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Volume 25, Number 7 December 2010 / January 2011

LEED Certification
For Hotels
Low Cost
Internal Controls
Managing
Social Media Use
Time to Revise
the USFRC?

PLUS:
AA Look at the Details from
the 2010 Compensation and
Benefits Survey • New ProLinks
Webinar Schedule • Guidelines
for Proper Employee Dismissals

T H E J O U R N A L OF HOSPITALITY FINANCIAL AND TECHNOLOGY PROFESSIONALS ®


C O N T E NTS

The journal of
hospitality FINANCIAL AND
TECHNOLOGY PROFESSIONALS
Volume 25, Number 7

HFTP® and HITEC® are registered service


marks of Hospitality Financial and Technol-
D E C E M B E R • 2 0 1 0 / J A N U A R Y • 2 0 11
ogy Professionals. GUESTROOM 20X is a
service mark of Hospitality Financial and
Technology Professionals.

Submissions and Inquiries F eatures


Individuals interested in submitting an article
for publication should contact the editor. The
Bottomline is a peer review journal. All ma-
10 The Cost of Efficiency
terials submitted for publication are reviewed When trimming the fat, be careful not to treat internal control structures as a luxury
by members of the editorial review board or By Stephen R.J. Robinson, CPA and Philip G. Newman, CPA, CIA
recognized experts in the field.
The Bottomline (ISSN 0279-1889), the jour- 16 LEED Certification for Hotels
nal of Hospitality Financial and Technology What you’ll need to know and do, and why you’d want to do it
Professionals, Inc., is published bimonthly
with two special editions by HFTP®. Copy- By Darren Johnston and Patty Breech
right © by Hospitality Financial and Technol-
ogy Professionals. All rights are reserved. 20 I Can’t Believe You Said E-mailed Texted Posted Tweeted That!!!!!
All opinions expressed herein represent the How to positively manage the social media explosion amongst employees
views of the authors. The Bottomline and
HFTP disclaim any responsibility for views
By Joe Pittel
expressed or statements made in any articles
published. HFTP disclaims any liability with 24 USFRC — Time to Revise
respect to the use of or reliance on any such A club executive survey demonstrates enough industry changes to warrant a new edition of the
information. The information contained in
this publication is in no way to be construed
Uniform System of Financial Reporting for Clubs
as a recommendation by HFTP or any By Agnes DeFranco, Ed.D., CHAE, CHE and Raymond S. Schmidgall, Ph.D., CPA, CHAE
industry standard, or as a recommendation
of any kind to be adopted or binding upon 27 2010 HFTP Compensation and Benefits Survey
any member of the hospitality industry.
A look at the details
Written consent must be obtained from HFTP
before reprinting articles. Subscription fee By Tanya Venegas
of $30 for HFTP members is included in
the membership fee. HFTP is headquartered
at 11709 Boulder Lane, Suite 110, Austin,
Texas 78726. Periodicals Postage Paid at
Austin, Texas. POSTMASTER: Send ad-
dress changes to The Bottomline, 11709
Boulder Lane, Suite 110, Austin, Texas
78726, (512) 249-5333.
D epart m ents
5 Between the Lines
Reaching Members Off and Online — The HFTP Board amps up its online presence through
webinars, a new blog and discussion forums

6 Q&A From The HFTP Research Institute


Employee Terminations — Guidelines for proper dismissals, whatever the reason

7 HFTP Calendar
8 HFTP News and Notes
A Standing Date with HFTP’s ProLinks Webinars — New Webinar Schedule Offers
Free Education to Members Twice a Month

31 The Bottomline Resource Guide

The Bottomline 
THE BOTTOMLINE STAFF
Frank I. Wolfe, CAE
Executive Vice President/CEO
Frank.Wolfe@hftp.org

Eliza R. Selig
Editor/Director of Communications
Eliza.Selig@hftp.org

Jennifer Lee
Advertising Sales / Director of Marketing
Jennifer.Lee@hftp.org

2009–2010 HFTP OFFICERS


President
Thomas G. Smith, CHAE

Attend live sessions over your high-speed Internet


Westmoor Country Club
Brookfield, Wis.

connection. Learn from industry experts without Vice President


Lisa Funk, CHAE
Alexis Hotel
leaving your office. HFTP members have access Seattle, Wash.

Treasurer
to free, interactive sessions that include live au- Raman P. Rama, CHA, CHTP, CHAE
JHM Hotels

dio, chat and slide presentations.


Greenville, SC

Secretary
Jerald Trieber, CPA, CHAE, CFE, CFF
Crestline Hotels and Resorts
Fairfax, Va.
Get Started: Immediate Past President
Terry Price, CHAE, CHTP, CPA
The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa
Asheville, N.C.
Visit the Membership/ProLinks section of the
HFTP web site at www.hftp.org. 2010–2011 EDITORIAL ADVISORY COUNCIL
Chair
Ab M. Echenberg, CHAE, CHTP
AME Consulting
UPCOMING WEBINARS: Council:
Kaye Chon, Ph.D., CHE
December 16, 2010 February 3, 2011 Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Human Resources 101 The Redesigned Cihan Cobanoglu, Ph.D., CHTP


Courtyard Newark- University of Delaware

January 6, 2011 IRS Form 990 Daniel J. Connolly, Ph.D.


University of Denver

PCI Compliance:
Dennis DuBois, CHAE
February 17, 2011 Carlson Hotels Americas

Myths and Rumors CHAE Review Series 2 Mehmet Erdem, Ph.D, CHTP
UNLV

Jason R. Filippini,
January 20, 2011 LeMaster Daniels

CHAE Review Series 1 Mark A. Gage, CHT


Scottsdale Community College

Melih Madanoglu
Florida Atlantic University

Brian Miller, Ph.D.


University of Delaware

Christina E. Miller, CAM, CHAE


Ginn Reunion Resort & Club

Arlene Ramirez, MBA


The Woodlands

Raymond S. Schmidgall, Ph.D., CPA, CHAE


Michigan State University

Franklin John P. Sikich, CPA, CHAE


Franklin John Patrick Sikich, CPA

Paul A. Willie, CHAE, CHTP, CHA, CMA


Niagara College

11709 Boulder Lane, Suite 110 • Austin, TX 78726–1832


+1 (512) 249-5333 • (800) 646-4387 • Fax +1 (512) 249-1533
®
www.hftp.org • www.hitec.org

 December 2010 / January 2011


 Between the Lines 
A Letter from the HFTP President

Reaching Members Off and Online


The HFTP Board amps up its online presence through
webinars, a new blog and discussion forums

nars are not new, you can now look ute. It is our collective knowledge that
for live presentations every first and helps all of us progress.
third Thursdays of the month. HFTP In addition to our message boards,
members can partake in the one-hour HFTP.org will soon feature a blog, with
webinars completely free. Plus, CHAE regular contributions from industry
and CHTP holders can get one CPE experts, HFTP leaders and more. Stay
credit for participating. tuned for the announcement of its
The topics range from the techni- debut. And to come full circle, stay in
cal — tax law; to the trends — social the loop with the association’s @HFTP
media; to personal achievement — how Twitter account and its Facebook page.
to eliminate fear. And if you can’t make Last, I wanted to briefly mention the
a scheduled presentation; then at your recent announcement of the formation
convenience, pick one from the list of of HFTP University (HFTP-U). HFTP
archived presentations, take a seat and has teamed with Datanamics, Inc. to
Thomas G. Smith, CHAE click on the link. Learn more about offer a one-stop resource for high level
ProLinks in this issue on page 8. technical and end user training. All
Interaction through online communi- courses within the Datanamics listing
Thomas G. Smith, CHAE
ties and social networks is no longer an are available to HFTP members at a 20
activity exclusive to millennials. As we percent discount, and can be custom-

H
ere it is, an opportunity I’ve increasingly go mobile, many of us have ized to fit specific needs. This is a great
been looking forward to for started to take for granted that Internet opportunity for HFTP members to get
several years — taking on the access follows us throughout our day. the most current training in a quickly
role as HFTP Global president. For two We use the resource for fast answers to changing industry. To learn more about
decades I’ve been an active member of questions, and for back-and-forth dis- HFTP-U visit the HFTP web site, as
the association, as I’ve built my career cussion, professional and personal. well as participate in the orientation we-
in the club industry. HFTP has helped When it comes to the HFTP mem- binar coming this winter.
me progress with valuable education bership, the Global Board thinks it is Right at the get-go I have a lot of
and memorable networking opportuni- time to strengthen the HFTP online HFTP news to share. I look forward to
ties, as well as the satisfaction of being community to complement conferences continuing over the next year, whether
part of something that contributes to and chapter meetings. I would like to it’s online or in person.
the growth of the industry as a whole. request that you take the time to visit
One area I think HFTP has been the HFTP message boards on a frequent
successful at, is adapting to the chang- basis. While you may not have any spe-
ing business environment by deliver- cific questions to post, you most likely
ing benefits that align with modern will have experiences you can contrib-
practices. As an example, and some-
thing that I look forward to using in
the coming year, is our growing online
One area I think HFTP has been successful at, is adapting
education and community. HFTP has to the changing business environment by delivering
had an online presence for many years,
but recently the Board has given the benefits that align with modern practices. As an example,
green light to amp it up.
First is the emphasis for easy ac-
and something that I look forward to using in the coming
cess to online education on a regular year, is our growing online education and community.
basis. While HFTP’s ProLinks webi-

Thomas G. Smith, CHAE is the chief financial officer for the Westmoor Country Club in Brookfield, Wis.

The Bottomline 
 Q&A from the
HFTP Research Institute 

Employee
Terminations
Guidelines for proper dismissals,
whatever the reason

Question
Can you provide the general guidelines for
employee terminations? Please go through
the steps for employees that have not
performed and terminations for reduction-
in-force.

