporting – but they also deliver a number of features designed specifically for the travel industry, and not found in other accounting systems including:
- ‘Travel based accounting’ – automatic matching of booking revenue and expenses by date of travel or tour departure date in the Profit and Loss statement
- Automated recognition and posting of future revenue and future expenses to the Balance Sheet
- Instant, real-time General Ledger reporting – for example sales invoices raised by tour consultants are instantly updated into the General Ledger accounts in the appropriate financial periods
- Detailed agent statements on-demand including aged account balances and per booking related information
- Outstanding expected costs valuation on-demand, with automatic cost accruals updating at any time
- Multi-currency capabilities built into all booking and accounting modules, with advanced foreign exchange management, on-demand revaluation of booking amounts, and automated forex gain/loss calculations per agent and supplier account.
Detailed on-demand Sales & Financial Analysis
Tourplan provides essential sales and financial analysis that informs your business strategy. Enjoy complete control over your business on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis via on-demand analysis of sales, purchases and profitability on a booking-by-booking, agent, supplier, consultant, department, market, and company wide basis. It includes:
- Sales analysis of booking revenue, costs, and profit – both expected and actual
- Sales and agent/client analysis showing pax numbers, booking numbers, quote conversions, travelled and cancelled bookings
- Supplier analysis showing costs, pax numbers, product quantities and room nights sold.
This information enables you to make timely strategic marketing decisions, assists in the negotiating of rates with your suppliers and most importantly, allows you to monitor expected profitability well in advance of travel date.
If staying ahead of the competition, continuing your digital transformation journey, and boosting your competitive edge are all priorities in your business, then making the move to an integrated accounting and booking software solution is a must. The more you automate, the more efficient, accurate and streamlined your business will be, giving you the advantage in a complex and fast-moving industry.
Keen to find out more about Tourplan’s unique accounting capabilities? Book a demo today.