Check Out in Front Office

Check out and settlement are part of the final stages of the guest cycle. It is the final phase of the guest cycle and examines the various activities involved in checkout and settlement. Check out involves the front desk as also other departments such as housekeeping, bell desk, cashier’s desk, Point of sales etc. Main areas for a checkout are the bell desk and the cashier.The Front Office performs at least 3 important functions during the checkout and settlement process.

  1. It resolves outstanding guest account balances.
  2. It updates room status information
  3. It creates guest history records.

Guest account settlement depends on effective Front Office accounting system that maintains accurate guest folios, verifies and authorizes a method of settlement and resolves discrepancies in account balances. Hotels find it most effective to settle a guest account while the guest is still in the hotel. Guest can settle the bill by paying cash, charging the balance to a credit card, deferring payment to an approved direct billing entity or using a combination of payment methods.

Table of Contents


At the Reception desk

  • The Front desk receptionist checks the list of expected checkouts for the day and will confirm with the guest his date and time of checkout.
  • Departure notification slips are printed to inform the other departments of the guest’s checkout.
  • In a manual system the room racks are updated. The departure register is also updated.
  • Checking for the mail messages and faxes.
  • Checking for safe deposit box or in room safe keys.

At the cashier’s desk

  • Verifying account information.
  • Posting any remaining charges to the guest’s folio.
  • Presenting the guest folio.
  • Verifying the method of payment.
  • Processing the account payment.
  • Securing the room key.
  • Updating the room status.

Traditionally at check out guest is presented a final copy of his/her account folio for review and settlement. Front Office Assistant should confirm how the guest intends to settle the account. Guest may establish credit by presenting a credit card but may choose to settle his bill by cash or travelers cheque. VIP or special guests or corporate accounts should not be asked for settlement if their account is marked that all charges are to be Direct Billed.Front Office Assistant should bring the guest account balance to zero, called zeroing out. When guest pays by cash or credit card, hotels assume that the payment is full and close the folio. If the account is to be paid through Direct Billing by the hotel, however the account is not brought to a zero balance because it must be transferred to the city ledger and billed through the account receivable system.


A guest account can be brought to a zero balance in several ways. Methods of settlement include cash payment, credit card or Direct Billing transfer or combined settlement method.

Settlement of Guest Accounts with credit card

  • For Approved credit cards verify that the credit card voucher filed with the folio belongs to the correct guest. Also verify that the credit card number and name are legible on the voucher.
  • If the folio balance exceeds the previously authorized amount, the card Centre must be called for authorization. Compare the voucher and the credit card to ensure that the signatures match.
  • If the guest has presented an approved credit card at check-in, this same credit card must be used in settling the account. If the guest wishes to charge the account to another credit card, it must be verified through the credit card authorization Centre before settling the account.
  • Enter the correct amount on the EDC machine after swiping the credit card.
  • Get signature from the guest.
  • Select the correct credit card type and enter the same amount as what appearing on EDC slip while settling the guest bill.

Bill to Company settlements

  • A folio must be presented to the guest for signature on all ‘Bill to Company’ settlements.
  • An approval letter for the company Credit settlement / Voucher should be attached with signed invoice copy by the guest.
  • A credit card cannot be accepted as authorization for Company Credit facility by the hotel.

Payment of Guest Account By Personal Cheque

  • Accepting payment by Personal cheque depends upon hotel management’s policy.
  • In case the hotel allows settlement by personal cheque, then the cheque must be imprinted with the guest’s name, address and telephone number and the cheque number must be at least 200 or higher.
  • Do not accept cheque that is obviously drawn on a new account.
  • Checks may be accepted for the exact amount of the folio balance, provided proper credit information (and approval) was secured at check-in and is indicated on the folio.
  • If this information has not been taken, the cashier must secure it (and any necessary approvals) and record it before accepting the check.
  • In the absence of credit information, record the room number, address, telephone number and date of checkout on the front of the check.
  • The cashier should also notify the Front Office Manager or Duty manager if the required information was not collected at the time of guest check in.
  • Also, If possible, a credit card authorization letter should be collected from the guest as a precaution just in case the check did not cash in.

Settlement by Cash or Foreign currency

  • In certain countries for settlement by cash if the bill value is greater than certain amount ( Eg: more than 50000 etc.) , then the guest need to provide a valid government ID like (PAN card, Passport etc.) while payment.
  • Also in case the hotel is not allowed accept foreign currency for bill settlement then, The cashier should perform a proper foreign currency exchange and then adjust the amount with the outstanding guest bill.

Combined Settlement

A guest may elect to use more than one settlement method to bring the folio balance to zero. E.g., guest may make partial cash payment and charge the reminder of the account balance to an acceptable credit card. The Front Office Assistant must accurately record the combined settlement methods and take care that all required paper work is properly completed. Once the guest has settled the account the Front Office Assistant should provide the guest with a copy of the folio. Good evaluation and follow up should be there as it is the last chance to make an impression.

Amit Kumar
Amit Kumar
Hii! Welcome to My digital home, I am Amit – an almost no-code generalist, helping businesses with their online presence using WordPress and other tools and simplifying some of their operations with ideas and automation. A psychology and philosophy geek by interest and a graduate in Hospitality Management. I founded hmhelp during college, which got me into WordPress. I am a highly motivated and results-oriented professional with a proven track record of success in the hospitality industry. I’m also a Digital Marketing Enthusiast with significant academic and practical experience managing digital content across multiple platforms. Skilled at SEO optimization, developing digital content for social media platforms, I offer extensive knowledge of multiple software programs, strong attention to detail, and extraordinary communication skills. If you are interested in talking about any of the topics I have mentioned on my website, you are in the right place. You can contact me or learn more about what I do. You can also connect with me on social networks.

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