The Crucial Role Of The Hotel Night Auditor

This post is sponsored by MDO

There’s a behind-the-scenes role in hotels that few outside the industry know about, but it’s served as the starting point for many hotel leaders such as Scott Curran, COO at Reneson Hotels, and Raul Moronta, CCO at Remington Hotels.

It’s the role of the Night Auditor.

On May 18, 2023, hundreds of hoteliers celebrated Night Auditor Appreciation Day, an initiative started by MDO leaders as a recognition of the invaluable contribution night auditors make and an acknowledgment of their potential to shape the future of the hospitality industry.

I recently had the chance to speak with Eduardo Burkard and Jason Freed about this role and why it matters on the Hospitality Daily Podcast. A summary of our conversation is below.

What the Night Auditor role entails

Night Auditors have a wide range of responsibilities. 

Core to the role is reconciling accounting information for the day, analyzing data, and interpreting it to share with stakeholders. “Who checked in? How many people checked in? What kind of revenue did we get from those people that checked in? Are there any VIPs in the hotel that we need to worry about? There are about 200 to 300 pages of reports that go into that night audit,” Jason said. 

On top of that, the person in this role also has to cover other areas within the hotel operation. 

To illustrate, Jason shared the example of a Night Auditor he saw on a recent trip. “A couple of weeks ago, I was in Atlanta and saw the Night Auditor come in and start preparing for their shift. They ended up having to do the same things that every other front desk agent does. They had to check people in, they had to stock the drinks and the marketplace, and this person was also serving as the cook! If you needed anything, they were going in the back and they were frying the food. They were serving as the bartender. If you needed a drink, they were getting you a drink. And then at some point throughout the night, they had to do all this accounting work.”

That’s why Jason calls Night Auditors the “unsung heroes of hospitality” – as their work is critical to the success of hotels today.

The opportunity that exists in this role

Night Auditors’ work has a significant impact beyond what may be immediately apparent. 

Data collection and processing are central to the role of the Night Auditor. They are responsible for gathering and keeping track of guest information, revenue information, and more. 

“What amazes me about this role is how much information and how much data this person is sitting on every night,” Jason said. Whether it’s guest information or revenue information from rooms revenue to revenue from all the different various ancillary revenue streams that are coming in at the property, this person is really sitting on gold and leadership needs this information and this data to make more profitable decisions.”

It’s this data that creates an opportunity.

The evolution of the night audit through technology

With so much data to process, technology is changing what the Night Auditor’s role can and should be.

Automation and technology have made the night audit process more efficient, streamlining tedious processes. According to Jason, “What used to take most of the night can now be done with the push of a button.” 

Technology has also made it easier to send critical information to the right people and ensure compliance. 

That’s why Scott Curran, a former Night Auditor and now Chief Operating Officer of Reneson Hotels said, “We’ve gotten rid of email within our company and are now using technology to route information instantly directly to the people who need to see it.”

This evolution is a win-win for all involved, from lower stress for staff to more intelligent decision-making for leadership. What’s even better is digitizing these processes is also better for the environment, saving the boxes of paper that have historically been used to track all of this. 

A crucial role in the talent pipeline

In addition to the important and quickly evolving nature of this role, it’s important to recognize the importance of Night Auditors in the talent pipeline. 

Many leaders in the hospitality industry started their careers as Night Auditors, from Scott Curran to Remington Hotels CCO Raul Moronta. 

“There’s a lot of things that the Night Auditor knows and learns that the front desk doesn’t during the day,” Eduardo, a former Night Auditor himself, observed. With talent remaining an ongoing challenge, “We want to make sure that talented people stay in our industry and learn and grow in our industry,” Jason added.

Providing recognition and appreciation for Night Auditors’ work – as well as empowering them – is essential to retaining and developing talent.

Night Auditor Appreciation Day

To recognize and appreciate the work of Night Auditors, MDO organized Night Auditor Appreciation Day

In the words of Jason, “Hospitality is a people-to-people business, and we want to make sure that Night Auditors feel appreciated and valued.” The campaign encouraged hotel leaders to celebrate their Night Auditors with ideas such as giving them a Starbucks card, taking them to a special breakfast, and providing them with snacks and energy drinks to keep them going throughout their shift. 

A social awareness campaign was also launched, using the hashtag #NightAuditorAppreciationDay, to recognize the critical role of Night Auditors in the hospitality industry.

Recognize the importance and opportunity of this vital role

The Night Auditor role and its related processes are critical to the success of hotels today.

While Night Auditor Appreciation Day may be over, your opportunity to show appreciation isn’t. Take a moment to see what other hotel operators have done to show their gratitude, and then do something this week to show the people working in this role that you care.

And if you haven’t done so already, look into how you can empower the people working in this role to operate efficiently and effectively through technology. Digitizing documents and automating processes will not only help them – but will help you as a hotel operations leader.

Learn how MDO helps Night Auditors with myDocs, moving critical documents into the cloud, which automates the reporting process, ensures security and compliance, and reduces your company’s environmental footprint.