- Stefan van Heerwaarden
USALI: 'The holy grail for any hotel'
Statler BI produces reports according to the Hospitality USALI standard. USALI is the uniform general ledger system in the hotel industry worldwide. Our inspiration, Ellsworth Statler, stood at the cradle of this (financial) milestone. Anyone not yet working to these standards is missing a great opportunity.
Three reasons to choose USALI today:
1. Insight from 'head to toe'
USALI provides uniform accounting. Fixed ledgers, fourteen departmental schedules and clear business statistics. So it's easy to compare performance within your hotel. By year, by quarter, by month. It also gives hotels all the tools they need to budget properly (by department).
2. How am I doing? Benchmarking!
USALI makes it easy to compare performance with other hotels in the hotel chain. Or compare yourself to the competition and general industry data. Are you on the right track or are there areas for improvement?
3. Determine value and make the right business choices
USALI provides insight into the value of the hotel. Uniform accounting shows where profits are made and where money "leaks out. With the right numbers on hand, you can determine whether it pays to invest in certain departments or services. Does it add value to the guest experience? Or will you make other choices?
USALI is indispensable for hotel managers, owners and investors. The unified financial language helps make hotel performance transparent. Managers can better manage results by department. Not only the total cost of hotel rooms, for example, is reported; you can also zoom in on detail. For owners and investors, it is easy to determine value. In a clear "hotel income statement" you can see at a glance how the hotel is doing. USALI is also an important basis for stakeholders. It is referred to in all kinds of agreements, such as mortgages, franchise or management agreements.
The Founding Fathers
Beginning in 1920, the American hotel industry grew explosively and became increasingly professional. The Hotel Association of New York City needed an unambiguous benchmark, based on clear business statistics. Under the leadership of chairman Ellsworth Statler, a committee set to work on this. It resulted in 1926 in USALI: the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry. Hotels thus used one common, financial language. It gave owners tools to value their hotels themselves, something previously reserved for outside parties. USALI was unique in every way, as no other industry used its own general ledger system.
The committee consisted of three groups, from hotel managers to owners and accountants. Collaborators included the renowned Waldorf-Astoria, The Commodore and Hotel Pennsylvania. They laid the foundation for the accounting system, whose statistical formulas such as revenue and cost per occupied room are still used as KPIs by hotels today.
How does USALI stay current?
Since 1926, USALI has always been revised based on new developments. In early 2023, we are already up to the 12e edition. Where fountain pens used to be included under Printing and Stationary, today we have other guest supplies as luxury items in the hotel room. Or consider changes in payroll, as positions have disappeared as well as added. You won't find seamstresses in hotels anymore, but social media workers are a must.
USALI was once set up by property managers and accountants. With the growth of the hotel industry, other parties began to play an important role as well. Teachers, asset managers, consultants, hotel managers; they all think along about the right adjustments. A big advantage is that USALI is therefore widely supported within and outside the organization.
'USALI is the bible for hotel accountants ...
and for any manager, owner or investor'
The consistent way of accounting has many advantages. Managers get the right insights at the detail and total level. They can make their departments work more efficiently. This increases productivity and reduces risks, such as scheduling too many staff or overcharging for linen. Thanks to unified accounting, various hotels within a hotel chain are easy to compare with each other, regardless of target group or choice of business or leisure market. After all, you are comparing KPIs based on the same statistics and reports. What does that yield? Choose the best practice and learn from operations so that other hotels will perform better as well.
What does it provide?
Here are the main pluses!
Uniformity of accounting and reporting.
Own insight (and responsibility) for various departments.
Performance data available in detail.
Benchmarking with industry data for business insights.
Good valuation of the hotel.
A high degree of flexibility and ease of use.
USALI and the Statler BI platform
Needless to say. We welcome the foresight of hotel pioneer Ellsworth Statler. Together with his colleagues, he laid a solid foundation for a sound system. We are still reaping the benefits of that today. Statler BI reports on the basis of the USALI standard. It is also our goal to provide management with the right figures and data. With these reports you can get started with targeted business analysis. Are you meeting the KPIs? Are you keeping costs under control? The option to budget and forecast helps you make (daily) adjustments and achieve goals. Thanks to the USALI standard, comparison with other hotels within a chain is possible. Consolidate the balance sheet, apply a best practice; Statler BI keeps it simple.
Want to know more about our Statler BI platform? Check out the video or make an appointment: +31 (0) 20 700 66 30.