How to Get an Itemized Receipt from a Hotel [+ Other Tips for Reconciling Business Lodging Costs]
Everyone in business understands the importance of a paper trail. Every swipe, tap or insert of the business credit card must be recorded and reconciled.
This is especially important when employees stay in a hotel for business travel and charge things to the room. Keeping on top of it all can be quite an undertaking for those in expense bookkeeping.
Curious about the easiest ways to get an itemized receipt from a hotel and hoping for some tips that make reconciliation easier?
We’ll answer some FAQs about itemized receipts and include ways to streamline your whole expense management process.
Table of Contents
1. What is an Itemized Receipt?
2. Why an Itemized Receipt is Necessary
3. Best Ways to Get an Itemized Receipt
4. How Hotel Engine Simplifies Accounting
What is an Itemized Receipt?
An itemized receipt contains a detailed list of everything billed and the total amount due regarding someone’s stay in a hotel.
What Should an Itemized Receipt Include?
An itemized receipt is basically a detailed invoice. It contains the date of service, sales tax, room or county occupancy tax, room charges and any additional incidentals.
This itemized list shows the total amount due, proof of payment and method of payment after it’s settled.
Most include the following:
- Folio number (the guest account number or hotel bill number)
- Receipt number
- Room number
- Arrival and departure date
- Membership or rewards club number, if applicable
- Phone number/contact information for the hotel
How to Interpret an Itemized Receipt
Most itemized receipts from hotels are pretty simple to interpret, and each section is clearly labeled.
The date — usually found on the column to the left — reflects the date of the transaction. The description field states which type of service is being billed. The columns on the right show charges, balances and payments.
Discover: Virtual Accounts vs. Business Credit Cards for Expenses
Why an Itemized Receipt is Necessary
From small businesses to large corporations, IRS guidelines require that all business expenses have itemized receipts when the nature of the transaction doesn’t appear on the credit card receipt.
Thus, an itemized receipt from a hotel is necessary for tax purposes as it contains all the required information.
In addition, it helps businesses to account for money spent within the company as they reconcile the funds used on the business trip.
If an employee has a per diem, it’s important to note that they did not go over that amount and that they charged room service and incidentals appropriately.
Plus, while it’s rare, hotels occasionally might accidentally double charge for hotel services, or add a charge to the wrong account. Mistakes happen, so it’s important that reconciliation can uncover any billing errors.
Having an itemized receipt makes it easy to see exactly what the guest was charged for so that they can verify accuracy. If you need to dispute a charge, you can contact the hotel and request reimbursement for the error.
Related: What Employers Should Know About Per Diem and Employee Rights
Best Ways to Get an Itemized Receipt
Most major hotel brands provide itemized receipts or folios upon request. If a guest formally checks out with the front desk staff, they can request their original receipt there.
However, guests dealing with tight travel timelines may have to dash to get to the airport on time and not be able to stop by the front desk first. And since many hotels no longer require a formal, in-person check-out, it’s tempting to skip a long line at the front desk and just head out.
In that case, you can just give the hotel a call later and request the itemized receipt via email.
Companies that book with Hotel Engine can skip this step altogether. Folios will be made instantly available in their Hotel Engine account once the stay is completed.
That’s just one of many benefits to joining Hotel Engine when it comes to reconciliation.
How Hotel Engine Simplifies Accounting
Hunting down itemized receipts is a tedious part of reconciliation. In fact, the average office employee spends 1.5 hours a day just looking for things needed to do their job.
Hotel Engine has designed tools specifically to ease this pain point for organizations that travel frequently.
Access to Folios and Statements in One Place
Know exactly where to find what you need, when you need it. Invoices and statements are stored neatly and efficiently in your Hotel Engine dashboard.
Accounting and administrative teams will be able to see all of the folios for all of the travelers they oversee at a single glance. You can check the payment status for all folios as well.
Hotel Engine Reporting and Analytics Feature
Beyond simple reconciliation, Hotel Engine’s reporting and analytics features assist with long-term planning and driving efficiencies. Users can see data like average nightly rates in different cities to better understand what is being spent, in what destinations, by which travelers and on what projects.
You can view everything together with the broad overview or use the sort and filter capability to narrow it down to exactly what you’re looking for. Then, easily export the desired info to a CSV or PDF straight from your Hotel Engine account.
Customize Code Data
Every organization has its own way of categorizing expenditures for accounting. With Hotel Engine, teams can save time and manual effort by customizing and adding unique fields — specific to your business — to your reports. That way, receipts can be instantly organized by job codes, department codes, terminal numbers or anything else that makes sense for your team and the way your projects break down.
This reduces busy work for the accounting team, making it much faster to reconcile folios and match an itemized receipt from a traveler’s stay to the appropriate job or category.
Monthly Invoice with Direct Bill
Hotel Engine’s Direct Bill program is another time-saver for accountants. Qualifying members can get a single line of credit to apply to all reservations and even incidentals. Then, all lodging expenses can be paid off with a single invoice and processed altogether.
Flexible Payment Options
Hotel Engine lets you pay off statements with whichever method of payment is most convenient for you: credit card, check or ACH.
Want to earn free hotel stays? Check out Hotel Engine’s Rewards Program
In today’s fast-paced world, simplifying and driving efficiency is key. Using travel tools like Hotel Engine that were built for business and informed by common pain points is a great way to save time and streamline processes.
Sign up for your Hotel Engine membership now — it’s free to join and use!
Audrey Fairbrother is the Content and SEO Manager at Hotel Engine. She spends her days writing about all things business travel, researching topics that are important to Hotel Engine’s audience and cultivating the company’s brand voice. When she’s not working, Audrey enjoys spending time with her family, and hiking in the nearby Rockies with her dog, Albie.