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Guest Ledger - What is it?

If you use the Accounting reports in ThinkReservations, you have seen the account named Guest Ledger.  You may wonder what exactly is a Guest Ledger.  The Guest Ledger account represents the status of guest reservations/folios for in-house guests as of a specified date.  Here is a sequence of transactions that would affect the Guest Ledger account:

  • On the day of check-in, all advance deposits on a reservation are moved from Deposit Liability to credit the Guest Ledger account.
  • As revenue is earned, the Guest Ledger is debited for the amount of revenue and the related sales and occupancy taxes.  This will occur on each day of the guest's stay.
  • Additional payments made on a reservation on and after the check-in date are credited to the Guest Ledger account.
  • After the guest checks out, if the reservation has been fully paid, the Guest Ledger balance for that reservation will be zero.  If any balance is owing by or due to the guest, the balance will remain in the Guest Ledger.
  • The Guest Ledger will also include the balance due or owing on any point of sale bill where the sale date has occurred. 

At the end of the day, the Guest Ledger balance for a reservation or bill will be the difference between:

  1.  The sales of rooms and items plus the related taxes through the end of that day, and
  2. The payments received on that reservation/bill up to that date.


In the traditional hotel segment, where the property receives full payment from guests at the end of their stay, the Guest Ledger is typically in a debit balance and thus considered an asset type of account.  If you accept partial or full payment in advance, you will find that your Guest Ledger account balance will sometimes be in a credit balance.


ThinkReservations has a Guest Ledger report detailing the balances of reservations/folios in the account.  The Guest Ledger report is only available for clients with Night Audit enabled and then only for dates subjected to a Night Audit.  Here is an example of the Guest Ledger report.

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