Jill Calder, 39, was only caught when she left North British Trust Hotels for another job and another employee spotted irregularities in the books.
Yesterday at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, fiscal depute John Kirk said: "It appears this came to light when one of the staff who was due legitimate expenses had not received payment
"The matter was looked into and bookkeeping irregularities were discovered.
"An investigation revealed she had abused her position as purchase ledger manager and had been paying amounts to herself.
"On one occasion she had actually paid back some of the money she had taken."
Mr Kirk added that Calder's bookkeeping work did not appear to have been checked until she left the company.
Calder, of Marina Road, Bathgate, admitted embezzling 76,871.98 while purchase ledger manager at North British Trust Hotels, Queen Charlotte Lane, Edinburgh, between 1 July, 2004, and 16 March, 2009.
Defence agent Graeme Clark said the money had been frittered away and that Calder had lost her home and job during that time.
He told the court Calder's parents were now attempting to buy her home, which had been repossessed.
Sheriff Deirdre MacNeill QC deferred sentence on Calder for background reports until next month.
Calder was released on bail in the meantime.