How we cut 80% of CFO admin and built real-time financials for a Short-term Rental Manager

The client: a hospitality business flying blind

A property management and hospitality company with $2M in annual revenues, managing short-term rental properties on behalf of owners. Bookings are generated through third-party platforms like Airbnb, HomeAway, Expedia, and, as well as direct bookings on their website. The company employs 15-20 on-site staff, supported by an IT team in India.

The problem: reconciling revenues across 5 platforms manually

The client never quite knew how the business was doing because they relied on manual reconciliation of revenue data across five different OTA platforms. Monthly financials were often inaccurate by +/- 20% and took 2-3 weeks to prepare, which occupied the majority of the CFO’s time. It was almost impossible to make timely strategic and operational decisions, and unexpected costs or revenue shortfalls created constant cash flow problems which only increased as the business grew.

The solution: automated revenue reconciliation

The first challenge was data collection from third-party OTA booking platforms. Most OTA’s lack direct API access, so we built a custom data collection system to centralize all booking data across every platform including the client’s own direct booking system.

We then embedded several layers of verification and accounting logic to ensure all revenue was recorded on an accrual basis (e.g. how much should we allocate to each month for cross-month bookings, say May 21 to June 5?), and added daily checks to make updates based on guest changes or cancellations.

The resulting data was populated into a Google Sheets file and the client’s Quickbooks, which were updated on a daily basis. Combined with variable cost estimates generated using historical data, the leadership team now had a real-time understanding of the business not only for the current month but also for up to 6 months ahead.

The result: 80% reduction in CFO admin and real-time financials

This transformation enabled the client to make more accurate and timely strategic and operational decisions and achieved an 80% reduction in administrative tasks for the CFO, significantly enhancing their overall business efficiency and performance.