Are you truly in control of your Account Reconciliations?
It’s 2023 … and baffling as it may sound, a Gartner survey revealed, that only 30% of Finance Transformation projects are seen through to successful completion.
In any Finance Transformation, Account Reconciliations play a leading role, as so many outcomes and insights depend on and converge here. It also remains one of the top pain points for CFO’s.
Yet, with ever growing quantities of data in GLs and multiple sub-ledgers across the globe - often sitting in dispersed legacy systems - account reconciliation challenges are mounting and so is the frustration across Finance teams.
With this increased amount of financial data that needs managing and governing, technology solutions allow for intelligent access on-demand, better asset deployment and more agile risk mitigation because of the transparency and data-truth they can produce.
But, if the Account Reconciliations process is not optimised intelligently, the negative dynamic can also affect stakeholder trust.
This rather bothersome and inefficient grind does not have to be your future scenario!
The boost of confidence a more efficient Account Reconciliations process could give your Finance team when reporting on actual balance sheets, and the time and money saved by moving away from endless spreadsheets to a more insightful and accurate reporting cycle, which would also bring greater value to the business itself.
- Criteria-based Auto Reconciliation – Allows Recs to auto reconcile based on Balance & Activity thresholds or Risk, reducing the overhead on users.
- Mass actions (Approval) – Allow approvers to filter and mass approve in batches, reducing the time of the approval processes.
- Speed - Reconciliation balances are immediately available on load of Trial Balance.
- Optimised Updates - Reconciliation balances via a Task Scheduler e.g. overnight, so Recs are available to work on when users log in.
- Consistency – Use of centrally maintained Excel templates provides standard capture and presentation of reconciliation data.
- Email alerts – Instant alerts to inform users if the status of Rec has changed and if action is required.
- Direct source access – Validate reconciliation balances to other sources of data, such as subledgers, with ability to drill back to the source of that data straight from a Rec.
- Advanced Risk Management/Mitigation – With a clearer statistical picture of your financial reports, risks can be indentified quicker and responded to in a more agile manner.
Evolving your Account Reconciliations process also means thinking outside the Finance Function box. Using Excel as a comfort blanket for validating reported results introduces the risk of error, dependencies on spreadsheet owners, and a maintenance overhead that can extend close cycles, delaying sign off and the delivery of final reports to internal and external stakeholders.
Choosing to integrate the Account Reconciliations process into a financial close cycle offers multiple benefits, enabling close-based activities and reconciliations to take place in parallel rather than in sequence, speeding the release of auditable results.
An integrated platform solution can also provide Finance with a scalable reporting process that helps automate the close and offers many wider benefits.
- Central repository vs offline spreadsheets or files dispersed across multiple folders.
- Status of reconciliations (in process, complete, approved).
- Aging of balances.
- Categorisation by risk.
- Multi-layer drill backs.
- Standardised global matrix.
Volume & Speed
- Standard controls.
- Providing confidence controls being met across the company.
- Standard reconciliation formats.
- Aids approvers and reviewers.
Financial controllers are data stewards - the bards of ‘data truth’ - so to speak. Modern CPM solutions present an opportunity to transform processes, optimise efficiency and introduce transparency and controls.
Historically, Account Reconciliations have often been performed in isolation as a standalone set of checks and balances. When integrated with the wider reporting platform, the automation of recurring reconciliations frees up your team to spend time on value-add insights, while shortening the close.
Learn more about how our solution has helped our customers to harmonise their Account Reconciliations process and speed up their Financial Close.