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Hotel accountants save thousands in direct cost and take nearly a week out of the monthly financials publication cycle with txt2pdf.

InnControl is a comprehensive backoffice accounting system for hotel management companies. It is Unix based and designed to reduce complexity and administrative attention while delivering the multi-user and multi-company function required. Financial statements published for hotel companies are numerous, complex, and targeted toward varied audiences. It is not unusual to find properties with 1,000 accounts in their chart of accounts, almost 20 pages of report at the detail level. Commonly 8 to 10 different financial reports will be prepared monthly with detail P&L statements going to supervisors and managers contrasted with one page summaries sent to lenders and investors.

Furthermore InnControl is a distributed application. Portions of the accounting function are done on-property using a subset of the application code on Windows PCs. Other parts are handled at the central accounting office. Information is shared among the sites using internet connections, dial-up connections, or in some cases both.

Traditionally financial reports were published on paper or sometimes distributed as print image text files. It is also common for "preliminary" financials to be published and distributed to managers for review and comment. This put mail time into the publication cycle.

With the integration of txt2pdf into InnControl, preliminary financial reports are published directly and only in PDF format. The "prelims" are emailed directly to reviewing managers, taking paper and time out of the publication cycle. Final reports are also published directly in PDF format, although a few of the rich and powerful still demand and get paper reports. Interestingly most lenders and investors prefer the email/PDF delivery of their reports, as it not only means they arrive sooner, but they can be more easily filed and manipulated.

Because monthly financial reports are integral to the day-to-day decision making process in the hotel business any reduction in the lag between period-end and reports in-hand is valuable. Txt2pdf makes it possible to go from "prelims" published on the 10th and "finals" delivered on the 20th to "prelims" published on the 10th and "finals delivered on the 15th.

Integration of txt2pdf into InnControl was a piece of cake. We built a little front end to analyze the report image (a text file) and build a custom configuration file. Five man days for a programmer who had never seen perl or txt2pdf and our financial report writer is just as happy building PDF files as it is writing those same reports on a laser printer.

This is a sample report

J Daniel Skinner
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