apaleo is doing double-entry accounting, and it's doing that in real time. That means, whenever a business transaction happens, it is immediately captured in apaleo's accounting module. We do not post all nights on check-in or check-out, but each night separately, during the night audit.
The accounting schema
The basic schema is provided by apaleo out of the box. No need to spend time and thoughts on this. You can see it and navigate through it in Finance > Accounting. The schema is split up into global accounts and guest accounts. Global accounts are your hotels revenues and payments, and charges booked on the house account. Next to that, you also find accounts for VAT, city taxes and transitory items - those collect the amounts to be passed on to others.
Revenue has three static sub-accounts: Accommodation, Food and Beverages, and Other. Each of those has sub-accounts for each VAT type which exists in your hotel's country. Navigate through the account schema in apaleo to see which ones those are.
The guest accounts let you see liabilities (basically, prepayments), receivables (delivered, but not yet paid), and accounts receivables (not paid and invoice created) for every single reservation. At the end of a stay, if a reservation is fully paid, liabilities and receivables for a reservation are both always zero.
The core information in a transaction entry are debited account ("from"), credited account ("to") and amount. For a payment, the transaction would be:
"Book 120 EUR From Visa-Credit to Receivables for reservation XTTSQQKW-1"
The amount is 120 EUR, Visa-Credit is the debited account, and Receivables-XTTSQQKW-1 is the credited account. Amounts are rounded to 4 digits to reduce the impact of rounding errors.
Additionally, each transaction has a receipt, a command which tells you what happened in the real world, a timestamp and date for the exact second the transaction was posted to the log and the business day it was posted on, and an entry number.
There are composite transactions, too. For example, posting a charge leads to this transaction:
"Book 120 EUR from Receivables to Revenues (108 EUR) and VAT (12 EUR)"
Those composite transactions are two log entries which share the same entry number.
Net vs. gross
Because we do split up transactions into their revenue (or liabilities) and VAT parts, all revenue numbers are net. The revenue accounts are always for a specific VAT, like for example "Revenues Accommodation 7%".
To get the gross amounts, you can
- take the numbers for revenue and add the VAT on top, or
- look for the VAT transactions having the same entry number, and add them
Posting vs. business date
Each transaction we record has two dates: the posting date and time, and the business date. The posting time is the exact point in time when we write the transaction log entry. When you add a direct charge, it is the time of adding it. For charges on the reservation, it is the time when you run the night audit. When you create an invoice the night before a guest leaves, tomorrow's charges are posted at the time you click "Create invoice". The posting time is not relevant for accounting, we have it for audits and automatic integrations.
The business date is the one which is relevant for accounting. Imagine you run the night audit only at the end of each month (please don't!): then the posting date will be the end of the month, but the business dates will be the actual days when services where delivered and revenue was made: each of the past nights of the month.
All aggregated reports are using the business date. Whenever you can enter date and time, apaleo filters by posting date.
Business transactions and accounting transactions
There is no way to just add transactions to the accounting transaction log. Everything we record is triggered by a business transaction:
- Collecting payments and prepayments
- Posting reservation charges during the night-audit
- Adding charges or refunds to a folio
- Creating an invoice with outstanding payments
- Amending a prepaid reservation
- Moving charges
The place where we record those real-world actions is the folio. Reservation changes are reflected there, as are direct postings of charges, refunds, and payments.
This allows you to trace back every single transaction in the log to its source. The reservation and invoice lists with their possibility to find reservations by number are helpful in finding the information you need.
The two basic ways to get accounting data are as a easy to digest, aggregated print-and-store PDF, or as a full export of every single transaction. Attention, the full export is using the posting date for filters. It is useful when you want to audit what exactly happened in a period of time, but not for anything else. A good example for when you want the single transactions is to check payments done within a shift.
You can export data on the main screen of Finance > Accounting, or on any of the sub-accounts. Select the date range you are interested in, and export.