Answer

E
mployee terminations are always difficult no matter Step 2. Train New Employees
what the reason. With the recent economic downturn, Training new employees correctly is also necessary to
many employers have had to downsize their workforce prevent any problems moving forward. It is the employers
in order for their company to survive. This HFTP Research responsibility to ensure the employee receives all proper
Institute Q&A will provide guidance on how to properly ter- training materials. Most organizations provide a detailed
minate employees either for poor performance, inappropriate employee manual to new hires and require them to sign a
behavior or a reduction-in-force. document stating that they received the manual and under-
stand its contents. The employee manual sets forth all of the
Step 1. Hire Right basic expectations such as timeliness, dress code, appropriate
The first step in the entire process is to ensure the right em- conduct, etc. After all of the general items are covered in the
ployees are hired to perform the duties as necessary. First of employee manual, then the employee needs to be provided
all, make sure a proper job description is in place so the em- one-on-one training on their specific position until they are
ployee has proper expectations of the position for which they capable of performing the duties themselves.
are applying. An appropriate employment application should
be used for anyone applying for a position which includes Step 3. Employee Evaluations
things such as the prospective employee’s education and past Employee evaluations are an important part of assessing
job experience (Barr, 1995). Depending on the position, part whether employees are properly performing their job duties.
of the pre-employment process could also include a medical Many organizations only conduct formal evaluations once
exam, drug tests and reference checks. a year, but in most cases it is more productive to conduct
Once you have decided to hire this potential employee, evaluations on an ongoing basis whether it be bi-monthly
they should be provided with a detailed offer letter pertain- or twice a year. This provides employees better feedback
ing to all information pertinent to the position they are being throughout the year and they are not shocked to find out they
offered. This letter should include all of the terms and condi- have not met expectations when it comes around to their an-
tions of the job offer and the applicant should be requested to nual review which is typically tied to a salary increase.
sign and return a letter of agreement accepting the terms put A very important part of employee evaluations is docu-
forth in the offer letter. mentation. Any expectations which are not being properly

 December 2010 / January 2011


 Q&A from the
HFTP Research Institute 

met must be extensively documented ating the facts and determining whether She was provided a written warning
and employees should be required to to terminate the employee. This avoids upon each time she was late and on the
sign and acknowledge these shortcom- bias from any parties. third time she was warned she would be
ings. When documenting, managers terminated if she was late again. This
must be specific. In other words, instead Step 6. Termination Procedure example provides a clear cut reason for
of a manager noting “Suzy is always Terminating an employee for any Suzy’s termination.
late to work,” they should be recording reason is a highly emotional process In the case of a reduction-in-force,
“Suzy’s shift starts at 8:00 a.m. and she for most people, but the process must employees should be provided the
arrived at 8:15 on Monday and 8:20 be kept professional and only the facts financial and organizational reasons be-
on Thursday.” This provides a clearer need to be presented. There should be at hind why they are being released. This
picture of the situation. least three parties present in the room: will provide the employee being termi-
(1) the employee, (2) person conduct- nated as well as remaining employees
Step 4. Discipline Procedures and ing the termination, and (3) an impartial the reason behind the termination.
Improved Performance third party. Some companies believe it Otherwise, the remaining employees
Employee discipline should be fair is best to simply call the employee in will go to work every day wondering
to the employee, and the same rules and terminate them, but most experts and worrying if they are next.
and regulations should apply to every agree that it is best to lay the facts on If you have any further ques-
employee. An example provided in the table. Without the facts, the employ- tions about terminations or employee
one article was an employee sleeping ees mind can run wild with reasons discipline, please contact the HFTP
on the job who was terminated. She they are being terminated. For example, Research Institute. 
complained that she was not treated the employee handbook states that if
fairly because she knew of another you are late more than three times you Sources
employee who had fallen asleep on the will be terminated. Suzy was late three • Barr, Marcia N. Club Management.
job and was not terminated. After some times last month and here are her time St. Louis: Mar/Apr 1995. Vol 74, Iss 2;
investigation, it was determined that the cards which she signed stating she ar- pg. 14. Retrieved November 4, 2010
employee who was not terminated was rived 15 minutes late these three dates. from ProQuest.
given an excuse because he had stayed
up late the evening before to complete Send your research request to hftp@hrm.uh.edu. Please note that the Research
an important project. Even though one Institute cannot answer every question. Some specific or proprietary type
employee had a “good” excuse, these questions are too difficult to answer.
employees were not treated in the same

C ALENDAR
manner.
Again, make sure disciplinary mea-
sures are clearly stated in the employee
manual which should be reviewed by
legal counsel (Bar, 1995). In addition, For more information about HFTP events, call (800) 646-4387 or (512) 249-5333,
the employee manual should state that or visit www.hftp.org.
employees can be immediately termi- HFTP-U Seminar: Sharepoint AHTEC 2011
nated for certain actions. The hopeful January 10, 2011 May 12 – 13, 2011
outcome of any disciplinary procedures Las Vegas, Nev. Hong Kong Convention &
is improved performance. Managers Exhibition Centre
must set clear goals for their employ- HFTP-U Seminar: Sharepoint Hong Kong
ees and it is advised to receive written January 19, 2011
commitment to reach these goals on a Dallas, Texas HITEC 2011
specified timetable. June 20 – 23, 2011
HFTP-U Seminar: Sharepoint Austin Convention Center
January 24, 2011 Austin, Texas
Step 5. Termination Evaluation Orlando, Fla.
If an employee is not performing or
Club and Hotel Controllers Conference
has exhibited extreme behavior war- HFTP-U Seminar: Sharepoint June 21 – 22, 2011
ranting termination, then a termina- January 10, 2011 Austin Convention Center
tion evaluation needs to be conducted. Washington, D.C. Austin, Texas
Employees should never be fired on the
spot. If their behavior is unacceptable Development Conference Annual Convention & Tradeshow
they should be sent home and put on March 14 – 15, 2011 October 19 – 22, 2011
probation until a proper investigation Green Valley Ranch Resort Omni CNN Center
has been conducted. In either instance, Las Vegas, Nev. Atlanta, Ga.
more than one person should be evalu-
The Bottomline 
 HFTP News & Notes 

A Standing Date with HFTP’s


Prolinks Webinars
New Webinar Schedule Offers
Free Education to Members
Twice a Month

By Katy Walterscheidt

W
ebinars. By this point in the 21st Century, most
professionals have attended a webinar. And if they
haven’t, they at least are familiar with what a webi-
nar is… you know, an education session broadcast live over
the web (hence the WEB-based semINAR name).

About Prolinks Webinars


HFTP held its first webinar in 2004. And ever since then,
the association has offered free education online through its
ProLinks forum. The best thing about HFTP’s webinars is
that they offer you an easy way to get professional develop-
ment at an awesome price — free. And who doesn’t love
free, convenient education? The only downside was that the
webinars were held without a set schedule.
But that’s all changing. Now you can set a permanent
date with HFTP’s Prolinks Webinar Series every first and
third Thursday of the month. Each webinar is free to mem- home. Because with each live webinar you attend, you’ll
bers and offers a wide variety of topics from tax laws, PCI earn one CPE credit. And free CPE credits can’t be beat.
compliance, human resources, social media strategies and HFTP’s ProLinks Webinar Series often features some fa-
more. And if your schedule doesn’t fit with the webinar’s vorite conference education sessions. So if you weren’t able
time? Don’t fret — each webinar (from 2006 to the present) to make it to a conference, you can still learn from some of
is archived on hftp.org. the best conference speakers about the hottest topics in the
The new schedule began in November and will continue industry just by signing up for the free webinar.
throughout 2011. As webinars are scheduled months in
advance, the schedule is posted on the web site. So you can New CHAE Series
plan for which webinars you’d like to attend. Those familiar with HFTP conferences know that most con-
ferences begin with CHAE and CHTP reviews and exams.
Get CPE credits Now you’ll be able to the take the CHAE review from the
We all know the important benefits of attending conferences comfort of your home or office.
like HITEC and HFTP’s Annual Convention. Not only do For the first time, the CHAE review will be available on-
you get to network with colleagues and meet helpful ven- line through a four-part webinar series. Each part of the we-
dors, you also get CPE credits through education sessions. binar will be presented once a month, with content building
But great conferences only occur several times a year and from the previous month. Each session will focus on a topic
sometimes they just don’t fit into your schedule. — like “everything you want to know about inventory.” This
This is where the Prolinks webinars come in handy. Get differs from the live review sessions, which are specific to
your continuing education credits right from your office or chapters of the review guide.

 December 2010 / January 2011


 HFTP News & Notes 

Another beauty of the webinars versus the live review


sessions is that they are broken into one hour sessions,
allowing members to spread out their review when it’s con-
venient for them.
“We understand that the candidates have different learn-
ing styles and time commitments. Certification training
aids currently include study guides, PowerPoint slides and
a four hour live review session,” said Kristopher Shoe-
maker, CMA, CHAE, CHTP, CGFO, Certification Advisory December 16, 2010
Council chair, HFTP Global director and assistant business Human Resources 101
manager for the Orange County Convention Center. “The January 6, 2011
council needed to expand our training offerings to accom-
modate the various learning styles and the one hour webi- PCI Compliance: Myths and Rumors
nars are one of the various changes we are doing this year.” January 20, 2011
Shoemaker said he hopes the webinar series results in CHAE Review Series 1
more people being exposed to the Certification program
and ultimately more people becoming certified. But even February 3, 2011
if members aren’t interested in certification, the topics can The Redesigned IRS Form 990
help with day-to-day job functions. February 17, 2011
And if the initial CHAE webinars are successful, you’ll
find additional topics for the CHAE and the CHTP added to
CHAE Review Series 2
the schedule. 

