What is a night audit? (With skills required and salary)
Updated 26 January 2023
Hotels operate continuously for 24 hours every day for seven days, which means that somebody has to be on duty to perform the hotel process throughout the night to keep operations working efficiently. The person that performs this role is known as a night auditor. They perform front desk duties for guests during the night and essential accounting responsibilities that can only occur at the end of the day. In this article, we explain what a night audit is and the skills you may want to acquire to become a night auditor.
What is a night audit?
To answer, 'what is a night audit?', it's the daily evaluation of all the financial activities recorded at the hotel front desk. Because guests check-in and check-out throughout the day, it's necessary for hotels to keep track of the transactions carried out through cards or with money in hand. Hotels review incoming transactions against outgoing revenue transactions to ensure a smooth rollover from one business day to the next.
Typically, hotel audits occur out late in the evening and into the early morning. This is when the check-in period is over, guest interaction is at its minimum, and the auditor may concentrate on verifying the accuracy of guest and non-guest records without interruption. In the past, professionals would perform night audits manually, which was time-consuming and required high precision, but modern technology has streamlined the process with special software.
Key functions of a night audit
A night audit performs various functions, which vary depending on whether it is manual or automated. Here are five key steps:
Manage outstanding charges: An important step in the process is to make sure all guest transactions get reported and posted to their correct accounts.
Review room rates: Ensure guest records match room reports.
Resolve room status: Night auditors evaluate the day's occupancy report and room status report to determine the occupancy status of the hotel accurately.
Review no-showings: Tracking no-showings is an essential step in managing the day-to-day operations of a hotel, and this process is important so the hotel can charge for any no-shows and make the rooms available for bookings.
Trial balance: The process of balancing all financial accounts, which involves posting room and tax charges for the day.
Generate reports: This valuable step gives detailed insight into a hotel's operations to manage all the various costs and profits.
Night audit reports
A night auditor can generate the reports manually or automatically with the help of hotel property management systems, which reduce human error and allow the night auditor to focus more of their attention on guest support during the night. Hotelogix PMS is a popular system that night auditors can use to simplify the process in a few clicks. Here are five important reports:
Room report: This captures all necessary information regarding hotel accommodation by recording the number of rooms and their guests by category, such as occupied rooms and available rooms. It also provides complete details on check-ins, check-outs, no-shows and cancellations.
Revenue report: This captures accommodation revenue for the day, cancellation and now-show revenue. It also provides information on other points of sale revenue collected on the day.
Counter report: This records information regarding cash and credit card transactions of each counter for the day.
Tax report: This report provides details on all the tax collected from room taxes and other points of sale revenues such as VAT and service tax.
Trial balance report: This provides valuable insight into your hotel's finances for particular data, detailing transaction information and a balance summary of each ledger so the hotel manager can review them.
The main responsibilities of a night auditor
As a night auditor is a combination of the hotel front desk staff and accounting department, they have a variety of important responsibilities. Since hotel audits happen at the end of the day, night auditors tend to work alone and act as the first point of contact for guests in the hotel's late to early morning hours. These are some of some the duties you can expect in this role:
welcoming guests, checking them in and providing important hotel information they might find helpful
general administrative tasks such as answering the phone, assisting guest enquiries and taking reservations
communicating with other on-site staff, such as the maintenance or housekeeping departments and maintaining the general safety and cleanliness of the hotel
acting as concierge by providing recommendations and making reservations for guests at nearby restaurants and entertainment venues.
producing audit and balance reports of the day
ensuring departments fulfil their tasks to ready the staff for the next day
balancing cash drawers and reconciling receipts
Night auditor requirements
Due to the responsibility and involvement in the work environment, night auditors may need to have previous hospitality experience to meet the role's duties. You can obtain certain qualifications to help with your application. The following areas are worth considering:
While no specific qualification is necessary, an employer might want a relevant degree or equivalent. A degree or NVQ in accounting, hospitality or management may go a long way to helping you become a hotel night auditor as they equip you with the transferable skills needed to perform the night auditor job. Most hotels prefer if you have at least five GCSEs, particularly English and maths, due to the communication and financial aspect of the position.
You can learn some of the training needed for a night auditor position by obtaining experience as a front desk agent or other customer service role since a crucial part of a night auditor's job is communicating effectively with incoming and outgoing guests. Usually, employers provide training and part of the trial period for new night auditors includes studying training videos, safety instructions and observing a current employee learn the main tasks.
Official certifications can help prepare you with practical knowledge of hotel auditor duties, develop bookkeeping skills and give you confidence in how to run a front desk effectively on your own through the night. Useful certifications include:
Hotel management certificate: This course provides you with an excellent foundation for a career in the hospitality industry. As it's a competitive industry, it is beneficial to stand out from the competition by obtaining a high level of skill and professional knowledge.
Hotel reception diploma: This course, which can you can study part-time, provides a comprehensive overview of the hotel reception, career opportunities and the main tasks needed to become a hotel receptionist, all of which can be applied to a night auditor job.
Related: 11 diverse hospitality jobs
Useful skills for a night auditor
Night auditors perform both administrative and accounting tasks, which means you may want to be good at financial analysis, customer service and concierge service. To become a successful night auditor, you might consider the following skills:
Bookkeeping: Night auditors are responsible for auditing the transactions of each hotel day, posting charges and generating financial reports.
Organisation: Due to the demands and variety of tasks during a regular shift, night auditors have a high level of organisation.
Technical skills: Performing audits and managing the front desk system requires a competent level of skill with the software and computer systems that process transactions, bookings and reservation records.
Customer service: The role of a night auditor involves frequent guest assistance, so it is a good idea to have experience in customer service roles to perform these duties to a high professional standard.
Communication: Night auditors may have to greet guests, answer phones and write accurate reports of the hotel's financial health, so it is beneficial if you have quality verbal and written communication.
Related: 13 essential accounting skills
Average salary of a night auditor
The national average salary for a night auditor is £10.23 per hour. Night auditors may work late at night, which may include full- or part-time hours, depending on the requirements of the position. The salary of a night auditor may also vary depending on the company's needs, size of the hotel and the experience level of the employee.
Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed. Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.
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