The 411 on the HFTP Global Hospitality Accounting Common Practices (GHACP) Database

What is the GHACP?

GHACP stands for the Global Hospitality Accounting Common Practices. The goal of this initiative is to provide a searchable database of detailed operating financial reporting practices used at lodging properties around the world, along with guidance on industry standards, and commentary and analysis from industry experts.

The Idea

The users of financial information come in many forms, from owners to investors, from controllers to CFOs, from financial professionals to academic constituents. Thus any benchmarking information services that can be used by these groups to compare common practices for hotel management reporting from region to region would prove to be very useful.

As with any benchmarking services, in order to stay relevant, it is imperative that the GHACP is a fluid product requiring continuous updating and development. The project leaders started by collecting information from Europe and Asia with the assistance of industry practitioners and university students. For North America, HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe gained the permission of the Financial Management Committee of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) to include the 10th and 11th editions of the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry (USALI) in the GHACP.  To-date, the database hosts approximately 5,000 items.

The Process

To build this valuable resource, a multi-national team of hospitality management students surveyed reporting practices at lodging properties across the globe. The information collected focused primarily on operating statements and key financial performance indicators to highlight examples of current practices.

Once assembled, the database reflects an overview of common practices for each region as well as explanations for local variations. Currently, the database includes five regions: Hong Kong, Netherlands, United Kingdom, and the 10th and 11th editions of the USALI. All items in the five regions are then combined into the HFTP Global Database. In other words, the HFTP Global Database summarizes all the items and allows users to conduct a global inquiry and search for individual items.

The Uses

Once you enter the database, you can choose a region and view the summary operating statements of that region. You can also use this summary operating statement page to drill down to see how each line on a summary operating statement is linked to a schedule; which, in turn, links to the accounts within that schedule.

Step #1 – Select Operating Schedules from the GHACP home page

Step #2 – Select the Region you want to View

Step #3 – View the Summary Operating Schedule

Step #4 – View a Departmental Schedule

Step #5 – View Items Included in Other Income

You can also start from the other end by conducting a global search by item name to determine where the item is classified in each region represented in the database.

Step #1 – Select HFTP Global Database Search

Step #2 – Search for Items with Service Charge in their Title

Come and join us at the 2014 HFTP Annual Convention in New Orleans where you can test drive this database first hand and give us your feedback!

Tanya Venegas is the director at the HFTP Americas Research Center at the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston. Please contact Tanya for any questions regarding this survey or other industry related research.

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