The Bottomline 
 Internal Controls 

The Cost of Efficiency


When trimming the fat, be careful not to treat internal control structures
as a luxury By Stephen R.J. Robinson, CPA and Philip G. Newman, CPA, CIA

T
he sweeping cost control measures Two Scenarios: Which is Efficient? Scenario 1: Resort Profile in 2006
implemented throughout the hos- With this definition in mind, consider A large resort property with guest
pitality industry over the course of the differences between the two internal rooms, meeting spaces, multiple food
the great recession are common knowl- control structures in the following sce- and beverage outlets, a golf course,
edge and need no repetition. The cur- narios with regard to which scenario is and spa employs a fully staffed ac-
rent climate is characterized by guests really more efficient. counting office comprised of a CFO,
who expect more for less, and property
managers who expect to provide more
with less. The question left looming in
the face of this contradiction is whether
this drive for greater efficiency carries
with it any hidden costs.
Could the internal control structure
of your property have been compro-
mised by indiscriminate cost cutting
which may require more dollars to be
spent in the future to correct internal
control lapses? After all, if the positions
and processes being eliminated or cur-
tailed are not important, why did they
exist in the first place?
Prior to addressing these questions,
let us offer a brief definition of internal
control. According to the Committee of
Sponsoring Organizations of the Tread-
way Commission (COSO), internal con-
trol is “a process, effected by an entity’s
board of directors, management and
other personnel… to provide reason-
able assurance regarding the achieve-
ment of objectives in effectiveness and
efficiency of operations, reliability of
financial reporting and compliance with
applicable laws and regulations.” In
other words, internal control helps us
keep an eye on what our staff members
are doing while offering confidence that
our numbers are correct.

Stephen R.J. Robinson, CPA is a director with McGladrey where he manages financial audits for commercial hotel and hospitality organizations that are regu-
lated by the SEC, resorts owned and operated by the U.S. Department of Defense, and independently owned and operated resorts. Philip G. Newman, CPA, CIA
is a managing director with McGladrey, where he is responsible for projects throughout the United States including internal control and governance reviews,
operational consulting, benchmarking studies, strategic planning and the development and delivery of education products and tools for club boards, CEOs and
CFOs. Newman is a frequent speaker at HFTP educational events.

10 December 2010 / January 2011


 Internal Controls 

controller, and payroll, payables and for inventory custody. To share the ad- incur $25,000 of additional audit fees in
receivables administrators. The CFO ditional burden, accounting office mail order to do so. Then there are the issues
deals with strategic financial decisions is handled by the assistants responsible identified in the course of the external
and leadership, maintains relationships for each respective area; they are also audit — food inventory had to be writ-
with lenders and negotiates new debt granted full access to their respective ten down by $35,000 due to substantial
agreements, monitors compliance with ledgers and master files. The review spoilage and shrinkage. Group receiv-
existing loan covenants, reviews daily procedures previously performed by ables of $50,000 had to be written-off as
flash reports with the general manager the CFO are now placed in the hands of the organization, which held a confer-
(GM) and provides weekly updates to the GM who concentrates on revenue, ence mid-year, had not authorized the
the ownership board. The CFO also rate and occupancy performance, and banquet folio for the overage. Fraud
performs a detailed review of monthly largely neglects the balance sheet and of $15,000 occurred in the payroll
financial statements and reconcilia- underlying reconciliations. system as a result of the wily payroll
tions, coordinates group reports to the No one monitors changes to IT administrator’s realization she could
corporate office and franchisor, and rights. The business of the resort access the master file, establish a ficti-
works closely with the property’s IT continues from a guest perspective as tious employee, and lift the paycheck
administrator to monitor access changes normal; however, “back of the house” out of the payroll processor’s reporting
and system integrity. Meanwhile, the performance begins to slip. Daily flash package before the controller and GM
controller reconciles all ledgers and reports deteriorate to almost daily with looked at it. After all the audit adjust-
supervises payroll, receivables and pay- payroll information frequently missing, ments were finally posted, the resort has
ables administrators, and participates in and it becomes increasingly difficult to failed to meet the financial covenants
specified in its loan documents and the
bank enforced its $200,000 covenant
waiver penalty. How does that $250,000
in “savings” look now?
Internal control activities must be cost justified;
Measuring Internal Controls
however, recent economic conditions have left While this perfect storm is admittedly
unlikely, the question remains as to how
substantial doubt about the amount of consideration the benefits of a solid internal control
system are measured. There is no doubt
paid to internal control in the drive for expense that accountants like measurements, but
how do we measure the dollar impact
reduction and meeting short term financial targets. of fraud prevented or bad decisions
avoided due to an effective flow of
information is a critical consideration.
Internal control activities must be cost
justified; however, recent economic
periodic inventory counts at the resort’s meet group reporting deadlines. Credit conditions have left substantial doubt
stores and outlets. Lastly, the adminis- control becomes challenged and the ag- about the amount of consideration paid
trative assistant who reports to the CFO ing profile of the city ledger deteriorates to internal control in the drive for ex-
handles all mail received by and sent each month with an accumulation of pense reduction and meeting short term
from the accounting office. older balances. financial targets.
Scenario 2: Resort Profile in 2010 The annual audit rolls around and the Remember that in a tough economic
To mitigate the economic pressure on books are not adequately closed. The climate weak internal control is more
the bottom line of falling revenues the financial statements cannot be audited in likely to be exploited. Fortunately, a
CFO position is eliminated together the anticipated timeframe as numerous recent control efficiency assessment
with the administrative assistant, pre- reconciliations have not been per- project we conducted for a resort
senting a combined payroll and benefits formed. The property’s relationship with property demonstrated, internal control
saving of $250,000. Leadership for the the bank is strained due to its inability can be strengthened without the need to
accounting departments is placed on the to meet quarterly covenant reporting spend much at all.
controller who, due to her workload, deadlines. However, the bank waives A few areas that are always deserv-
can no longer participate in inventory the requirement for audited financial ing of attention when attempting to
counts and these are left in the hands of statements within 120 days of year-end. improve internal control and do not cost
the stores’ personnel, and outlet staff The bank’s new reporting deadline is much, if anything, include: physical se-
members who are ordinarily responsible met; however, the property has had to curity, logical security, communication,

12 December 2010 / January 2011


H o s p i ta l i t y l aw y e r . c o m p r e s e n t s
the
ho
 s p i ta l i t y l aw
2011 conference
focusing on legal, safety & security solutions
 ,1,9ʙ‡££]ÊÓ䣣ÊUÊ"1-/" ]Ê/ 8-

The Information Protection & Privacy, including PCI-DSS,


Workshop Features the Following Sessions:
• Legislative and Regulatory Update: New Laws Regulations and
Their Implications for the Hospitality Industry
• The Massachusetts Privacy Law: One Year After the Effective Date
– Is it a Lion or a Lamb?
• Data Privacy Essentials: Leading Practices to Avoid a Breach
• Level 4 Merchants – Charting a Course for PCI Compliance with-
out Going Broke
• Third Party Service Providers – Do You Know Where Your Risks
Are?
• PCI-DSS Version 2.0 – What’s New?

µ This conference mixes law, accounting, and IT


µ
and delivers value for hospitality professionals
and their attorneys.
Jerry Trieber,
Director Field Accounting,
Crestline Hotels and Resorts

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE VISIT:

TO REGISTER,
VISIT: REGONLINE.COM/2011HOSPITALITYLAWCONFERENCE
CALL: (713) 963-8800
 Internal Controls 

technology, credit control, segregation • The word “password”


Low Cost Internal Controls of duties and documentation. • Shared knowledge among all co-
A few areas that are always workers
deserving of attention when Physical Security • The same as when the property first
attempting to improve internal This is common sense. Lock the doors acquired a computer in 1982
control and do not cost much, if to areas where access should be restrict- • Written on a piece of paper conve-
anything, include: ed and on all inventory storage areas, niently kept in the shallow drawer
cages and cupboards. Routinely check for holding pens and pencils, directly
Physical Security that they are locked. Know who has beneath the computer (together with
Mitigate theft by limiting access keys and document it. If you are unsure the username, of course).
to restricted areas by locking and unable to discover who has keys,
doors and cabinets, and routinely consider re-keying all locks, ascertain Passwords should be specific to each
checking that they remain locked. how key distribution became out of user, subject to regular change and
control in the first place, and implement not be written on or near the relevant
a procedure to ensure key distribution workstation. This also applies to front
Logical Security is properly administered henceforth. of the house systems such as point-of-
Protect software applications Speak with your human resources col- sale terminals in the restaurant, bar,
and online banking access league and ensure that employee exit spa and pro-shop, with each user being
by appropriately assigning procedures require them to return uni- allocated a specific identification and
administrator rights, and enacting forms, keys and swipe-cards, and to be appropriate rights.
proper password management. marked inactive in the payroll system.
As is already common in the industry, Communication
clear trash bags should be used through- Communication channels between staff
Communication out the property to mitigate the risk members and the GM and/or owner
Develop an open line of of theft, and employees should not be should be sufficiently open so that inter-
communication between staff and permitted to carry personal bags on and nal control and operating lapses can be
managers to encourage the team to off the property. Security cameras are identified and corrected promptly. Em-
point out issues, and participate in great for detecting theft and even better ployees realize the economic challenges
cost-cutting measures for preventing it in the first instance, but currently being faced by the industry
require spending money. and obtaining staff buy-in to simple
cost control measures, such as turning
Technology
Logical Security off lights in unoccupied areas of the
Take full advantage of the
Consider whether administrator rights property and reporting breakdowns in
functionality of existing applications
to your property’s software applica- controls, can help maintain service lev-
to reduce risk of end-user errors.
tions are appropriate. The fact that els and mitigate despondency. While on
the controller does not have rights to the topic of communication, departmen-
Credit Control approve transactions in your online tal communication must be sufficiently
Prevent unpaid charges by banking system does not really count frequent to facilitate appropriate staff
closely following your property’s for much if they are also the system scheduling based on forecasted occu-
credit terms, which should be administrator for online banking. pancy and event reservations.
documented, understood by your Likewise, if online purchasing is used,
customers and enforced. the purchaser should not be the system Leveraging Technology
administrator and the property should End user computing, such as financial
obtain written confirmation from the analysis and budgeting in spreadsheets,
Segregation of Duties vendor of a specific dollar order limit. presents a number of risks since simple
Involve non-accountants in the As a general rule, administrator rights clerical errors can lead to management
transaction process — have them should not rest with the users. If your decisions being made on the basis of
stuff vendor envelopes with checks property is blessed with such resources flawed information. Consider where
and handle remittances. as a full-time IT manager, administrator existing applications, particularly the
rights should rest with that individual property management system, can be
and standard documentation should be fully used to mitigate risks arising from
Documentation used to provide evidence of approval of unnecessary end user computing. Like-
Document the performance of key changes to access rights. wise, consider whether the functionality
internal controls and retain the Consider whether passwords to your in “front of the house” applications,
documentation. property’s information systems are: such as point-of-sale systems, is be-

