Running a hotel efficiently requires keeping meticulous track of guest charges, payments, and balances. This critical process is known as folio management. Managing folios manually can be extremely time-consuming and prone to errors. Fortunately, hotel management systems automate folio management to help hotels run more smoothly.
In this article, we’ll explore the top software options for streamlined folio management. We’ll look at key features to look for and the benefits the right software can provide. Let’s check in on how technology can lead to better folio management.
What is Hotel Management Software?
Before diving into specific systems, let’s quickly overview what hotel management or property management software encompasses. These robust programs are all-in-one solutions to manage reservations, housekeeping, staffing, amenities, payments, and more.
Modules that specifically help with folio management include:
- Front desk management – Guest check-ins/checkouts, charges, balances, invoicing
- Point-of-sale – On-property outlets like restaurants, gift shops, etc.
- Accounting – AR, AP, general ledger, financial reporting
- Payment processing – Credit cards, cash, checks, deposits, etc.
Hospitality software centralizes all data into a single secure database accessible through desktop and mobile interfaces. It automates manual processes for faster, more accurate operations.
Why Effective Folio Management Matters
Folio management is so critical because guest folios document every transaction during a hotel stay. This includes:
- Room rates
- Incidentals like movies or mini bar
- On-property dining and amenities
- Taxes and fees
- Payments made
- Outstanding balances
Without diligent folio tracking, generating accurate bills at checkout becomes nearly impossible. Folios provide necessary documentation if billing disputes arise. They supply data for financial reporting and optimizing operations. When folio management suffers, hotel revenue and reputation take a hit.
The software makes the entire process seamless, from the first interaction to the final payment. Now let’s look at leading solutions to enable flawless folio management.
1. Opera Property Management System
The Opera PMS by Oracle is one of the most widely used hotel management platforms worldwide. Hundreds of thousands of users rely on Opera to maximize operational efficiency.
For folio management, Opera delivers:
Automated Folio Creation
Folios are automatically created upon reservation or walk-in arrival. All charges from every outlet get systematically added.
Tailor folio templates, design, content, print layouts, and more. Add logos and property details.
Link multiple rooms and bills under a single customer account.
Process credit cards, cash, foreign currency, splits, and more. Built-in PCI compliance provides security.
Robust reporting on AR status, revenue totals, taxes, and auditing. Gain insights to optimize.
Interfaces with POS, crM, call accounting, and other systems for one version of the truth.
With 300+ interfaces, Opera PMS removes data silos for complete operational visibility. Benefits like automated night audits and posting of charges reduce manual efforts. This comprehensive solution offers enterprise-level folio management.
|Automated Night Audit||Automatic nightly aggregation of charges and payments|
|Auto-Posting||Seamlessly post transactions from integrated outlets|
|Payment Flexibility||Accept all payment types like cards, cash, checks, wire transfers, etc.|
|AR Reporting||Accounts receivable reporting for tracking outstanding balances|
|Invoicing||Built-in folio review and custom invoicing|
|Group Consolidation||Consolidate multiple rooms/folios under one account|
Opera is trusted by major hospitality brands like Hilton, IHG, Hyatt, and Marriott. With robust flexibility and customization, Opera builds the foundation for flawless folio management.
2. Onity Folio Management
Integrating with Onity locks, the Onity folio solution enables:
- Posting Charges – Post room rates, taxes, surcharges automatically
- Outlet Charges – Seamlessly add restaurant, spa, or other transactions
- Payments – Process credit cards and cash right at the lock
- Invoicing – Print or email custom folios at checkout
Additional features include real-time credit card authorizations through the lock and automated folio printing. It contains reporting on housekeeping, maintenance, audit logs, and more. With deep integration, every transaction flows seamlessly into the folio for accurate tracking.
Onity folio management synchronizes with Onity software like its Energy Management System. It also interfaces with property management systems like Oracle Opera, Infor, protel, and many more.
Whether you utilize Onity locks or another system, Onity folio management streamlines the guest billing process. Automation reduces manual efforts while improving accuracy and service.
3. InnQuest RoomMaster
InnQuest caters to independent hotels, smaller chains, and boutique properties. Their signature cloud-based HotelMaster PMS includes RoomMaster for efficient folio creation and management.
Key features for folio management include:
- Auto Folio Creation – Quickly create detailed folios upon reservation or check in
- Post All Charges – Seamlessly add restaurant, gift shop, spa charges
- Payment Processing – Process cash, checks, and credit cards for in-person or online payments
- Invoicing – Custom folio templates to print or email
Additional capabilities like package creation, credit cards on file, and group room management streamline the payment process.
For reporting, RoomMaster generates daily folio audit reports, AR agings, and credit card batch reports. Financials integrate with accounting software like Quickbooks.
