Executives in the travel industry put into place effective internal controls in corporate activities to prevent losses resulting from technological malfunction, error and fraud. Senior corporate leaders also pay attention to the performance of their businesses in peak and non-peak seasons. Accounting software is an integral tool that enables travel agency management to evaluate the economic health of their businesses.
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Travel agency accounting software is a set of programs that corporations use to record operating activities and prepare accurate reports at the end of each month and quarter. The software plays a key role in the travel industry because it enables agencies to monitor important operating data, such as travel traffic, reservations and business cycles. Tracking the cyclicality of business helps department heads understand performance trends and what seasons of the year generate higher sales.
Accounting and financial reporting applications are important parameters to which travel agency department heads and segment chiefs pay attention when drawing up long-term financial plan. The applications help travel agents monitor clients' expense trends, indicating customer preferences and popular destinations, based on the season. With accounting software, travel companies can prepare accurate financial reports and assess the economic soundness of their businesses. Financial reports include balance sheets, statements of profit and loss, statements of cash flows and statements of retained earnings. A statement of profit and loss, or P&L, is also referred to as a statement of income. "Balance sheet," "statement of financial position" and "statement of financial condition" are identical terms.
Travel agency accounting programs have various features, depending on the company size and the scope of operating activities. These features include an interface between the software and travel providers (airliners and cruise operators, for example), ledger accounting options and escort agency management tools. Other program features are earnings-tracker options, multi-currency distribution channels and scheduling tools. Earnings-tracker options help agencies monitor profit levels. Multi-currency distribution tools enable travel firms to run their businesses globally.
Accounting software comes in different "shapes and sizes." For example, a large U.S.-based travel agency catering to airline clients may possess software options integrating multi-currency channels and Department of Homeland Security compliance tools. In contrast, a small Bahamas-based cruise agency may need only a limited number of application options to run its accounting operations effectively.
Travel agencies use accounting software throughout the year, but they can customise the application to suit their business needs at specific periods. For example, a travel agency that generates more revenues in the summer may customise the software to track financial trends during the months of June, July and August.
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