14 December 2010 / January 2011


 Internal Controls 

ing fully used. For example, cocktail duties challenges — a better method ment, how long is that likely to remain
recipes can be pre-programmed into the is to involve non-accountants in the undetected?
system so that bar staff members know transaction process. Consider if there
not to use “top shelf” brand liquors is a non-accounting staff member with The Documentation Gap
in mixed drinks when a “well brand” capacity to stuff vendor envelopes with In order to demonstrate sound financial
would be sufficient. checks and remittances once the checks management and internal control com-
have been signed — this would remove pliance, the property should document
Credit Control a typical segregation of duties challenge the performance of key internal controls
Your property’s credit terms should be in the accounts payable cycle. Consider and that documentation should be
documented, understood by your cus- whether someone is available to make a retained. This could be as straightfor-
tomers and enforced. For those proper- list of receipts and compile the bank de- ward as the GM initialing the monthly
ties with a “club” membership element, posit, enabling the accounts receivable reporting packet referred to above, and
members should be subject to credit clerk to update the ledger from the list it being scanned onto the property’s
checks, deposits should be taken, and a rather than from the checks, or a non- network. Properties should also con-
valid credit card should be held on file. accounting coworker can perform the sider developing standard documenta-
Looking at a basic scenario, consider remote data capture (RDC) scan where tion to evidence approval of master
a member who dines for two twice per RDC is used. If either situation exists, file changes for vendors, customers,
week with drinks. Such an individual
could easily accumulate $1,000 of
charges in a month. Reflect on whether
your property has sufficient recourse
should the member fail to settle their The question you should really ask yourself is whether
house account in a timely manner.
Clear procedures should be established the integrity of your property’s internal control
for members with house accounts to
have balances charged to a credit card structure is an aspect of operations that you can afford
whenever a predetermined amount is
met. Consideration should also be given
to see as a luxury in this current or, for that matter,
to charging a deposit against members’ any other economic climate.
credit cards when opening an account to
ascertain the validity of the credit card
and partially mitigate the risk of unpaid
food and beverage or spa charges.
then you have substantially addressed a employees and staff system user rights.
Segregation of Duties vs. typical segregation of duties challenge In the current corporate governance
Robust Review in the revenue and receipts cycle. parlance, “If it isn’t documented, it
Given the limited resources in most If segregation of duties cannot be didn’t happen.”
properties’ offices, implementing per- improved due to limited resources, then
fect segregation of duties is typically a the review processes need to be solid. A Burdensome Cost?
challenge. The concept is to segregate Does the general manager have a regu- The cost of enhancing your property’s
physical control of assets from the lar monthly financial reporting packet internal control structure need not be
record keeping for those assets. Hence that includes reconciliations and reports financially burdensome. Yes, some of
checks for guest and merchant receipts detailing changes to masterfile data in the items mentioned throughout this
should not be handled by the accounts accounts payable, accounts receivable piece will consume additional execu-
receivable clerk, signed disbursement and payroll? If your accounts payable tive time, albeit a moderate amount.
checks should not be handled by the clerk changes a vendor address to a The question you should really ask
accounts payable clerk, payroll checks friend’s post office box, will anyone in yourself is whether the integrity of
should not be handled by the payroll the property notice in a timely fashion? your property’s internal control struc-
clerk, and inventory counts should not Who reviews the details of guest cred- ture is an aspect of operations that you
be performed solely by the purchaser. its? If your accounts receivable clerk can afford to see as a luxury in this
The addition of accounting staff steals a guest check and posts a credit to current or, for that matter, any other
is not the solution to segregation of the respective account instead of a pay- economic climate. 

The Bottomline 15
 Green Building 

LEED Certification for Hotels


What you’ll need to know and do, and why you’d want to do it
By Darren Johnston and Patty Breech

L
EED certified hotels and buildings stand out in today’s
marketplace. They not only provide benefits for the envi-
ronment and reduce operating costs gained from energy
efficiencies and utility cost savings, but also attract a
growing population of eco-conscious customers.
To date, there are over 6,500 buildings award-
ed LEED certification. In the forefront of this evo-
lution, hotel certifications are growing by almost
100 percent annually. By the end of 2009 there
were 54 LEED certified hotels and 697 hotels that
were in the application process. By August 2010
the number of LEED hotels leaped to 89. Starwood
Hotels and Resorts Worldwide is arguably the lead-
ing chain with current LEED-certified properties
plus those that are pursuing certification totaling 67
in all. Their new chain of Element “eco-hotels” are
all built to pass LEED standards. Three are cur-
rently LEED-certified, with a total of 12 expected to
be open by the end of 2010.
The largest newly-constructed LEED hotels
— The Palazzo, Aria Hotel, Mandarin Oriental
and Vdara Condo Hotel — are all in Las Vegas.
Other notable properties that have seen the “green”
light include Seattle’s first LEED-certified hotel,
the Hyatt at Olive 8; the Avalon Hotel and Spa in
Portland, Ore.; the Terra Resort Group’s Hotel Terra
Jackson Hole in Teton Village outside Jackson,
W.Y.; and the Platinum LEED certified Proxim-
ity Hotel in Greensboro, N.C., the first hotel in the
United States to acquire this highest LEED rating.
The surge in LEED applications and successful
certifications in the last few years points out that,
more than a commendable option, LEED certification
has become a competitive reality for the hospitality
industry.

Darren Johnston is director of business consulting for UHG Consult-


ing, based in Boulder, Colo., where he advises hospitality firms on
how to reduce their operating costs through sustainability programs.
Johnston is a frequent speaker at HFTP educational events. Patty
Breech is an associate consultant for UHG Consulting. Breech is a LEED Ac-
credited Professional with experience in sustainability projects serving
the hospitality, customer service and non-profit industries.

16 December 2010 / January 2011


 Green Building 

What is LEED?
LEED stands for “Leadership in Energy and Environmental
Design,” and is an independent, non-profit, third-party rat- The primary reason most hotels
ing system established by the U.S. Green Building Council
(USGBC) in 1998. The LEED rating system is completely seek LEED is operational efficiencies.
voluntary and consensus-based, incorporating both established
industry principles and innovative environmental technology. According to Greentech Media, while
LEED is the most widely-recognized form of green building
certification in the United States.
the average LEED new construction

Why LEED?
costs $3 more per square foot to build,
LEED is the international standard for green buildings. that same building reaps $73 per
LEED certified buildings are recognized by facilities,
consumers and the media as the most energy efficient and square foot in energy savings.
occupant-friendly structures in the world. The primary
reason most hotels seek LEED is operational efficiencies.
According to Greentech Media, while the average LEED
new construction costs $3 more per square foot to build,
that same building reaps $73 per square foot in energy • Physical proof of the values of the organization that
savings. For example, it’s estimated that the Hilton Van- owns and occupies the building.
couver put in $125,000 in extra construction cost to be- • LEED is becoming a market differentiator. Sustain-
come LEED certified; but as a result, now enjoys $85,000 ability is now the fourth most important decision fac-
in annual savings. tor for consumers when choosing lodging.
Businesses occupying LEED certified buildings not only
earn savings from lower operating costs; they also increase The LEED designation from the USGBC is currently the
revenue from their “greener” profile. For example, the Wat- standard of the green building industry. Nearly every major
kins Research Group found that “green” qualities are an im- company has tried to market itself as “green” in response
portant factor for meeting planners when choosing venues. to the recent sustainability movement, but only those with
There are innumerable advantages associated with LEED LEED certified buildings have third-party verification of
certified buildings. Here are the main and obvious benefits, their claims.
but this is by no means a complete list:
How it Works
1. Lower operating costs The process begins with registration of the LEED project
• Lower utility bills from increased energy and water ef- online along with a registration fee (usually around $1,000).
ficiency. The Proximity Hotel in Greensboro uses 39.2 After registration, the project team demonstrates the sustain-
percent less energy and 33.5 percent less water. ability of its property through documentation of various
• Lower maintenance cost as a result of detailed preven- building processes and characteristics, using the USGBC-
tative maintenance plans. provided forms.
LEED operates on a 100-point scoring system. A prop-
2. Increased property value erty must meet a minimum of 40 of these points to attain
• Higher market value for new and existing construction. certification. While the project team has a good deal of
• Higher lease-up rate than conventional buildings. freedom in selecting which points to pursue, there are also a
• Not enough data is available in the hospitality indus- set of mandatory prerequisites which carry no points them-
try yet; but with commercial real estate, on average, selves, but must be achieved before points are awarded.
LEED properties sell for $171 more per square foot, For existing buildings, the project team selects a time
have a 3.8 percent higher occupancy rate and rent for frame, called the “performance period,” in which to
$11.24 more per square foot. demonstrate compliance. The performance period can be
anywhere from three months to two years. To illustrate,
3. Healthier and safer for occupants existing buildings can earn points for demonstrating that
• Improved indoor environmental quality. a certain percentage of their cleaning product purchases
• Improved lighting and views. are sustainable by LEED standards. The project team can
• Better work environment for employees. choose to document the building’s purchases from a three
month performance period, a six-month performance
4. Certified recognition of green practices period, or longer — up to two years. However, all perfor-
• Approval from a non-biased, accepted authority. mance periods must end concurrently.

