The importance of financial management knowledge and accounting skills among department managers in the hotel industry within the Cape Town metropolis
The hospitality industry has undergone far-reaching changes based on discussions held with industry representatives. Due to the rapid development of accounting systems there is an over reliance on systems to control costs. This influences the accounting skills of department managers, which are insufficient to manage their departments effectively. The research investigates the role and relevance of accounting skills amongst department managers of selected hotels in Cape Town. The research methodology employed a semi-structured questionnaire that was used to collect quantitative and qualitative data. The focus was on selected three-star (3) and five-star (5) hotels within Cape Town. The findings were drawn from a small sample of 45 hotels, among which 35 participants from the 45 hotels completed the questionnaire. A review of literature identified a strong need for department managers to have accounting skills, but there is limited evidence whether they actually hold these skills. Statistical analysis of the responses revealed that less than 50% of the participants were confident that they had sufficient accounting skills to manage their departments effectively. Two key issues were identified (1) the benefits of accounting skills (2) the need for formal accounting skills training. If the findings and concerns of the lack of accounting skills are not addressed it will affect cost control, costs will increase and profitability will be negatively affected. Recommendations include more interaction and forging links between academia and industry. A challenge for hospitality academics is review current financial management training provided and introduces mentorship programmes to develop the accounting skills of department managers.