Top 6 reconciliation software benefits which make accountants’ lives easier - Image by succo on PixabayIn 2021, the increase of the voluntary quitting of jobs made the headlines. Apart from acknowledging that the so-called Great Resignation is one of the many adverse pandemic effects, a broader discussion about employees’ wellbeing has picked up.

Various combinations of factors could trigger discontent at the workplace. ReconArt, a data reconciliation & financial close software provider, observes how clinging to inefficient and obsolete ways can erode productivity and motivation. We argue that advanced technology could remedy that.

Talent retention is climbing higher on the agenda. Managers are paying closer attention to what brings process efficiencies and makes people’s lives easier. The right tool can elevate team performance as long as it provides flexibility to meet unique needs and adapt to changing environments. Moreover, any software technology’s successful rollout and long-term utilization heavily depends on users’ cooperation and feedback, making their role pivotal.

Everyday drudgery vs efficiency & time savings

Data reconciliation is a multistep process. If performed manually, it takes a long time and is exposed to human errors, requiring time to spot and correct. This tiresome exercise takes place every month, and critical reconciliation must be performed daily. For example, compliance for the regulated financial services business or revenue collection in the e-commerce sector.

Dramatic time savings generated as an immediate benefit from automation are the most appreciated efficiency enhancement of daily users. Supervisors report higher precision, smoother team collaboration and less frustration with untraceable discrepancies. Managers enjoy unparalleled visibility on progress status in near real-time, especially during the period-end close campaigns. Early warning insights on potential bottlenecks enable teams to tackle them preemptively.

What reconciliation process deficiencies undermine your accounting team performance?

Manual work vs automation of repetitive tasks

Manual account reconciliation is time consuming and repetitive work. It is often quite exhausting and demotivating. On top of that, it has to be completed within tight deadlines, which makes it rather stressful and overwhelming.

During periods of rapid business growth, input data sources multiply and complexity snowballs. Makeshift spreadsheets brimming with macros often crash and create more problems than they solve. Input data, matching logic, exceptions analytics, and supporting documentation are scattered in disconnected repositories. The lack of process transparency and the fragmented audit trail compromise results and create tension.

These grievances can be successfully alleviated with end-to-end rule-based automation of transaction matching. Reconciliation teams reclaim their role as the architects of the reconciliation process and govern its improvement strategy. The execution of repetitive operations is transferred to the algorithms. Automation is useful for data comparisons, file import, transformation, exceptions management, and reporting.

What are the repetitive manual process steps in your reconciliation routines?

Disrupted team communication vs clear & collaborative workspace

It is quite common, especially for larger global organizations, to have their accounting teams in different locations and time zones. Additionally, financial professionals struggled to adapt to the abrupt changes in the past couple of years with teams migrating to the home office. In any case, collaboration suffered, and frustration set in, particularly when colleagues are accustomed to face-to-face communication to resolve issues.

Web-based reconciliation solutions can be accessed from anywhere using any mainstream browser. Synchronous collaboration and concurrent use are facilitated in reconciliations systems. Reconciliation software enables data, process structure, and people with their specific roles and workspaces to exist and interact in a secure and streamlined digital environment.

How does your finance team collaborate during reconciliation?

Long hours vs smart workflow management

The financial sphere is notorious for long hours and impossible deadlines. Handling multiple responsibilities and unevenly distributed workloads are commonplace. Overtime is the norm.

Process inefficiencies at the period end close cause panic and frustration. Accountants prepare to tackle all kinds of last-minute problems – a belated booking, lagging input from another department, account balance deviation that needs explanation, pending approvals, and distractions with casual reporting requests.

Automation and continuous monitoring of critical accounts can slash processing time. All recurring tasks can be pushed through a role-based workflow software configured with checklists, deadlines, status notifications and necessary steps to completion. An integrated solution to structure those elements is a game-changer for the people involved.

How much does overtime cost for your finance team, can it help build a case for automation?

High attrition rates

Reconciliation teams tend to suffer from high attrition rates. Ticking and tying line items day in, day out hardly qualifies as a dream job. Therefore, old-fashioned manual transaction reconciliation is treated as an interim step in career development, reserved for staff with lower experience or qualifications.

However, data reconciliation for certain industries can be a critical part of the business. The reconciliation team performance can drop if positions are frequently changed, and operations are disrupted during critical times.

Automated reconciliation technology advocates a professional, integrated approach to reconciliations. This largely removes the more tedious and repetitive work for reconcilers, who then can spare time and mental bandwidth for in-depth account analysis and thorough exceptions investigation.

What is the attrition rate in your reconciliation team and will better tools help attract and retain strong performers?

Informal institutional knowledge vs smooth knowledge transfer

A key team member leaving the company effectively opens a knowledge gap. This becomes an issue when the process mechanisms and roles are not duly documented and made available as a team property. Reconciliation operations in manual or semi-manual frameworks largely rely on informal institutional knowledge.

Reconciliation standards and best practices, on the other hand, can be enforced with the help of the reconciliation software. A system that serves as a central point of reference with all data and process structure in historical perspective successfully maintains business continuity. Formal process blueprints shorten and flatten the learning curve for newcomers and prevent competence backslides. Ask a recent reconciliation team recruit and they are very likely to testify to that.

If a key member in your reconciliation team left, how much would efficiency drop and how long before operations get back to normal?

In conclusion

Investing in technology that reduces hassle and lets people concentrate on problem-solving pays off well for businesses. In turn, employees who feel empowered to manage their daily responsibilities independently and focus on value-added contributions are more likely to find satisfaction in their work and stick around long-term.

Since 2011, ReconArt drives innovation in the reconciliation software technology and helps a global client base establish robust, flexible and scalable data reconciliation processes. ReconArt delivers an enterprise class, entirely web-based reconciliation platform leveraged by a varied portfolio of customers from every industry, size, and geography.

ReconArt integrates all transactional matching, account reconciliation, and financial close management processes in a secure and auditable environment with strong focus on best practices, regulatory standards, and compliance mechanisms. The ReconArt SaaS solution ushers in dramatic efficiencies into clients’ existing manual processes generating time savings and reinforcing precision.


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