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Automation: The Simple Way To Speed Up Reconciliation

ReconciliationArticle
Automation: The Simple Way To Speed Up Reconciliation 0
Big data is big news and represents big opportunities. Businesses knowing sorting, controlling and analysing masses of data can lead to monetisation – and unbelievable growth. So they’re investing for the future — IDC estimated a $215.7 billion global spend on big data and analytics (BDA) for 2021, with an additional $60bn by the end of 2022, the most significant annual rise so far.
Investments in data have many purposes. Executives demand richer insights for more informed decision-making in an increasingly unpredictable world. They want to build resilience, find cost-efficiencies, protect themselves from ever-sophisticated cybercrime, and encourage investor confidence. And they want to do more, faster, with greater accuracy.
 
And that’s where automatic reconciliation comes in.
 
Are you in financial control?
 
Financial closing is a critical and time pressured task. Finance departments battle huge workloads while deadlines loom. Every system glitch or anomaly in figures slows the process, frustrates staff, and adds to an already-stressful situation. Historically, Excel spreadsheets have helped these teams to balance books at year-end. While tools such as Excel are handy, low-cost and simple to use, reconciling accounts by relying on manual and semi-manual spreadsheet processes has its challenges:
 
These include:
  1. Time-consuming – manually entering data into a spreadsheet application takes up time that could be more productively applied elsewhere. Multiply this across departments and functions and cumulative time lags have a considerable impact on business effectiveness.
  2. Error-prone – mistakes are more likely to occur; manual input increases the likelihood of human blunder or inconsistent or careless data entry. Centrally controlling such ‘data hygiene’ is also harder when teams work remotely.
  3. Narrow functionality – spreadsheets are popular because they are cheap and easy to use. But this also means they don’t offer much more than the basics when it comes to data analysis and reporting. Highly-skilled individuals are needed to truly exploit advanced features and that can create bottlenecks, as it focuses the ‘heavy lifting’ on just a handful of employees.
  4. Limited insight – decision-making is only as good as the data crunched. If there are limitations on the volume or complexity of data a system can handle, this impacts on the kind of insights available for an organisation to consider, scrutinise and interpret. Time lags because of poor or late data entry means businesses have to play catch-up, which impacts competitiveness.
  5. Out-of-date systems – a forward-looking business can’t be based on an anachronistic tech stack. Organisations need to maintain up-to-date systems that ensure agility, compatibility and security.
  6. Vulnerability to fraud and cybercrime –financial control methods based on manual input, manual checks, with disparate ownership and inconsistent updating are a recipe for poor security. Anomalies are also harder to spot and diagnose.
  7. Ambiguous audit trail – dispersed teams at various skill levels can make maintaining a robust audit trail hard. It is difficult to get coherence without a centrally controlled repository of definitive data. Unresolved exceptions are written-off to save time, which can overlook possible incidents of fraud. Flimsy financial reporting can then result in fines and implications for organisational reputation and stakeholder confidence.
  8. Poor workflows – manual financial controls don’t have sufficient facility to assign tasks in a logical, accountable way. A foggy picture of who is doing what, when, can cause duplication of work and delays in resolving exceptions. Monitoring activity is time-consuming.
Trying to resolve such issues while running a business can have a negative impact on customer service and competitiveness. Successful reconciliation boils down to a simple choice– stick with an outdated application with limited potential or implement software that is future-focused and transformative.
 
Get greater control and confidence with automation
 
Automating reconciliation is a powerful means to ensure data integrity and the availability of more actionable insights. Dispensing with the doubts inherent in manual financial verification and adopting automated reconciliation provides:
 
  1. Time savings – data is extracted, organised and presented ready for analysis without the need for human intervention, saving input time and allowing employees to focus on more important tasks. Extracted data can be tailored according to department, function or individual requirements. Faster outcomes allow a business to be flexible and proactive in its actions.
  2. Greater accuracy - precision is vastly improved with the processing abilities of automated software. This ensures greater confidence in the data held and the decisions on which they will be based. Risk is removed and confidence restored.
  3. Granular insights - automated reconciliation software offers companies better exposure to their own data. Deeper observations mean improved forecasting and decision-making, therefore improving resilience and competitiveness.
  4. Advanced technology – up-to-date technology that easily integrates with existing systems, offers advanced security features to combat fraud and cybercrime, and can scale in line with business growth.
  5. Data-agnostic – automated reconciliation software doesn’t care what the data is, on which system, and how it should be delivered. This widens the scope of data and insight available to a business, removing limitations that may exist with traditional financial control tools.
  6. Centralisation – raw data is stored in one place providing a cohesive data sphere that can be accessed anytime, anywhere. Formats are more manageable and coherent connections can be made between disparate data sources.
  7. Dashboard of activity – automation software provides a dashboard of real time information accessible to everyone regardless of location or skillset. It gives a clear visual of transaction data, allowing tasks to be assigned quickly and easily, facilitating more efficient and assured problem-solving. The dashboard improves accountability and audit trail.
  8. Greater transparency – more accurate data and effective workflows ensure a clear audit trail of traceable data and ownership.
  9. Simplicity – automation deals with higher volume, more complex data, faster. This means a business can scale quickly.
Summary
 
It’s time to say goodbye to the spreadsheet. Automated reconciliation offers a business better line of sight over operations, centralises processes giving greater command and control, and offers richer data that allows organisations to make better, more informed choices. Implementing reconciliation software such as Aurum’s allows businesses to get greater mileage out of their data, facilitating better collaboration and communication between teams.
 
Automated reconciliation with Aurum
 
We are financial data matching software specialists. For more than 14 years Aurum has been helping some of the world’s most recognisable brands achieve their reconciliation goals.
 
We put businesses in the driving seat with their data, ensuring compliance and control with a quality product tailored for each client’s needs. We work across industries and have a diverse client list including Octopus Investments, Admiral, Ladbrokes, and Versapay. Our partnership approach ensures we’re always on hand on your reconciliation journey.
 
Let us show you how to tap into the potential of automated reconciliation. Book a demo with us now.
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