The Bottomline 17
 Green Building 

Because a national LEED representative never comes on


The Path to LEED Qualification site, the process relies heavily on the documentation of the
The process to qualify for LEED certification requires project by a local source. The creation of documentation can
heavy documentation demonstrating the sustainability be very time consuming and precise (as one would expect
of the property via various building processes and from documenting several months of purchases, as in the
characteristics. Here are the basics: example above). Thus one individual or firm is normally
charged with managing the LEED certification process as
Registration and Application LEED project manager. This individual or firm normally
The process begins with online registration of the works alongside the property management, engineering staff
project, along with a registration fee (usually around and third party contractors to ensure that proper documenta-
$1,000). Once the process is complete (either at the end tion is being created. Since most lodging personnel have
of the construction period/or selected performance their hands full with their own jobs, it’s often advisable to
period), Leed project managers submit the application seek out assistance in the form of a LEED consultant, par-
online along with completed forms, additional ticularly one with creativity and an ability to manage teams
documentation and a second fee (which ranges from of people.
$2,000–$30,000). Applicants must fill in an online application along with
credit worksheets. Once the forms have been completed and
LEED Points Scale all additional documentation has been collected, the LEED
LEED operates on a 100-point scoring system. Both application is submitted online to the USGBC along with a
new and existing construction can seek certification. A second fee which ranges from $2,000–$30,000 depending
property must meet a minimum of 40 of these points to on the size and complexity of the project. As you await the
attain certification. There are also a set of mandatory USGBC response, you may need to provide documentation
prerequisites which carry no points themselves, but back-up as required. You may also petition denied credits, if
must be achieved before points are awarded. Buildings warranted.
can qualify for four levels of certification, based on the
number of points achieved in the 100-point scale: Explaining LEED Standards
While the majority of LEED projects are new construction
1. Certified: 40–49 points (LEED NC), LEED standards are also available for existing
2. Silver: 50–59 points buildings (LEED EB: O&M), commercial interiors, schools
3. Gold: 60–79 points and core/shell. Buildings can qualify for four levels of
certification, based on the number of points achieved in the
4. Platinum: 80–110 points 100-point scale:
1. Certified: 40–49 points
Fulfillment 2. Silver: 50–59 points
The 100 possible points come from exceeding standards 3. Gold: 60–79 points
in seven different categories: 4. Platinum: 80–110 points
1. Sustainable Sites
2. Water Efficiency These 100 possible points come from exceeding standards
in seven different categories:
3. Energy and Atmosphere 1. Sustainable Sites — Where is the building located?
4. Materials and Resources Points here can be achieved for being in a developed urban
5. Indoor Environmental Quality area with access to public transportation, for reducing light
pollution and stormwater run-off, for reducing the urban
6. Innovation in Operations “heat island” effect by having covered parking, large land-
7. Regional Bonus Points scaped areas or a living green roof.
2. Water Efficiency — What is the efficiency rating of the
Hospitality Industry Advantage water fixtures? Points can come from super low-flow fixtures
Hotels are well-suited for LEED certification in many that use less water than the industry standard, for a low-wa-
ways. Here are just a couple: ter irrigation system or a creative gray water reuse system.
Waste Reduction — Install environmentally-friendly and 3. Energy and Atmosphere — How does the building’s
cost savings options like reusable cloth towels in public energy use compare to the rest? Points for being more energy
restrooms, paperless check-in systems, etc. efficient than similar buildings in the same size and use cat-
egory, per Energy Star standards; for solar panel systems or
Energy Savings — Re-configure lighting and HVAC green power purchases. Points are also awarded for commis-
schedules and save tens of thousands of dollars yearly. sioning the building to ensure it is running at an optimal level.

18 December 2010 / January 2011


 Green Building 

4. Materials and Resources — What materials is the


building made from? Points for rapidly renewable, recycled
and regional materials; for diverting waste from the landfill
by recycling or composting; for an existing building, points While LEED certification is a lengthy
for purchasing rapidly renewable, recycled and regional
materials needed for daily operations.
and detailed process, it is well worth the
5. Indoor Environmental Quality — How comfortable effort. In the past two years, survey after
is the building for its occupants? Points for exceeding the
minimum outside air or minimum filter requirements; for se- survey shows that the LEED designation
lecting paints and cleaning products that do not emit harmful
chemicals; for providing daylight and views to the majority carries considerable weight amongst the
of the interior spaces, and points for providing heating and
cooling systems that can be easily adjusted by occupants. burgeoning population of environmentally-
6. Innovation in Operations — This category allows each
project team the flexibility to address a green building fea- conscious travelers. Most notably, Trip
ture not found in any of the above categories.
7. Regional Bonus Points — Some environmental issues
Advisor’s “2010 Travel Trends Survey”
are highly regional in nature, such as the greater need to reports that 33 percent of travelers now
conserve water in the dryer Western states. LEED rec-
ognizes the importance of these issues and awards bonus consider green policies when choosing a
points for addressing credits sensitive to the region where
the building is located. hotel to stay at.
LEED and Hospitality
Properties in the hospitality industry have a wide range of
functions, including food and beverage operations, laundry
operations and maintaining HVAC conditions for guest include working with a strong project manager who under-
comfort, which can make the LEED application process stands the time commitment involved in the LEED process.
somewhat complex, but at the same time these nuances offer And effective documentation, which means putting systems
many opportunities for improvement and for gaining LEED in place early to ensure optimal tracking if you are working
points. Hotels then, are well-suited for LEED certification in with existing buildings and deciding on LEED early in the
many ways. Following are a couple: process for new construction.
Waste Reduction — Environmentally-friendly and cost
savings options can include providing reusable cloth towels Finish Line
in public restrooms, which significantly reduces the number LEED buildings need to be re-certified every five years and
of paper towels used; purchasing recycled-content toilet controllers are often tasked with the responsibilities of track-
paper and tissues for guest rooms; switching to a paperless ing LEED during that time period. To accomplish, this you
check-in system; replacing paper cups with reusable plastic will need to put sustainable tracking systems in place.
ones; replacing bottled water with water coolers. While LEED certification is a lengthy and detailed
Energy Savings — Reconfiguring lighting and HVAC process, it is well worth the effort. In the past two years,
schedules can save tens of thousands of dollars yearly: survey after survey shows that the LEED designation carries
switching to an ozone laundry system which reduces water considerable weight amongst the burgeoning population of
usage, uses only cold water and shortens the washing cycle, environmentally-conscious travelers. Most notably, Trip
and upgrading all applicable guest room lighting to energy Advisor’s “2010 Travel Trends Survey” reports that 33 per-
efficient CFL bulbs. cent of travelers now consider green policies when choosing
a hotel to stay at.
LEED Economic Factors The bottom line is this — the compensations for meeting
With LEED NC projects, controllers are often limited by LEED standards can be enormous. Properties will realize
budget decisions. The cost of going LEED is often kept at cost savings from waste, energy and water use reduction;
one to five percent of the total project cost. On LEED EB as well as savings resulting from improved procurement
projects, controllers play a more significant role shaping the policies. Plus having a “green” identity improves public
project, with the majority of EB costs going to hiring a sav- relations leading to an increase in sustainability-driven
vy, experienced LEED consultant to supervise the project. conferences and guestroom sales. It’s no wonder that LEED
In either case, the controller can dictate the success of certification is fast becoming the norm in the hospitality
the project. Key ingredients to a successful LEED project industry. 

The Bottomline 19
 Social Media 

I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU SAID E-MAILED


TEXTED POSTED TWEETED THAT!!!!!
How to positively manage the social media explosion amongst employees
By Joe Pittel

W
hat do a graduate student from
Berkeley, a waitress from
North Carolina and an employ-
ee with the Philadelphia Eagles have in
common? They all learned the hard way
of the danger in (electronically) speaking
their mind on social media sites.

A Bitter-tweet Ending
Graduate student Connor Riley became
famous when, upon receiving a job of-
fer from Cisco, she tweeted, “Cisco just
offered me a job! Now I have to weigh
the utility of a fatty paycheck against
the daily commute to San Jose and hat-
ing the work.” She later explained she
was being sarcastic.
Cisco’s Tim Levad wasn’t laughing.
He read the tweet and responded, “Who
is the hiring manger? I am sure they
would love to know that you will hate
the work. We here at Cisco are versed
in the Web.”
Word on the (cyber) street is that
Riley is employed by another firm and What An Extra Point ments went viral. He found himself on
doing well. Apparently, Cisco wasn’t Dan Leone, a part-time stadium op- ESPN, but out of a job.3
the best fit after all.1 erations worker for the Philadelphia Although criticized for the firing, the
Eagles, got sacked (sorry for the pun, Eagles felt that an employee — even
Here’s a Tip: Don’t Insult Your but I couldn’t resist) after he posted a part-time one like Leone — should
Customers on Facebook on his Facebook page that the Eagles not be free to besmirch his employer
Ashley Johnson got stiffed on a tip organization was “retarded” for failing in public. In an odd twist, Philly fans
while working at Brixx Wood Fired to resign Pro-Bowler Brian Dawkins. started a “Re-hire Dan Leone” Face-
Pizza in Charlotte, N.C. She responded If Leone had made this statement at book page in reaction to the firing. In
by skewering the frugal patrons using the counter at Geno’s instead of on his protecting their e-image, the team found
her Facebook page. Her manager got Facebook page, the Eagles wouldn’t itself in a lose/lose situation. Even
wind of the tirade and Johnson is out of have lifted a talon. In the age of Twitter worse, Leone is apparently rooting for
the wood fired pizza business.2 and Facebook, however, Leone’s state- the Redskins and Cowboys this year.

