For each guest whom the vacation rental owner does not submit the bulletin to SEF, the fine can range from 100€ to 2000€. Possibly, some vacation rental owners don´t send it in time due to the bureaucracy involved. Of course, large hotels have tools that make this communication automatic, paperless and without going to the SIBA-SEF portal, a kind of E-ZPass available to everyone but in reality, only accessible for a few.
In this tutorial, we explain how to create your automatic submission tool to SEF, using an Excel sheet adapted from a simple online form.
It works as follows:
- Each guest fills in an online form.
- The data is recorded in the spreadsheet.
- The day after the check-in the spreadsheet can automatically send the data to the SEF, without delays or worries
What do you need to avoid going to SIBA-SEF?
- A Gmail account (email@example.com) because we are going to use the Google Spreadsheet tools (spreadsheet/excel) and a Google Form (form). Creating a Gmail account is easy and free. Creating a Gmail account is easy and free.
- 10 minutes of your time to get everything up and running.
- We will have to send an email to SEF (firstname.lastname@example.org) requesting to change the sending accommodation bulletin method to “Web service”, mentioning the NIF associated with the accommodation. It should take 24 hours to get an answer.
Do it yourself
After creating a Gmail account, you will have access to Google Drive, where you can save all types of files in the cloud. Your “My Drive” should now be empty.
- Make a copy of the Google Spreadsheet that we have prepared for you.
- Understand how the form works.
- Understand how the spreadsheet works.
- Submit an accommodation newsletter for the first time.
Step 1: Spreadsheet copy
Go to this spreadsheet and then copy it to your “Drive”. Just go to the menu bar, click “File” and then “Make a copy”, as in the example above.
Step 2: Understand how the SEF Form Works
In your Drive you will then have 2 new files:
- Spreadsheet copy
- A copy of the application form with the necessary fields for submission to SEF. The form was already created and linked to the original spreadsheet, which is why this copy appears here. O formulário já estava criado e ligado à folha de cálculo original, por isso é que aparece aqui esta cópia.
Step 3: Understand the form
To access the form, go to your Google Drive and click on Google Form.
As in the example below, clicking on this quiz will take you to its editable version.
Extra tip: you can access the quiz directly from the spreadsheet. Inside the spreadsheet, go to the menu bar and click on “Form” and then on “Edit Form”
This is where you can customize it by adding new questions, changing the introduction text, etc. Be careful not to change the order of the first 12 questions, which are mandatory for sending to SEF.
By clicking on the eye icon at the top, you will be able to access the form preview that the guest will fill out.
In the editable part of the form, click on “Submit” to access the sharing link for this quest quiz.
Extra tip: we can take the opportunity to ask guests for some relevant information at check-in: what is the estimated time of arrival, flight number and any special requests. Add these questions at the end of the form, in a different section that is optional to answer.
Ideally, we want to share the quest quiz with our guests via the “SEND” button, but this can be a tricky task. For example, Airbnb blocks links in messages. We recommend that you place this link in the House Instructions part, available to guests along with other house information.
Step 3: Understand the Spreadsheet
The spreadsheet is organized into 2 sheets: Form Responses and Profile.
On this sheet are the guests’ answers. When you complete the form, a row is automatically added to this sheet, representing an entry in your accommodation.
Extra tip: if you wish, you can receive a notification as soon as a guest completes the quest quiz. In the spreadsheet menu, go to “Tools” and then click on “Notification rules”.
The first 12 columns have the mandatory information to send to SEF.
In the first column is the sending status if the line is sent.
In the example you can read “YES”, meaning that this guest’s data has been sent because we have reached the check-in date. The line will also be coloured green if the information has been sent successfully or red if not.
On the second sheet should be your accommodation data. The spreadsheet is prepared to send information about only one accommodation.
Below, you can see the “automatic periodic submission to SEF”, option as well as the manual.
If the automatic option is “ON”, the spreadsheet every day analyses the answers filled in the form and sends the data to SIBA SEF when the check-in date is before than the current one.
Step 5: Implement
- Add our data to the “Profile” sheet
- Send an email to SEF (email@example.com) asking to change the sending method of the accommodation bulletin to “Web service”, mentioning the NIF associated with the accommodation. It should take 24 hours to get a reply.”
- Prepare the simplified link of the form to give to our guests
- Trial the system with 1 guest who has already checked in.
- After the form is completed and the answers appear on our spreadsheet, manually submit the data by clicking the “Click to send to SEF now” button on the “Profile” sheet.
- If the line turns green and the first column has “YES” everything is working fine. Congratulations! You have sent your first accommodation bulletin to the SIBA automatically.
- Set the option “Periodic automatic sending to the automatic SEF” to “ON”.
- do not change the Profile or Form Responses worksheets order.
- do not add quest quiz fields before the required questions for the SEF or to the spreadsheet
This tool is a cheap and quick way to save time (yours and of your guests) and to improve the accommodation bulletin submission process to the SIBA-SEF.