Whether you’re using paper or spreadsheets, manual invoicing is inefficient, leading to costly human errors, late payments and approval delays. In fact, the average accounts department employee processes five invoices per hour (1,000 invoices per month), with each invoice costing up to £15. For growing serviced apartment and coliving businesses that host multiple guest stays per month, the cost of manual invoicing is astronomical and unnecessary.
Meanwhile, automation comes into its own with a property management system: meaning no mistakes, no missing zeroes and no hassle. Specifically made for the unique accounting needs of innovative living businesses, res:harmonics automated billing feature cuts costs and time. Here’s how.
Instead of spending time manually creating, amending, sending and chasing invoices (not to mention updating the finance system), automated invoicing creates invoices at the time of a booking, updates them in-line with booking amendments and sends them to guests at the end of their stay. Auto-generated invoices are synced directly with the property management system and financial structure, which avoids the need for manual data entry, cuts out the chance for human error and makes year-end accounting and compliance much simpler.
What’s more, the invoicing feature can handle unique needs. For example, Finnish-based coliving operator Noli Studios uses res:harmonics coliving software to calculate invoices according to guests' length of stay, decreasing price the longer the stay. “res:harmonics did a great job enabling that for us,” says Ilkka Kaakinen, Head of Commercial at Noli Studios. “If you stay longer you pay less than before; if shorter, the new total is tallied in the final invoice. It’s working really well.”
With an automated financial system linked to a property management system, serviced apartment and coliving operators can manage sending finance emails to guests. Operators can set the timing of the initial invoice email (i.e. sending an invoice via PDF the day after departure) and control regularity of chase emails (i.e. every week or fortnight).
In addition, operators can send stylish communications that use their own company branding (using invoices to assist marketing efforts) and can even add in ‘early pay’ discounts or offer ‘money-off next bookings’ for particular guests, such as those staying for over one month, which drives repeat custom and builds loyalty amongst targeted customer segments.
Creating and sending invoices is just one side of the coin: a seamless payments process is also key to great user experience. With automated billing, serviced apartment and coliving operators can take payments for invoices online through a 3D secure portal, which ensures payment security and authenticity. Through the 3D portal, corporate companies with credit terms can make reservations without entering card details, while individual guests can make payment at the time of booking.
The payments system is synced with the property management system, allowing operators to easily view payments and billing via the management dashboard. This helps the finance department track incomings and outgoings. For instance, res:harmonics saved time and money for serviced apartment operator, EasyFlat, by implementing an automatic financial process. This not only eliminated lots of mistakes - which is especially important for a company part of an eight-business group - but also avoided the need to hire an assistant CFO. “If you do what we do, there is no other programme that ticks all the boxes like res:harmonics,” says Mikael Lundstram, EasyFlat CEO.
Automated invoicing is a built-in feature of the res:harmonics all-in-one property management system, and is available to all serviced apartment and coliving operators as part of the monthly package. Therefore, if you send 500 invoices per month (at £15 per invoice), you could make an annual saving of £90,000.
What’s more, res:harmonics offers a wide array of exciting financial integrations. From collecting guest payments through GoCardless and managing taxes through Sage Line 50 to tracking expenses with Quickbooks and managing company's finances with Fortnox, res:harmonics PMS has everything you need to make accounting as simple as possible. Say goodbye to monthly manual invoicing, and say hello to cost-saving automation.
Download the Ultimate Guide to Serviced Apartment Property Management Software 2023 to learn how property management software supports serviced apartment operators.
Request a demo to find out more.