The 11th edition of the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry (USALI) went live on January 1, 2015. This edition presented multiple updates such as changes to the way customers were reported in food outlets, new rooms revenue and demand segmentation, gross versus net reporting, and the addition of a new schedule, Schedule 6 — Information and Telecommunications Systems. There were various other updates, but these were a few that garnered the greatest attention, as they required fundamental shifts in accounting procedures.
In 2015, following the release and effective date for the 11th edition, members of the AH&LA Financial Management Committee (FMC) developed a survey to gauge the acceptance of the major changes.
The majority were widely accepted by the hospitality industry professionals surveyed. The new Information and Telecommunications Department received the highest approval rating of 4.18, while the change in reporting from covers to customers was met with less enthusiasm, ranking only 3.68 out of a total of 5 points.
USALI 11th Edition Industry Acceptance
|New Guidance||Level of Agreement|
|New Information and Telecommunications Department||4.18|
|New Rooms Revenue and Demand Segmentation||4.14|
|Revenue Management and Catering Sales in S&M Department||4.08|
|Exclusion of Resort Fees from ADR/RevPAR Calculation||4.04|
|Reporting of Salaries and Wages by Management and Non-Management||4.04|
|Creation of Non-Operating Income below GOP||3.94|
|Treatment of Group Rooms Rebates and Subsidies||3.92|
|Additional Guidance on Gross vs. Net Reporting||3.91|
|Additional Guidance on Reporting Surcharges and Service Charges||3.89|
|Package Allocation and Breakage||3.87|
|Additional Revenue and Expense Ratios||3.77|
|Change from Covers to Customers||3.68|
|Additional Guidance on Reporting Foreign Exchange Gains and Losses||3.49|
|Mixed Ownership Guidance||3.08|
Now, it has been more than three years since the 11th edition was presented, approved and set into place — and talk of exploring a 12th edition has already begun. The Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) Hotel Advisory Council has developed a survey to distribute to lodging industry accounting and finance professionals to solicit feedback before beginning work on the next edition.
HFTP needs your input, which could ultimately impact the contents of the next edition of the USALI.
The following are a few questions which must be examined and answered.
- Is it time to implement a new edition?
The latest two editions were published in 2006 (10th edition) and 2014 (11th edition), with an eight year span between the publications. With the rapidly changing environment of the lodging industry, should updates come sooner? Every five years?
- How much time should be provided to prepare for the effective date?
The 11th edition was the first edition printed with an effective date. The book was released in June 2014 and the effective date was set as January 1, 2015. Some of the updates were simple to implement, but others required fundamental changes in procedures, such as the addition of the Information and Telecommunications Systems schedule. Was six months enough time to make the necessary changes?
- What changes need to be made to the 11th edition? Would you like to see anything new added to the 12th edition?
Do you agree or disagree with changes made in the 11th edition? Through interviews conducted by researchers at the University of Houston working with the HFTP Americas Research Center, many industry professionals noted that telecommunications should not be combined with information systems on the same schedule. What do you think? Are there other items you would like to see added or subtracted?
- In which formats would you like to see the next edition presented?
The current 11th edition was available for purchase in either a hard copy or e-book. Would you like a searchable version? How would you like to see the information presented, and what features would you like to see?
Please complete the HFTP USALI survey today. Your input is highly valued and will assist in the development of future editions of the USALI.
Tanya Venegas, MBA, MHM, CHIA is the executive director at the HFTP Americas Research Center at the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston. Contact Tanya via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at +1 (713) 743-1839.