The night auditor is the unsung hero in the hospitality industry. They’re the anchor runner in your hotel’s relay race. It takes a certain personality type to not only work (frequently solo) through the night when most of the world is asleep. They also set hotel staff up for success when they come in each morning. Here are some of the key traits we’ve identified in what makes exceptional night auditors.
A night auditor should be a Jack (or Jill) of all trades
Night auditors are usually one of the few, or only, staff members on duty. They’re the first line of defense for anything that might come up. This can be everything from routine guest check-ins to unpredictable computer crashes, rowdy guests or medical emergencies. Their routine duties can range from reconciling accounts to performing routine maintenance checks. They may monitor the hotel bar or prepare activity logs for the next day. An exceptional night auditor will see this variety of duties as a way to keep their job feeling new and challenging, rather than feel overwhelmed by them. Next level night auditors will also be eager to add to these burgeoning responsibilities by learning more skills and improving upon their existing processes.
Grace under pressure
Regardless of what unexpected events happen throughout the night, night auditors are the general manager on duty. Their first priority is to make all guests feel comfortable in their stays. When the unexpected occurs (like a medical emergency), the night auditor needs to move quickly to address the issue and also be a resource for the guests. Night auditors will be the first line of defense for the hotel but also the voice representing the guests. This also frequently means that night auditors will be juggling multiple initiatives at the same time and managing stress throughout their shifts.
As we mentioned before, the night auditor is essentially the anchor in the relay race. They set hotel staff up for success for the following day. There are frequently no other team members to turn to for direction. That means night auditors will be comfortable setting their own priorities and initiatives for the evening. This is especially critical because the team for the entire next day will depend upon the groundwork the night auditor lays. Hotel staff will spend the rest of their day playing catch up if the night auditor does not complete hospitality checklists, balance accounts and stock resources. Not only does this make for less efficient use of hotel staff resources, but it also leaves them feeling stressed and thus less likely to greet guests as warmly as they would otherwise.
Good with figures
Night auditors usually count cashflow, reconcile accounts, and report on revenue for the day. As a hotel manager, you want someone who is comfortable with figures to be handling the hotel’s cash flow for the day. You also want someone who can immediately identify and communicate any issues as soon as they arise. If a supplier overcharges or under delivers, you want night auditors to thoroughly review their order slips and ensure they address mistakes (which are bound to happen occasionally) immediately. Generally, night auditors have a process. They will balance all departments first and then look for errors. This can include information from revenue center departments, front office accounts, and vouchers, pulling all this information from source documents. They’ll also verify room rates and prepare reports for the next day. This requires someone who is detail oriented but also has a high-level understanding of how each department affects the others.
A people person
Hotel staff greet the whole world at the front desk, and night auditors are no exception. In fact, because guests who arrive during the night shift are more likely to be jet-lagged, you want someone on the night shift to be particularly sensitive to people’s needs during this time. Likewise, if guests are having problems sleeping, night auditors will lend a compassionate ear and anticipate their needs.
Night auditors are frequently the hotel staff who work behind the scenes to set their team up for success. They balance an incredible array of duties. By the time daylight hits, make sure their team is walking into a stocked, safe and thoroughly prepped hotel. Sometimes people overlook night auditing because they conduct the bulk of their work as everyone else sleeps. We forget that our days run smoothly thanks to their efforts.
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