Joe Pittel is an attorney with Secrest Wardle. He can be reached at jpittel@secrestwardle.com. The information provided is general and educational, and is
not legal advice. For more information, please visit www.hospitalitylawyer.com.

20 December 2010 / January 2011


 Social Media 

Implement A Social Media Policy


SOCIAL MEDIA? NO PROBLEM Some might argue that implement-
Ways to positively manage social media use ing a social media policy is redundant
because rules that require employees to
behave appropriately offline apply to
their online behavior. This philosophy
Social Media Policies — Social media policies help managers and employees ignores the unique nature of online
understand their obligations when it comes to social media. The best ones communication. Social networking
acknowledge and embrace the fact that employees use social media. The makes communication instantaneous,
policies are designed to protect, as well as complement, the business. accessible and permanent. Low level
employees — like those individu-
Social Media Departments — Whether a company creates a whole als described above — have an easy
department or just tasks marketing managers with the job, directing focused medium in which their opinions can be
attention to such outlets is a great marketing opportunity. Plus, dedicated transmitted and magnified. Moreover,
employees are in the best position to watch the company’s online “back.” smart phones have shortened the time
between an individual’s knee jerk reac-
Internal Blogs — Use this as a forum for staff to anonymously vent their tion to something and its publication.
frustrations, discuss ideas or ask questions. Providing a relief valve for The Eagles’ Dan Leone said he lost
an employee’s complaints might go a long way towards preventing an his head and immediately regretted his
embarrassing, public situation online. comments. Unfortunately, as soon as
Leone posted his comments they were
Measured Reaction — Reacting to every negative byte will surely smash a burned into Internet history.
manager’s nerves to bits. Be wary of the paranoia that results from scouring A social media policy will help
the Internet for negative comments and firing every employee who makes a managers and employees understand
questionable online decision. Instead, resist the temptation to address every their obligations when it comes to
unflattering post and save the fight for serious infractions outlined in the social media. The best social media
social media policy. policies are those that acknowledge and
embrace the fact that employees use
social media and that it can be a benefit
to the company.
In each of the above examples, for those wondering about the Con- A cursory review of social media
an employee used social media to stitution, the First Amendment only guidelines from a sample of private
criticize their employer, or worse, the protects an individual from govern- and public entities shows that there is
company’s paying customers. If you ment action. There is nothing stopping no universal set of guidelines that each
think the problem is limited to the a private sector organization from company follows.5 Most social media
anecdotes noted above, OMG, u r way canning someone for making nega- policies:
off! In a 2009 study of large compa- tive comments about their employer.) • Give employees notice that business
nies, 17 percent reported having issues Yet, any manager who thinks that a conduct guidelines, including anti-
with employees’ use of social media. company can protect itself simply by harassment policies, apply to online
Eight percent reported having actually tightening social media controls needs communications.
dismissed someone for social media to update his profile. There are more • Instruct employees to refrain from
behavior, double the percentage that than 350 million Facebook users in posting information that might be
was fired the previous year.4 the world and three million “Tweets” harmful or embarrassing to a client
It’s scenarios like these that have are sent every day. In sum, there is too or customer.
managers around the world “texting” much information, too many users and • Urge employees to use disclaimers
their shrinks. The biggest cause for too many portals of access to com- if they disclose information relevant
therapy is the realization that there pletely shield your company from a to the company, with the disclaimer
is no easy solution to this relatively social media assault. stating that views expressed are not
new problem. It’s true, a statement a The courts are working feverishly to the views of the company.
person makes about his employer on address social media issues, but the le- • Prohibit the release of confidential or
a social media site is treated the same gal process is slow and social media, in proprietary information.
as a statement he or she might make in contrast, changes with alarming speed. • Inform the employee of his or her
front of a crowd of customers. Hence, Experts say, however, there are some responsibility for potential liability
an employer’s initial instinct might things a company should do in the face for slander, copyright infringement
be to rule with an iron fist. (Note: of the social media explosion. and other civil causes of action.

22 December 2010 / January 2011


 Social Media 

It is worth remembering that social Venting Frustrations Risk Free smash a manager’s nerves to bits.
media is as new to the individual Several companies have internal blogs In addition, managers should keep
employee as it is to the company. Thus, which provide a forum for staff to anon- in mind that the public is naturally
many social media policies contain ymously vent their frustrations, discuss suspicious of what they find on the
tips for effective communication such ideas or ask questions. Some companies Internet. Although recognizing it as a
as how to avoid picking online fights, even require managers to review these stellar information source, most people
how social media can be used to as- blogs so that they can implement sug- acknowledge that the Internet is filled
sist employees in their job, and when gestions or benefit from the constructive with misinformation and inaccuracies.
an employee should identify himself (if not vitriolic) criticism. Providing a Certainly, the outrage and hurt feel-
or stay anonymous. Social media is relief valve for an employee’s com- ings that come when an employee or
a reality of our time and it is here to plaints might go a long way at prevent- customer makes an unflattering remark
stay. Companies should acknowledge ing employees from blowing their stack is understandable. A company might
it with a thoughtful and specific policy and embarrassing the company or its serve its interests best, however, by
designed to protect, as well as comple- clients on their Facebook page. keeping its powder dry and recogniz-
ment, the business. ing that sticks and stones can break
Resist the Urge to Overreact your bones, but e-words can (only
Create a Social Media Department People have been “twitching” about sometimes) hurt you. 
Despite the dangers, most savvy man- their workplaces since the first em-
agers agree that social media represents ployee went to work for the first Sources
an incredible marketing opportunity. employer. Keeping this in mind, 1. www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29901380
In fact, many companies have already companies should resist the tempta- 2. www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/5/17/
established social media departments tion to address every unflattering post. brixx-pizza-fires-waitres_n_578847.
specifically designed to find ways to This is not to say that serious infrac- html
use social media to the company’s tions shouldn’t be harshly dealt with, 3. sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/
advantage. Others have hired social especially when an employee’s online story?id=3965039
media managers. Whether a company chatter threatens business by criticiz-
creates a whole department or just ing customers or divulging secrets. 4. www.marketwire.com/press-release/
tasks marketing managers with the job, Companies should be wary, though, of Proofpoint-Survey-Says-State-
focusing on social media makes sense. the paranoia that results from scouring Economy-Leads-Increased-Data-Loss-
Plus, although focused on marketing, the Internet for negative comments and Risk-Large-Companies-1027877.htm
social media specialists are also in the firing every employee who makes a 5. socialmediagovernance.com/
best position to watch the company’s questionable online decision. React- policies.php
online back. ing to every negative byte will surely

The Bottomline 23
 Club Accounting 

USFRC — Time to Revise


A club executive survey demonstrates enough industry changes to warrant
a new edition of the Uniform System of Financial Reporting for Clubs
By Agnes DeFranco, Ed.D., CHAE, CHE and
Raymond S. Schmidgall, Ph.D., CPA, CHAE

T
he Uniform System of Financial
Reporting for Clubs (USFRC) is
the guide to reporting for external
and internal users of club finance in-
formation. The first uniform system of
accounts for clubs dates back to over 65
years with a few copies published of the
Proposed Uniform System of Accounts
for City Clubs in 1942. In 1954 the
Uniform System of Accounts for Clubs
covering both country and city clubs
was first presented for sale. In 2003, the
sixth revised edition, and most current
edition, of the USFRC was issued. The
sixth revised edition is followed by
many clubs.
Our research directed to club finan-
cial executives posed the following:
• Does your club follow the USFRC?
• What is the single major benefit of
the USFRC?
• What is your level of satisfaction
with the current edition?
• If there is one thing you could change
in the USFRC, what would it be?
• Is it time to update the sixth revised
edition?
tives receiving our questionnaire. Just The titles of respondents varied from
Answers to these questions based on over one hundred (107) were returned staff accountant to CFO. Just over four
our research will be provided in this ar- resulting in a response rate of nearly 12 of every five respondents (81.1 percent)
ticle along with our recommendations. percent. held the title of controller. Another 6.6
In conducting our annual balance percent were assistant controllers and
sheet ratio research, we added another Overview of Respondents the same percentage were CFOs. The
page containing the above research The titles of the respondents, the type of remaining 5.7 percent had titles such
questions. Our questionnaire was club employing them, the size of their as club accountant, director of finance
mailed to 1,000 HFTP members associ- clubs based on number of members, and treasurer. Clearly, it appears that re-
ated with clubs. Eighty questionnaires the location of their clubs and the profit spondents were in positions of financial
were returned as “undeliverable” thus orientation were the demographics responsibility and knowledgeable about
resulting in 920 club financial execu- requested (see charts on page 25). club accounting and finance.

Agnes DeFranco, Ed.D., CHAE, CHE, is a professor and the assistant vice president for undergraduate studies at the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel &
Restaurant Management, University of Houston. DeFranco was the 2006 – 2007 HFTP Global President. Raymond S. Schmidgall, Ph.D., CPA, CHAE, is the Hilton
Hotels Professor at The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University. He is also a member of the Communications Editorial Advisory Council
and a recipient of the 2002 HFTP Paragon Award.

