Because most properties will take the daily financial data from the PMS and export it to external Accounting Software, it is essential that the information being exported is accurate and in balance. The following task outlines the steps required to check for folios that are causing discrepancies in the financial records of the PMS.
This task should be completed prior to the set Rollover Time.
One of the main reasons a property may be out of balance can be due to Unbalanced Folios.
There are 2 types of Unbalanced Folios in the PMS:
- Cancelled Reservations that have a balance
- Checked out Reservations that have a balance
As Best Practice, it is recommended the Unbalanced Folios report be run every night. This report can be run for a maximum time frame of 1 year backwards from the current date. Based on trends, most properties experience Unbalanced Folios somewhere between 3-6 months in the past, therefore it is recommended that this report is run for it's maximum window of 1 year each time.
If Unbalanced Folios are found in the system, a report will appear like the one below.
From this report, there are two unbalanced folios in the system.
Checked Out Reservations with a Balance
From the report, we can see the first folio to investigate belongs to Kelly Smith, Res ID 1377. Currently it is out of balance by $115.00. Entering the Res ID into the Advanced Search (F3), we will locate the reservation in question.
- When looking at the reservation, we can see that it was checked out on August 20th. Since the PMS will not allow a reservation to be checked out without a zero balance, we can deduce that at the time of check-out, the folio was balanced. This indicates that an adjustment was made to the folio after check-out.
- Looking at the Folio view below, the Adjustment Icon appears to the left of the Room Charge line, indicating that this charge has been adjusted.
Using the Activity Log (Operations > Activity Log) we can see when this reservation was adjusted, and by whom.
If working under the assumption that this charge was adjusted, but the agent forgot to process the refund back to the credit card, we can proceed with fixing the issue by refunding the card. As this is not always the case, in some situations it may be best to first follow up with the individual that posted the adjustment to verify.
For the sake of this example it will be assumed that the agent that posted the adjustment simply forgot to refund the corresponding amount back to the Guest's credit card, therefore it must be corrected to bring the folio back into balance.
When the "Post Payment" button is clicked, it will open the Payments box. The Amount field will automatically populate with the amount needed to bring the folio back to a zero balance. Double check things like the Folio Number, Credit Card and refund amount are correct, the click "OK / Exit" to complete the posting.
Cancelled Reservations with a Balance
In this example, a reservation for Holly Bishop was cancelled, but left carrying a balance. The balance could be due to a Deposit that was taken at some point. If so, there are two possible fixes. Which fix to use will depend on a property's specific cancellation policy and period:
- Refund the deposit back to the Guest
- Post a Cancellation Fee to balance the deposit
There is one other possible situation, which is that a Cancellation Fee was applied at the time of the cancellation, but no corresponding payment was taken. Again, this would depend on a property's specific cancellation policy and period, and in all cases will need to be investigated before any corrective action to the folio is taken.
Using the Activity Log, (Operations > Activity Log) search for the Res ID to bring up the reservation's details.
Here we can see when the Reservation was cancelled, and by whom. Based on this information, the reservation was cancelled on the same day as the Arrival. The policy in effect at this property outlines that reservations cancelled within 24 hours of arrival time will be subject a cancellation fee equal to one night's accommodation. According to this, we must post the cancellation fee to offset the deposit on file.
When a Cancellation Policy is properly configured in the PMS, the system should prompt to post the Cancellation Fee at the time the reservation is cancelled, however it is possible to opt out of this and dismiss that auto-prompt. Based on certain circumstances with some reservations, a manager may make an exception to the cancellation rule and waive the fee. If the situation is unclear on whether to post a fee or process a refund, it may be best to follow up with the person that initially cancelled the reservation, to ensure all the details are clear.
In this example we are going to post the Cancellation Fee, as it was found the agent that cancelled this reservation made a mistake and did not post it.
- Click "Post Charges"
- Ensure the Code and Amount fields are correct (Code names may vary based on a property's specific configuration)
- Click "OK / Exit"