With cloud hosting, RoomMaster delivers enterprise capabilities that scale for chains or individual properties. The interface works on any web-enabled device for access anywhere.
For independent hotels, RoomMaster should provide all the tools necessary for seamless folio management. The software strives to match capabilities of costlier enterprise systems at an affordable price.
4. MSI CloudPM
MSI CloudPM offers a cloud-based property management system designed for smaller hotels, motels, inns, and B&Bs. The Folio Management module handles the entire guest billing lifecycle.
Folio management features include:
- Auto Folio Creation – Quickly create detailed folios
- Daily Invoicing – Review charges and process payments each night
- Checkout Processing – Print or email custom folios
- Credit Card Processing – Built-in processing through major merchant services
- Reporting – AR status, revenues collected, taxes paid
MSI CloudPM focuses on simplicity ideal for limited staffing. The cloud foundation enables secure access from anywhere through desktop or mobile interfaces.
With capabilities tailored to smaller properties, combined with cloud benefits, MSI CloudPM can provide complete folio management. It aims to give independents enterprise-class PMS power in an affordable package.
5. Other Options
The folio management capabilities of a few other hotel PMS systems include:
HoteFantasy Cloud PMS – Web-based system with modules for reservations, check-ins, billing, reporting, and more. Includes automated folio creation, night audit, invoicing, AR, etc.
Xero Front Desk PMS – Specifically for B&Bs, inns, and vacation rentals. Handles bookings, payments, folio/invoicing, guest profiles, and reporting. Integrates with Xero accounting.
Nobel Systems – Comprehensive on-premise PMS with modules covering reservations, check-ins, folio management, accounting, reporting, inventory, etc. Includes group booking and billing capabilities.
There are many other options to evaluate like eZee Absolute, Prologic First Hotel Solutions, Guesty, Little Hotelier, ResNexus, SiteMinder, and more. Study capabilities, size suitability, and cost to make the best choice per your hotel’s unique needs.
Key Factors in Selecting Software
With so many options, zeroing in on the right hotel management software can feel overwhelming. Here are key factors to consider:
- Property Size – Enterprise platforms like Opera suit large properties best. Cloud options like MSI better serve smaller properties. Select software that aligns with your size and technical capabilities.
- Features – Ensure the system delivers specific folio management capabilities like automated folio creation, custom invoicing, payment processing, AR tracking, reporting, etc.
- Integrations – The system should integrate with any POS, locks, and other platforms you have to sync data. API and interfaces should be readily available.
- Ease of Use – Software should be intuitive for staff to learn with sufficient training resources. If overly complex, adoption will suffer.
- Technical Considerations – Cloud vs on-premise. Mobile capabilities. Flexibility for modifications. Scalability. Cybersecurity features.
- Customer Support – Look for responsiveness during trials and implementation. Ongoing support is vital.
- Cost – Pricing models (one-time, SaaS, etc.), modules, customization, and integration all impact cost. Ensure the ROI equation pencils out.
Consider these factors carefully in relation to your hotel’s unique environment and needs. Weigh pros and cons of each platform. Speak to representatives and request demos. This due diligence will lead to the best long-term solution.
Benefits of Hotel Management Software
Implementing a modern hotel PMS delivers tangible benefits for folio management. Those advantages include:
Time Savings – Automation drastically reduces manual efforts for front desk, accounting, and other staff.
Increased Accuracy – Automated folio creation, postings, night audit, etc. minimize human errors.
Enhanced Visibility – Consolidated data provides visibility into guest charges and hotel revenue.
Better Reporting – Robust reports help identify opportunities to optimize operations and revenue.
Improved Security – Centralized data, access controls, and cyber protections prevent data breaches.
Higher Guest Satisfaction – Smooth check in, integrated outlets, easy billing, and payment flexibility pleases guests.
Increased Efficiency – Less time on folios means staff can focus on elevated guest service.
With foolproof folio management, hotels reduce risks and unlock revenue potential. The benefits easily justify software investments.
Streamlining Hotel Operations
Efficient folio management is at the core of hotel operations. It sets the foundation to deliver impeccable guest experiences. Automating the process through a hotel PMS prevents inaccuracy, revenue leakage, and compliance risks.
With capabilities advancing at a rapid rate, hotels should closely evaluate options to find their perfect technology partner. The solutions profiled provide enterprise-class capabilities to handle flawless folio management for properties of any size. Careful software selection and adoption enables hotels to operate far more strategically.
At the heart of every guest stay sits the folio. When powered by the right technology, hotel management can rest assured knowing each transaction is tracked precisely. That confidence allows staff to focus fully on elevated services to delight guests. Automated folio management facilitated by capable software helps hotels operate at peak efficiency and hospitality.