24 December 2010 / January 2011


 Club Accounting 

The majority of financial executives taken as a “no, their club does not fol-
were employed by country clubs (67.9 low the USFRC.” PROFILE OF
percent). Other types of clubs represent- For those clubs following the Uni- RESPONDENTS
ed included golf clubs (13.2 percent), form System, the major benefit revealed
city clubs (6.6 percent), yacht clubs (6.6 by 68 percent of the responding finan-
percent) and other clubs (5.7 percent). cial executives is that they are able to
The remaining 5.7 percent of respon- properly compare their club’s financial Titles
dents indicated their clubs included results to published club industry aver-
university, tennis and pool clubs. ages. PKF publishes national averages
The number of members of the while a number of consulting firms Other, 6%
clubs ranged from less than 300 to over publish regional operating averages. Controller, 81%
2,000. The most common size (25.2 The remaining 32 percent of financial CFO, 7%
percent) were clubs with 501–750 executives whose clubs use the uniform
members followed by clubs with 1,001– system consider the greatest benefit to Asst.
Controller,
1,500 members (19.4 percent), clubs be that they “follow an accounting sys-
6%
with 300–500 members (17.5 percent), tem designed for clubs.” Since the ad-
and clubs with 751–1,000 members vantages of using a uniform system are
(16.5 percent). apparent, perhaps HFTP should provide
The two additional dimensions were more information on financial reporting
location and profit orientation. Just to their members associated with clubs, Club Type
over half (50.5 percent) of the clubs of especially stressing the importance of
responding financial executives were being able to compare results by using a Golf, 13%
located in the Eastern part of the U.S., recognized system. City, 6%
followed by 32.4 percent in the Central Specific suggestions for changes in
region, and 17.1 percent in the West. the Uniform System were received from Yacht, 7%
Country, 68%
Most clubs (88.3 percent) have a not- only 11 respondents. Notable sugges-
Other, 6%
for-profit orientation while 11.7 percent tions included the following:
were organized for profit purposes. • Combine telephone and clubhouse
Thus, the most common respondent departments
was a controller employed by a not-for- • Include a schedule for reporting
profit country club with a membership capital expenditures
of between 501–750 members located • Make schedules for a yacht club Membership Size
in the Eastern portion of the United • Provide more clarification of
States. The following section of this account titles
article includes our research findings. • Provide schedules for 300 – 500
501 – 750
residential clubs 18%
25%
How about the USFRC? <300
The fundamental question regarding the Responses to overall satisfaction 10%
USFRC was simply, “Does your club were threefold. Thirty-five percent of 751 – 1,000
>1,500
17%
follow the USFRC?” As mentioned at the respondents were satisfied, while 11%
the beginning of the article, the USFRC 10 percent were dissatisfied. However, 1,001 – 1,500
dates back to the early 1940s. It has 55 percent of the financial executives 19%
been the standard for financial reporting indicated overall they were indifferent.
for several decades. Again, when the majority has no strong
Just over half (52 percent) of the fi- feeling, it is difficult to determine how Location
nancial executives indicated their clubs they really might feel.
follow the USFRC. That also means Regardless of the few suggestions of
West, 17%
48 percent of the clubs apparently do specific changes and the small percent-
not. We were very surprised that nearly age of dissatisfied users, 64 percent of Central, 32%
half the clubs do not base their finan- the club financial executives suggested
cial statements on the recommended the USFRC could use some minor
standard for the club industry. To be updating. Another one-fourth of the East, 51%
fair, one in 12 respondents indicated respondents suggest “leave it as is” and
they “do not know” whether their clubs other views from the remaining 11 per-
follow the USFRC. This response was cent of responding club financial execu-

The Bottomline 25
 Club Accounting 

cycle so a new version can be released


every seven to eight years. Newman
Many accounting standard changes also suggests that an opportune time for
revision is to start the organizational
are right at our front door and will be work now and have the first convening
meeting next summer since the final
in place in the next couple of years. ruling of leases as a consequence of
the convergence work of the IASB and
FASB is due out in June 2011.
Preparation is the key. It is high time to Third, marketing is always the key.
Since many respondents mentioned
revise the Uniform Standards. they are not aware of the standards,
perhaps more intentional marketing
information and tactics are needed.
tives included “it certainly needs it” and another book entitled the Uniform Many clubs still believe that since they
“will need to be reviewed periodically.” System of Financial Reporting for are independent operations, compari-
So what is to be done? Residential Club Communities would sons are not needed. There is also the
be helpful. Bartello concurs, as he has belief that each club is its own entity
Our Suggestions been assisting clients to include such and clubs are not like hotels within a
It is obvious that standards are good configurations whenever their club corporation that have to follow a “set”
to facilitate comparison within and software is upgraded or changed so standard; they should be able to pick
between clubs. While doing this re- their accounts can better reflect their whatever accounting guidelines they
search, it is also obvious that the club type of operation. Newman and Tas- want to follow. However, if one looks
industry is continuously evolving. New sitano (2010) further explain that many at the industry as a whole, there have
demands, economic conditions and new of these bundled communities have the been many changes since the last edi-
means of establishing clubs indicate choice of following either the USFRC tion, and standardization, especially
that the club industry is not solely made or the Common Interest Realty Associa- in accounting reporting, is needed. It
up of the traditional 501(c)(7) club any tion (CIRA) Guide. But, many discrep- might be good to include information
longer. Wendy Zurstadt, CPA, CHAE, ancies exist amongst the two sets of sessions at key club related conferences
CHTP, CAM chief financial officer accounting practices that make true as those mentioned previously. It is also
of The Polo Club at Boca Raton and accounting, let alone benchmarking and important that such marketing should
Leonard Bartello, CHAE, CHTP, CPA, comparison, a difficult task. One such not be done only when a new edition is
LCAM, owner of Forty Years Consult- difference is the method of reporting on first published, but should be done on a
ing in Florida, were members of the common property where property under consistent basis to increase awareness.
committee that revised the last edition CIRA may not be recognized as assets For the hospitality educational commu-
of the USFRC. Zurstadt states there are under the balance sheet. The industry nity, perhaps more articles explaining
four major types of clubs: traditional therefore needs to respond and pro- the USFRC and the benefits of follow-
stand alone, residential country club, vide an updated tool for its managers ing this standardized reporting system
large scale association, and manda- and owners to assess the strengths and can be published in selected journals.
tory membership residential. Bartello weaknesses of their operations. Treat the USFRC as vitamins that
has also seen a sharp growth of new Second, we suggest the USFRC are needed to sustain the financial
“bundled-community” clubs as his be revised following a set schedule. health of a club. An apple a day keeps
clientele. Indeed, Philip Newman, CPA, Consider starting the revision cycle five the doctor away. A page of the US-
managing director for McGaldrey, and years after publication. In the begin- FRC a day keeps the integrity of your
Tammy Tassitano, CPA, national direc- ning of the sixth year, form a group club finances strong. Many accounting
tor of club services for McGladrey, also of industry users, representatives of standard changes are right at our front
share the same sentiments (2010). firms that provide financial informa- door and will be in place in the next
Due to the growth of these new tion to clubs, club financial managers couple of years. Preparation is the key.
categories, Zurstadt indicates that the and club general managers. It is also It is high time to revise the Uniform
current USFRC, is too heavily concen- important to use complementary venues Standards. 
trated on the traditional 501(c)(7), and such as the CMAA World Conference
should be revised to address bundled and the HFTP Annual Convention & Sources
communities. Thus, the first sugges- Tradeshow to conduct focus groups • Tassitano, T. and Newman, P.
tion for the revision committee for a and send surveys to financial users to (2010). Everything You Know Is
new USFRC is to include a substantial solicit input. At the beginning of year Wrong. The Bottomline, 25(6), p.
section for these clubs. If not, perhaps seven, start the editing and publication 23–25.

26 December 2010 / January 2011


2010 HFTP
D
ata from the “2010 HFTP Compensation and Benefits
Survey” conducted by the HFTP Research Institute

Compensation
was released in the September 2010 issue of The
Bottomline. This report provided an overview of the num-
bers and statistics generally giving information on all groups
of respondents. As most of you know, it is hard to compare

and Benefits apples to oranges, such as controller salaries at club and ho-
tel properties. For this reason, the following article provides
further details pertaining specifically to the club and hotel

Survey
segments of the hospitality industry. These two segments
were chosen because there was a significant number of
respondents in these two groups.

A Look at the Details History and Introduction


The first survey of the HFTP membership was published in
The Bottomline in 1989. This article was titled “A Profile
of the IAHA Member” and provided general demographic
By Tanya Venegas information. Through the years the survey evolved into the
HFTP Compensation and Benefits Report which was first
published in 2000. The 2000 report was conducted by a
consulting firm, with the first report by the HFTP Research
Institute published in 2002. The HFTP Research Institute
has continued to conduct this survey since 2002 on a bien-
nial basis; therefore, comparative data is available for 2002
through 2010.
The 2010 report was distributed via e-mail to 2,862
members of HFTP who had agreed to receive communica-
tion from HFTP. Out of the 2,862 who received the e-mail
invitation, 414 individuals responded to the survey providing
a 14.5 percent overall response rate. The survey was distrib-
uted using SurveyMonkey.com, an online survey provider.
An online survey is preferred because it allows for dynamic
questions to adjust to the respondents answers. For example,
members that indicated they worked for clubs were only
asked questions specific to club properties.
In order to conduct detailed analysis it was important to
determine the largest groups of respondents to the survey.
The majority of respondents were either from club properties
(45.8 percent) or lodging properties (41.9 percent). By job ti-
tle, the largest number of responses were from those with the
title of controller (38.4 percent) followed distantly by those
with the title of director of finance (11.6 percent). For this
reason, most of the data analyzed focuses on club or lodging
controllers. For a complete breakdown of responses, please
reference the complete report published in the September
2010 issue of The Bottomline.

Club vs. Hotel Controller Salaries


One of the best places to start is by comparing club and
hotel controller salaries. The question pops up from time
to time as to which segment of the industry pays better.
According to the respondents in the 2010 survey, hotel and

Tanya Venegas is program director of the HFTP Research Institute at the


University of Houston and frequent speaker at HFTP conferences.

