Departing from the household name in hotel accounting is a hard choice, but it’s one that can have a tremendous payoff. Daily frustrations and gaps in their former solution’s software capabilities drove one hotel management company to break convention and switch to Inn-Flow.
CFO Ajit Patel shared how Southwest Hospitality Management changed their accounting software while trying to scale.
Southwest takes an extremely personalized approach to hotel management. They treat each property as if it’s their own, however, their accounting software was impeding their work and making it difficult to manage additional properties. Even while being hotel-specific, their platform was a barrier to efficiency and the source of daily accounting pains.
“That software was frustrating us to the point where we just didn’t want to do the things we needed to do. For example, it was tedious to set up a new general ledger account, and then have to program your reports to include it. The reports wouldn’t automatically flow through, and that alone was so frustrating.”
Patel’s approach to implementing a new system was slow and strategic. When Southwest acquired a new property, they used that opportunity to test the waters with Inn-Flow and get a sense of the platform. Then it was quickly adopted into the rest of their portfolio because of 3 distinct advantages—Inn-Flow is better, faster, and cost-effective.
What makes Inn-Flow Better?
Patel recognized Inn-Flow as the complete toolkit for hotel accountants and property managers. Users benefit from unlimited document storage, simple journal entry correction, easy-build budgets, customizable COA’s, reporting automation that is compliant with the USALI 11th edition, and more. Inn-Flow’s feature set was enough to catch Southwest’s attention, and they were excited about its user-friendly interface.
“First, you look at all the reports that Inn-Flow already has without you going in and programming it. That feature alone was number one. Then we were excited when we saw how easy it was to get all the data in and make our entries.”
Inn-Flow’s robust platform, intuitive design, and regular enhancements continue to impress Patel and his team. They never have to make another corrective journal entry again, and there are many other features that make Inn-Flow the best of breed.
“Inn-Flow solved the problems I had with our general ledger. Now it takes less than a minute to add a new GL account, edit it, and everything automatically flows into reports.”
“Even small features stood out to us about Inn-Flow like the ease of correcting the wrong coding. It takes us a few seconds to go into the ledger, find the transaction, make corrections, and update it. It’s that simple.”
“Budgeting with Inn-Flow has been incredibly easy. We can quickly run the budgeting and variance reports and just update the numbers when we need to.”
“Inn-Flow’s Support is tremendous, and their response time is incredibly fast. They get back to us in less than 24 hours every single time. You don’t get that support from other accounting software.”
Feedback Into Features
“When I get a chance, I like to send feedback to Inn-Flow. I’ve seen some of their reports improve and change right away.”
What makes Inn-Flow Faster?
After the switch, Southwest noticed how quickly they could complete their accounting duties. Patel explained that every single day he saves 30 minutes, his Controller saves 1 hour, and his Senior Accountant saves 1 hour—about 650 hours every year.
“The ease of use in Inn-Flow compared to other software is a thousand times better for me. We can do things so much faster, and our Controller is super happy because we can correct miscodings on the spot when we review our monthly transactions.”
From daily processes to monthly reviews, Inn-Flow has helped ease the pressure around their redundant tasks. Its reporting capabilities even earned recognition from Patel in recent months during the pandemic.
“Over the past year, lenders have asked for so many reports because of COVID-19 and business going down, they want to know what we’re doing every month. In a few seconds, I can just pull our reports from Inn-Flow and email them. They’re happy and I’m happy that it’s so easy to do.”
What makes Inn-Flow Cost-Effective?
Patel was paying approximately $350 per month per hotel for his former software. It also charged extra fees for PMS integration, document storage, additional users, training, etc.
“We saved a hundred dollars a month immediately. That’s $1,200 per hotel each year, and we have 10 hotels so that’s $12,000 for us. That’s good savings, and we’re not even talking about the extra fees we would pay. Inn-Flow is a lot more cost-effective—no doubt.”
Many software solutions catch users in a loop of paying for access to the best parts of their platforms. Since Inn-Flow’s pricing is all-inclusive, Patel and his team got all the bells and whistles as well as unlimited users, unlimited document storage, Inn-Flow’s Support, and regular enhancements.
Don’t Hesitate, Just Do It
Southwest’s biggest deterrent was the perception that implementation would take too much time, or that training would be overwhelming. Their previous weeklong rapid training hadn’t been effective, but Inn-Flow’s implementation process teaches bits and pieces over time. It gives new users time to let the lessons sink and try them on their own before moving to the next topics.
“The way Inn-Flow does their implementation is perfect. Any user who wants to transition to Inn-Flow should have no issues with how it’s done.”
Southwest’s journey with Inn-Flow has helped them remove their barriers to productivity and also see a significant ROI. They had access to a team of hotel experts who supported them throughout their entire move and after. Patel has one final piece of advice to anyone who is looking at switching their software.
“It’s hard to allocate time to look for a new system, but don’t postpone anymore. Switch as soon as you can, and you will be happy. Inn-Flow compared to our former solution is a huge, huge difference, and it’s just right for the 10-20 properties we’re planning.”
Just like Patel, thousands of our users have stories about how our software has helped and are glad to have switched. Since 2014, Inn-Flow has lived at the intersection of hospitality and technology. Our software was built by hoteliers, for hoteliers, and use the latest in technology to solve challenges common to the hotel industry, improve efficiency and drive performance. We’re proud to say that Inn-Flow is the preferred hotel software for many owners and operators of all sizes, across all hotel brands.