Standardizing Internal Audit & Internal Control Across 2,500 Hotels

November 20, 2018

If you travel a lot, it’s possible you’ve stayed at least once at a hotel operated by AccorHotels, a world-leading travel & lifestyle group and digital innovator. More than 30 brands are part of AccorHotels, including well-known names like Fairmont, Sofitel, Novotel, ibis and others. The Group’s 4,500 hotels are located in about 100 countries, and AccorHotels relies on a global team of more than 250,000 dedicated staff. AccorHotels is the largest hotel group outside of the U.S. Every two days, a new AccorHotels address opens its doors somewhere in the world.

With an unrivaled portfolio of internationally renowned hotel brands encompassing the entire range from luxury to economy, from upscale to lifestyle and midscale brands, AccorHotels has been providing savoir-faire and expertise for more than 50 years. In addition to its core hospitality business, AccorHotels has successfully expanded its range of services, becoming the world leader in luxury private residence rental with more than 10,000 properties around the world. The Group is also active in the fields of concierge services, co-working, dining, events management and digital solutions.

AccorHotels received the at SPF EMEA 2018 for successfully standardizing internal audit and internal control across the organization.

AccorHotels at SPF EMEAThe AccorHotels team at SPF EMEA 2018

Let’s take a closer look at how things were in the past, and how internal audit and internal control changed after implementing Enablon.

The Risks with Spreadsheets and Manual Processes

At AccorHotels, internal audit is also officially in charge of internal control procedures and reviews across all hotels. Internal audit conducts internal control self-assessments throughout the organization. Each self-assessment questionnaire includes about 500 questions for each business unit, and about 170 questions for each hotel. In the past, Excel templates were used for internal control questionnaires, and all self-assessments were stored in an Access database.

Regarding internal audits, there were approximately 400 hotel audits per year, also performed by using Excel templates and also stored in an Access database. The process was time-consuming, and prone to manual data entry errors and incomplete audits. More importantly, it would take months to create dashboards and reports on audit results, and the analysis of the findings would be limited.

The situation was not sustainable and AccorHotels turned to Enablon for a better solution for internal audit and internal control.

A Single Tool for Internal Audit and Internal Control

AccorHotels now uses Enablon for internal audit and internal control. The internal name of the system is ADICT (AccorHotels Digital Internal Control Tool). ADICT is used by 3,000 users in 11 languages. Through ADICT, users deploy and run self-assessments at 2,500 hotels, and have conducted more than 700 audits so far.

Having a single tool, rather than Excel templates and Access databases, allows AccorHotels to better focus on risks throughout all hotels by comparing the findings of internal control self-assessments with the ideal levels where internal controls should be. The Group can also benchmark individual business units and hotels, and follow-up with effective action plans.

The Enablon-based ADICT facilitates the worldwide supervision of activities and enhances traceability. ADICT also provides a faster way to create dashboards and reports, and gives quick access to key statistics. But by far the top benefit is standardization. There is now only one way of assessing internal controls and conducting internal audits. For example, everyone is using the same audit procedures, so everyone is auditing the same way across the Group.

There are no local variations that could have led to risks of inconsistent findings from one hotel to another and different assessments of control effectiveness. A central team configures questionnaires and deploys them, follows up on the progress, validates the results, and analyzes the findings through reports created with just a few steps. The entire process takes much less time, and is more reliable because of dedicated follow ups and automatic reminders of actions. AccorHotels has used Enablon for a year and a half, and more than 40,000 audit recommendations have been generated so far in the system.

As a result of using Enablon to successfully standardize internal audit and internal control across the organization, we’re proud to have designated AccorHotels as the winner of the at SPF EMEA 2018. The recognition is fully deserved, and we look forward to be a part of AccorHotels’ journey towards further automating and improving internal control and internal audit processes.

Webinar GRC Operational Excellence