The Bottomline 27
Survey Report

2010 Projected Controller Salaries club controller salaries are fairly evenly matched with hotel
controllers indicating that they earned just $344 more than
Clubs vs. Hotels their club counterparts.
On the other hand, when you compare overall compensa-
Clubs Hotels
tion, club controllers make slightly more ($731) than their
Number of Responses 96 34 hotel counterparts. The differences lie in deferred compensa-
tion and bonuses. As defined in the 2010 survey, deferred
2010 Salary $ 84,828 $ 85,172 compensation includes pensions, retirement plans, stock
options and other forms of income which will be paid out at
2010 Deferred Compensation 9,807 4,040 a later date. Club controllers earned $5,767 more deferred
compensation than their hotel counterparts. Hotel controllers
2010 Bonus 6,505 11,197
projected to earn $4,692 more in bonuses in 2010 than their
Totals $101,140 $100,409 club counterparts. Either way, it appears that there are not
any major discrepancies between compensation for hotel and
club controllers.

“ It appears that hotel controllers are Job Responsibilities


Even though there may not be any major differences in sal-
able to focus more of their time and ary, it is interesting to note that job responsibilities tend to
energy on the primary job function differ between the two segments of the hospitality industry.
Overall respondents indicated that they oversee the follow-
in the accounting/finance department ing departments: accounting/finance (87.9 percent), tech-
nology (58.9 percent), human resources (40.1 percent) and
while their club counterparts are administrative/clerical staff (29.3 percent).
required to be a jack-of-all-trades…” It starts to get interesting when you analyze departments
supervised by industry. It is expected that the majority of
Departments Supervised controllers would be in charge of the accounting/finance
function, approximately 82 percent from both segments of
Club vs. Hotel Controllers the industry. Responsibilities tend to separate for the other
categories. First of all, 50.9 percent of club controllers
Clubs Hotels supervise the technology function with only 39.5 percent
of hotel controllers overseeing this department. The dra-
Accounting/Finance 82.5% 81.6%
matic differences are seen when data is analyzed for human
Technology 50.9 39.5 resources and administrative/office staff. Fifty-six percent
of club respondents oversee the human resources function
Human Resources 56.1 13.2 with only 13.2 percent of their hotel counterparts doing the
same for a difference of nearly 43 percent. In addition, 39.5
Administrative/Office Staff 39.5 5.3 percent of club respondents oversee administrative/office
staff and only 5.3 percent of hotel respondents do the same
Security 4.4 5.3
for a difference of 34 percent. Both segments of controllers
were fairly evenly matched when it comes to overseeing
security operations at their respective properties. It appears
that hotel controllers are able to focus more of their time and
Time Working at Home, Office, and Traveling energy on the primary job function in the accounting/finance
Club vs. Hotel Controllers department while their club counterparts are required to be a
jack-of-all-trades and supervise not only accounting/finance
Club Hotel Hotel functions, but also technology, human resources and admin-
Overall
Properties Properties Mgmt Co. istrative duties.

Home 14.1% 6.7% 25.0% 13.3% Hours Worked


Moving along to another important question, how many
Office 76.1 89.8 64.0 76.8 hours do club and hotel controllers actually work during an
Travel 7.1 2.4 7.6 7.8 average work week. In general, hotel controllers indicated
an average work week of 51.6 hours with club controllers
Other 2.7 1.1 3.4 2.1 averaging a slightly shorter work week of only 45.3 hours.
(Look at the Details continued on page 30.)

28 December 2010 / January 2011


CASE STUDY

cOST-OF-LIVING IMPACTS REGIONAL SALARIES


S hortly after publication of the 2010 HFTP Compensation
and Benefits Report, an HFTP member in the Phoenix,
Ariz. area contacted the HFTP Research Institute requesting
and other demographics were calculated such as size of
hotel, years in current position, type of property, work at
the regional or property level, education and geographic
salary data for hotel controller and assistant controllers. location. The only deciding factor was determined to
In addition, the member specifically wanted to look at be location. Out of the nine respondents with the title of
properties in his region which earned greater than $15 assistant controller, six had provided geographic location
million in annual revenues. Unfortunately, there were not information. These six individuals were from places with
enough properties to make a comparison within his region, very high cost-of-living indices such as Los Angeles, San
but we were able to pull nine assistant controller and 13 Diego, Toronto and Washington D.C. Recent reports indicate
controller salaries at lodging properties which earned that cost-of-living at these locations can be greater than 150
greater than $15 million in annual revenues. percent when compared to other cities such as Phoenix.
On average, the data indicated that assistant controllers Once this was factored into the equation, it was determined
were projected to earn nearly $70,000 in 2010 and controllers a realistic salary for an assistant controller in Phoenix would
would earn nearly $94,000. I sent the information to the be approximately $55,000. The general manager indicated
member and he shared the data with his general manager that this was more on par with what his idea of an assistant
who indicated that the controller salary appeared accurate, controller salary should be in their area.
but the assistant controller salary was entirely too high for In addition, controller salaries were also analyzed. It was
the Phoenix area. determined, that the controllers who responded to the survey
Further analysis was needed to determine why there was were from locations with similar cost-of-living indices to
such a discrepancy. The annual revenues were the same Phoenix and no adjustments were needed.

Profile: Controller Salaries


Assistant Controller
Projected Annual Annual
Annual Base Salary — 2010 Base Salary — 2009 Base Salary — 2008
Number of Respondents 9 9 8
Mean $69,671 $67,511 $64,888
Median 65,000 63,000 60,500
Percentiles:
25th 60,018 56,800 55,150
50th 65,000 63,000 60,500
75th 83,500 81,500 77,250

Controller
Projected Annual Annual
Annual Base Salary — 2010 Base Salary — 2009 Base Salary — 2008
Number of Respondents 13 13 13
Mean $93,906 $92,290 $89,745
Median $93,030 $92,000 $89,500
Percentiles:
25th $87,250 $86,000 $85,000
50th $93,030 $92,000 $89,500
75th $100,000 $100,000 $96,000

The Bottomline 29
Survey Report

hotel controllers only spend 33.0 hours of their work week


Even though hotel controllers tend in the office, 12.9 hours working from home, and 3.9 hours
traveling. When calculated, club controllers average 40.7
to have a longer work week, they hours in the office, 3.0 hours working from home, and only
indicated that they spend less than 40 1.1 hours traveling. Even though hotel controllers tend to
have a longer work week, they indicated that they spend less
hours per week in the office and have a than 40 hours per week in the office and have a more flexible
more flexible work schedule than their work schedule than their club counterparts.

club counterparts. Paid Leave


In the 2006 and 2008 issues of the HFTP Compensation and
Benefits Survey many members indicated that their employ-
Average Hours Worked at Home, Office ers were beginning to offer paid-time-off (PTO) rather than
and Traveling vacation and sick leave. For that reason, questions were
Club vs. Hotel Controllers included in the 2010 survey to determine how many proper-
ties were offering PTO. Club and hotel properties were fairly
Clubs Hotels evenly matched when it came to offering paid-time-off.
Home 3.0 12.9 Twenty-eight percent of club properties offered PTO leave
with 30 percent of hotel properties offering PTO leave. The
Office 40.7 33.0 difference lies in the number of days offered. Clubs only
Travel 1.1 3.9 averaged 9.1 days and hotels averaged 13.4 days, for a dif-
ference of just greater than four days.
Other 0.5 1.8 The remaining 70 plus percent of hotels and clubs offered
a traditional combination of vacation and sick day paid
leave. Club respondents received an average 15.2 vacation
days and 6.8 sick days, while their hotel counterparts aver-
aged 15.1 vacation days and 6.1 sick days.
One thing is certain, those respondents One thing is certain, those respondents who receive PTO
days versus traditional vacation/sick days receive far less
who receive PTO days versus traditional paid leave. For respondents from the club industry, those
vacation/sick days receive far less with PTO leave receive 12.9 days less paid leave than their
club counterparts that receive vacation/sick leave. In addi-
paid leave. tion, hotel respondents with PTO leave receive 7.8 less days
of paid leave than those with vacation/sick leave.
Paid Leave Conclusion
Clubs vs. Hotels As noted in this article, there are multiple differences when
Clubs Hotels it comes to the demographics of club and hotel properties.
The differences extend far beyond industry segments and
PTO Days 9.1 13.4 continue by size of property, geographic location, annual
Vacation Days 15.2 15.1 revenues, ownership, tax status, etc. For this reason, it is
Sick Days 6.8 6.1 very important to thoroughly analyze data before any spe-
cific comparisons can be made.
In the past, the HFTP Research Institute has been able to
provide regional reports with adequate accuracy. Unfortu-
Given the fact that pay is nearly the same for individuals in nately, the response rate to the 2010 survey was somewhat
both segments of the industry, many will argue that hotel lower than in previous surveys making it difficult to provide
controllers are getting the short end of the deal. any general regional reports. For this reason, we encourage
Further analysis was conducted to determine what per- you to contact the HFTP Research Institute and request a
centage of time hotel and club controllers spend working in specialized report for your property. Please refer to the case
the office, at home, and traveling. Hotel controllers indi- study provided (page 29) for an example report of the in-
cated that they work a greater amount of time at home (25 formation and research we can provide. Feel free to contact
percent) than club controllers (6.7 percent). When you take the HFTP Research Institute with any questions you have
the number of overall hours worked and multiply that by pertaining to the 2010 HFTP Compensation and Benefits
the percentage of time worked in the office, it indicates that Survey Report or to request a specialized report. 

30 December 2010 / January 2011


The Bottomline Resource Guide
Culinary Software Services HFTP University
www.ChefTec.com www.hftp.org
Culinary Software Services HFTP and Datanamics, Inc.
is the leading provider of have partnered to bring
foodservice software to the hospitality industry. quality, timely and in-depth
CorTec and ChefTec software provide state-of-the-art education to your very own
inventory control, recipe and menu costing, purchas- city via HFTP University (HFTP-U). The program is a
ing and ordering, production management, requisi- one-stop resource to provide high level technical and
tions and transfers and nutritional analysis. Systems end user training for the hospitality industry with a
are available to meet the needs of small restaurants to comprehensive curriculum ranging from subject mat-
complex and multi-unit operations. ter expertise to certifications.

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The Bottomline 31