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Last updated: Oct 10, 2021

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Vouchers in hotels

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VOUCHERS

A voucher details a transaction to be posted to a front office account. There are several types of vouchers used in front office accounting system:
  1. Cash Voucher - A voucher used to support a cash payment transaction at the front desk.
  2. Charge Voucher - A voucher used to support a charge purchase transaction that takes place somewhere other than the front office.
  3. Allowance Voucher - A voucher used to support an account allowance.
  4. Cash Advance Voucher - A voucher used to support cash flow out of the hotel, either directly to or on behalf of the guest.
  5. Correction Voucher - A voucher used to support the correction of a posting error which is rectified before the close of business on the day the error was made.
  6. Credit Card Voucher - A form designated by the credit card company to be used for imprinting the credit card and recording the amount charged.
  7. Paid-Out Voucher - A voucher used to support the cash disbursed by the hotel on behalf of a guest.
  8. Transfer Voucher - A voucher used to support a reduction in balance on one folio and an equal increase in balance on another. Transfer vouchers are used for transfers between guest accounts and for transfers from guest accounts to non-guest accounts when they are settled by credit cards.
  9. Travel Agency Voucher - In travel agent guaranteed reservation, the travel agent forwards a voucher to the hotel as proof of payment and guarantees that the prepaid amount will be sent to the hotel when the voucher is returned to the travel agency for payment. Here are some typical vouchers.

  10. Petty Cash Voucher
  11. Petty Cash Voucher

    Payment Voucher

    Payment Voucher

    Ledger and Types

    The ledgers are a group of accounts. There are two ledgers the front office handles −
    • Guest ledger − A set of all guest accounts currently residing in the hotel.
    • Non-guest ledger − A set of all unsettled, departed guest accounts.
    There are two other types of ledgers used in the hotel. Both types of ledgers are used by back office accounting section as given −
    • Receivable ledger − The back office accounting staff mails the bills and statements to the guests after their departure without settling the bills and ensures the payments for services provided.
    • Payable ledger − The staff handles amounts of money paid in advance on behalf of the guest to the hotel for future consumption of goods and services.

    Account Settlements

    There are various issues regarding account settlement −

    Orientation of Account Settlement

    By Guest − The guest settles own account by cash/credit card/cheque.
    By Organization − The organization settles guest account by transferring money to the hotel account.

    Methods of Account Settlement

    There are following popular methods of account settlement −
    Account Settlement in Local Currency − A guest can pay in terms of a local currency where the payment is not chargeable with conversion fees.
    Account Settlement in Foreign Currency − If the guest prefers to pay in foreign currency, the service of payment by the bank is chargeable for around 3% to 6% of the total payable amount.
    Account Settlement Using Traveler Check − Travelers? cheques, the pre-printed cheques in the denominations of major world currencies are a good option to paying by cash.
    Debit Card − Use of magnetic cards for payment against account is most common today. Paying by debit cards is as good as paying by cash as the amount of money is instantly transferred from the guest's bank account into the hotel's bank account.
    In case of credit card settlement, the accounting staff mails the charge vouchers signed by guests to the credit card company; preferably within a specified time. The credit card company then settles the guest account by transferring money against it.
    Credit Settlement by Organization − Many national, international, private, or public organizations send their employees or students for attending workshops, seminar, or meetings. Such organizations tie-up with the hotel for paying the bills of their employees on credit. The organizations reserve accommodations depending on the number of room nights (number of rooms, number of nights the representatives are expected to occupy). This is popularly known as account Settlement using Direct Billing.
    In direct billing account settlement, the front office staff verifies guest folios and transfers the guest account to non-guest or city account. The hotel's back-office accounting verifies the guest folios and is responsible to collect the direct billing amount from a direct billing agency such as embassy, university, or organizations.
    The accounting section also notifies the guests that if the direct billing agency fails or refuses to pay the charges then the guests need to settle the account by paying them from their pocket.
    Combined Account Settlement − A guest can settle account by paying partial amount in cash and remaining amount on credit. The front office staff needs to prepare the supporting document for such kind of payment and hands it over to the back-office accounts.


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