Companies operating in the travel industry already have a lot on their plates, and it only becomes more challenging when contemplating the management of back-office operations, such as accounting.
Whether you’re a DMC, OTA, or TMC, number-crunching is a constant but often riddled with errors.
While Medium and large-sized companies heavily rely on travel back office management companies like Unire to keep their systems decluttered, relatively smaller companies can choose a robust accounting system to ensure accurate financial reporting. With the advancement of technology, accounting software solutions have become the preferred choice for travel companies seeking to streamline their financial processes.
Let’s delve into some of the key considerations when selecting the right accounting software for your needs, ensuring you find the perfect match.
Key Consideration to A Perfect Travel Accounting Software
Tailored to Your Industry Needs
One size doesn’t fit all, especially in the travel industry. When selecting accounting software for your travel agency, prioritize industry-specific features. Your accounting software should recognize the unique requirements of your business and offer tailored features to meet those needs. Look for software that understands the intricacies of airline tickets, hotel accommodations, transportation, car rental services, and other services specific to the travel industry.
Travel agencies often rely on multiple systems and software tools to manage their operations. These may include customer relationship management (CRM) systems, travel booking platforms, and payment gateways. To keep everything in sync, ensure your accounting software seamlessly integrates with these systems.
Advanced Accounting Capabilities
Managing finances for a travel agency goes beyond traditional accounting. You need software that understands the nuances of your business. Prioritize travel accounting software that can track revenue and expenses for airline tickets, hotel bookings, transportation, car rentals, and more.
Additionally, features like cost center tracking, multi-currency support, and commission tracking can be game changers. These features not only enhance accuracy but also make financial reporting a breeze.
Operates More than Basic
Travel Accounting software should have robust more than just basic features like billing. This ensures timely invoicing and eliminates the risk of missed billings. Whether you offer individual services, service combinations, or package deals, your software should support invoicing for all of them.
An integrated Front Office Module can be particularly helpful, especially if you offer tour packages or offline sales. This integration ensures a smooth flow of data and reduces the need for manual data entry. Look for software that offers data interfaces or APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to connect with other systems or third-party applications. This allows for seamless data exchange, eliminating manual work and reducing errors.
If your travel agency operates under IATA/BSP regulations, ensure that your accounting software supports specific features like BSP Reconciliation. This feature helps rectify errors and streamlines the payment process between travel agencies and airlines. It’s designed to compare data in imported BSP files with your accounting software, ensuring accuracy and compliance.
Balances the Books
To maintain financial accuracy, your travel agency accounting system should offer reconciliation features. These features facilitate easy matching of your supplier statements, financial records, bank statements, credit card statements, and other payment systems. Whether it’s reconciling cash, bank transactions, POS transactions, corporate credit cards, or payments to air and non-air suppliers, your software should do it with ease. This ensures you can quickly identify any discrepancies or errors.
Automation is the name of the game when it comes to efficiency. Look for accounting software that offers automation features to streamline repetitive tasks and reduce manual data entry. Imagine automated invoice generation, payment reminders, system reminders, and automated reports.
Guards Your Data
Protecting sensitive financial data is paramount. Prioritize accounting software that offers robust security measures. Look for features like user access control, audit trails, document history, role definition, and regular backups. These measures ensure the integrity and confidentiality of your agency’s financial information.
Other Important Considerations
Should Be High Tech
Consider the technology behind the accounting software. Ensure that it’s modern, reliable, and compatible with your existing IT infrastructure. Technology should empower your agency, not hinder it.
Related reading: Chatbots in Travel Industry: Benefits and Use Cases in 2023
Should be Credible and Trustworthy
Choosing the right accounting software is not just about the software itself; it’s also about the provider. Opt for a reputable solution provider with a track record of serving the travel industry. Take the time to research customer reviews, testimonials, and industry reputation.
Offers Implementation & Support
Assess the implementation process and the level of support provided by the software vendor. A seamless transition is essential to minimize disruptions to your business. Ensure that the provider offers comprehensive training, ongoing technical support, and regular software updates.
Consider Product Roadmap
Lastly, consider the software’s product roadmap and future enhancements. Look for a solution that continually evolves to meet the changing needs of the travel industry. Your accounting software should grow with your agency.
If you find it overwhelming to handle it on your own, consider looking up to a travel back-office management company. Unire, being a leader in the industry, offers a comprehensive suite of back-office operations management, including bespoke solutions for finance and accounting. With over a decade of experience in decluttering the back offices of medium and large-sized companies, Unire follows a unique 100% error accountability approach by covering any losses caused during service processing.
Further reading: 5 Back Office Software Every Business Should Know About