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Finance vs Revenue - What's The Difference?

As a student, you’re probably thinking of revenue management and finance as one of the same. Categorised as something like “math” or “numbers” in your mind.

But have you considered them as a career option? Probably not.

After all, you started studying in hospitality because you wanted to work with people and have a personal interaction with customers, not to sit behind a desk looking at excel spreadsheets.

I was the same when I was a student. Even though I was good at the “math” and “numbers”, I didn’t see myself doing anything like that.

Or maybe I was never presented this as an opportunity? 🤔

Well, here is your opportunity. I wrote this post so that you know that finance and revenue management are totally feasible options for your future in the hospitality industry.

Finance and revenue management definitions

Finance and revenue management are not the same. Very different in fact.

Their jobs are not all just about excel spreadsheets, there is a whole lot of relationship management and working with people too!


The key objective of the whole finance department is to track all hotel costs and make sure that the revenue turns into profit.

Revenue management

Revenue is all about selling at the right time, at the right price, to the right client.

Apart from the fact that the two departments deal with money, there aren’t that many similarities.

The differences between finance and revenue management


Finance: manages the income from all hotel operations.

Revenue: manages only the room revenue of the hotel.


Finance: budgeting and investment decisions for the whole hotel.

Revenue: defines hotel room pricing strategy, in comparison to the market, competition, and other factors that impact room price.


Finance: accounting and reporting of income, costs, payroll, taxes, etc.

Revenue: sales strategy, inventory management, daily analysis, long term planning and forecasting demand and revenue.

So as you can see, the two departments are very different. Hotel finance is kind of like finance of any other business, while revenue management is unique to hotels.

Learn everything about jobs in the hotel finance department here. I break down all job roles in the finance department of a hotel, from the lowest to highest roles.

My favourite is procurement! Check it out 👆

A bit more about revenue management

It's not just Excel spreadsheets and graphs

When it comes to revenue management, yes, you will need to look at excel spreadsheets and build graphs and analyse data, but you do not have to be an excel master already.

You just need to be willing to learn and be interested in finding patterns or outliers in data. Data analysis is just part of the picture.

Revenue management is highly strategic and there are many factors that play a role in determining room rates. It’s not an isolated job, you do not get to sit by yourself and decide the room rates.

You will work closely with sales on pre-negotiated and group rates, and marketing on value-add offers. Just to put it in perspective, so communication and building relationships is essential in revenue management!

In resources on this site, you will find The Hotel Guide: a comprehensive document outlining all hotel departments and the jobs within them 📕.

Discover hotels jobs you didn't know about!

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