Real-Time Accounting Improves the Ease and Accuracy of Budgeting

For most bottom line managers budgeting season is a royal pain.  Every year they have to forecast revenues, project their cost of goods sold and payroll, and budget their operating expenses.  The process is always time consuming; and it always seems to come at a time when the manager is pressed with ongoing operations and other urgent issues.  The good news is that there is a better way!

Recognizing that the best predictor of the future is the recent past, the discipline of Real-Time Accounting and tracking of key data is, among other significant benefits, a simple way to improve both the ease and accuracy of the budgeting process.  As an example, the HRI Tools to Beat Budget program organizes the discipline of:

1.   tracking daily revenues on a week by week basis,

2.   benchmarking and analyzing cost of goods sold on a monthly basis for F&B and retail operations,

3.   recording the details of payroll cost on a pay period basis, and

4.   detailing other operating expenses monthly.

The beauty of this discipline is that at the end of the year, all of this information is in a three-ringed binder – available to the manager at his or her fingertips to create next year’s budget.

There are even some managers who take their operating results month by month and build their future budget as they progress through the year.  Come budget time, their budgets are pretty much done – and they breeze through budget season without breaking a sweat.

Thanks and have a great day!

Ed Rehkopf

This weekly blog comments on and discusses the hospitality industry and its challenges. From time to time, we will feature guest bloggers – those managers and industry experts who have something of interest to say to all of us. We also welcome feedback and comment upon the blog, hoping that it will become a useful sounding board for what’s on the minds of hardworking hospitality managers throughout the country and around the world.

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