It is a common question, how often should your hotel have an internal audit done? The answer: well, it depends. Here is why:
First, how often do most hotels actually conduct an internal audit? Most hotels will say they are audited once per year. However, most hotels have the goal of being audited once per year. In reality, they are audited only every 2 or 3 years in most cases.
Having a goal of once per year is a good start. But we recommend that you set your goal based on the results of the last audit. If the hotel scored 90 percent or better on the last audit, conducting one audit per year is fine. However, if the hotel scored less than 90 percent, we recommend that the hotel creates a 90 day action plan to improve their results and then the hotel is audited again after 90 days.
We understand the expense of conducting an audit, however, the amount of money that could be lost by a hotel with improper controls could easily be far more than the cost of an audit.
A few additional audit tips:
First, the audits should always be completely unannounced. We usually recommend that the Controller and other key managers who are needed for the audit submit a schedule of any vacation days so the auditor does not show up during their vacation.
Second, the follow up on the audit is just as important as the audit itself. Many hotels will score poorly year after year. Passing the internal audit should be on every Controller’s list of goals and yearly review.