A Trip Focus Makes Everything Easier
“It all begins with the trip Invoice Centric vs. Trip Centric"
Back “in the day”, Travel Agents and Travel Agencies were very “GDS centric.” Even if not booked in the GDS, EVERYTHING went into the GDS. The GDS was then used to view travel details and create invoices, which interfaced to Back Office systems (Trams Back Office) for reporting and accounting.
In the 90’s, when ClientBase was released, Travel Agencies were starting to become less GDS centric. Seeing this trend emerge, we created the “Res Card”; which at the time was an outrageous move. The concept of the Res Card was Travel Agents did not have to enter the trip information into a passive segment in the GDS to get the information to an invoice and hence the back office. The “Res Card”, named as a replacement for the manual note card many agents kept on a trip, would house information on that trip. Rather than enter the data into the GDS to generate an invoice to move the booking data to the Back Office, the Res Card would generate the invoice and move the invoice to the Back Office. For the first time Travel Agencies had multiple ways to create invoices from which Back Office reporting came from.
We thought we were smart and being creative. But truth is we missed something. Then again evolution happens in steps. in
Today, the invoice being the focus of both accounting and managerial reporting causes a lot of issues for the travel industry. Invoices vary based upon deposits, different parts of the reservation being billed, tracking money back from suppliers, partial pays, payment type variances etc. In such common situations, managements reports are a mess.
The fact is invoices were never meant for nor designed to be used for management reporting. Invoices are meant to have very limited basic data related to accounting. When, how much, who is due, what is the commission owed to the agency and what is owed to the agent. And that is it!
All transactions (i.e.: reservations), regardless of how they were transacted flow to the trip, which is where back office reports come from. Invoices are generated from the trip manager but are for general ledger purposes only and hence, more flexible and far less data!