Who is Responsible for the Financials in Your Hotel?

By David Lund Hospitality & Leadership Expert, The Hotel Financial Coach | December 17, 2017

Early in 2017, I was contacted by a hotel company president who read one of my articles in a hotel association newsletter. He asked me a little bit about how I worked with hotels and then he asked if I would come to his offices and meet with his people. To which I agreed. I went to his office the following week and the receptionist showed me to a well-appointed boardroom with a big table, beautiful art, and 10 chairs. I waited what I thought was a long time, probably no more than 10 minutes.

The company president, the CEO, and VP of Human Resources joined me. We exchanged pleasantries, and then they asked me to explain what I do and how I could help them. I started by telling them my story of how I was a failure at a previous role as the controller of a large hotel some 10 years earlier. Not always a strong start but it usually gets people's attention. I explained that the reason I was failing was because I could not get the other managers to give me their monthly forecasts and as a result, I was communicating financial information that was wrong. I then explained that I discovered the cure. The cure to getting my fellow department heads to do their forecasts was to educate them on the hotel financials. I explained that the education was delivered in the form of a workshop that showed the leaders what the profit and loss statement was all about and why we needed their input.

Then I explained the results of the work I did in the hotel and that in a very short period of time we totally turned things around and how the managers really liked the training-how they responded and the great results we created.

The CEO asked, "In your opinion, who is ultimately responsible for the finances of the hotel?"

To which I replied, "The most senior person, usually the GM."

To which he replied, "So, not the financial person?"

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