Reconciliation – won’t a spreadsheet do?
Reconciliation – one of those tasks which seems like it “just gets done”.
Many organizations assume that their finance system has everything they need for reconciling accounts and when they find that it doesn’t, they often turn to a spreadsheet which is quickly thrown together to meet a certain requirement.
A spreadsheet can create big problems when it comes to reconciliation:
- It won’t provide a robust audit trail;
- Data associations may be lost easily;
- Controlling access can be problematic;
- People spend hours getting data into the right format to be included;
- Matching can be difficult to automate;
- Departments find themselves totally dependent upon an individual’s expertise.
We used our extensive experience with reconciliation and accounting systems to develop Aurum – our powerful reconciliation software. The platform has been designed to handle all sorts of data matching requirements and has many features such as enhanced Management Information to make reconciliation of accounts a breeze.
Data Acquisition and Enrichment
Aurum is able to import data from any data source you care to provide, in addition, it can also pull data directly from APIs, SFTP, and direct DB connection. All data can be imported without needing to be written to a file first, thereby minimizing both risk and effort.
It’s often necessary to enrich imported data to make it useful for reconciliation. Aurum can infer data, which can be useful for both matching transactions efficiently and management information, by inspecting and separating data elements or by linking to associated data through lookup tables. This includes what Aurum Solutions calls “range lists”, where a value lying within a range of values will infer some specific data.
Aurum’s flexible database mechanism ensures as many fields as required can be defined to meet specific customer requirements. Even fields containing hyperlinks to supporting data in other systems can be defined. The end result is that all the required information for a reconciliation is available within Aurum.
Reconciliations and Exceptions Management
Using site-specific rules, which can be easily tailored to meet changing requirements, Aurum can automatically reconcile matching groups of items, including contra items. Matches can also be prevented, so sites can make it impossible to reconcile different transaction types together. The system’s flexibility allows metrics to be captured at each stage.
Aurum can even cope with timing differences, looking for matching subgroups within master groups of transactions. The same processing power and flexibility is available in semi-automated mode too, where users confirm or deny suggested reconciliations. It’s an unusual reconciliation which doesn’t leave any exceptions, and Aurum has just the functionality you need to resolve as many of those as possible. Its innovative items display screen allows users to group, sort, filter and color items however they want, meaning that finding matching transactions becomes much easier. Aurum can also look for matching items or suggest groups of items to reconcile. Users can also add notes and update transactions, all adding value to reconciliation processes.
Aurum’s full audit trail allows management and auditors to investigate what happened to any particular transaction at any time. Its sophisticated rollback functionality allows mistakes to be easily undone. Aurum even contains the ability to view the snapshot of any reconciliation at any point in its history.
Integration and Sophistication
Aurum Solutions recognises that all sorts of business processes include reconciliation so, from the start, we ensured Aurum could write data updates back to ERP systems and produce all kinds of reports. In addition, workflow and escalation processes can be defined for outstanding exceptions.
Month-end processing can cause hiccups for even specialist systems. Not so for Aurum, which can continue to work reconciling data while you’re closing down your accounting periods. Miscellaneous events, such as audit sign-offs, can also be stamped onto reconciliation accounts.
Aurum also contains a fully-configurable user permissions model, ensuring that only the users you want to be authorised to undertake specific tasks can do so. Aurum can also manage account status, so certain actions, such as loading data, can be prevented unless the account is in a particular state. Can a spreadsheet do that?
Sitting on top of industry-standard databases (Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle), Aurum minimises the amount of work required by IT staff, and the whole installation and configuration process is remarkably quick. Most organizations are installed rapidly and go live within only a few days.
Proof of Aurum’s flexibility? Well, customers already use it for:
- Standard two-sided cash-to-bank reconciliations;
- Single-sided control and suspense account reconciliations;
- System-to-system reconciliations;
- Reconciliations where a third file is provided to expand the data for subsets of other transactions already loaded;
- Reconciliation chains where the output from one reconciliation is the input to another; and
- Sophisticated three-and-a-half-sided reconciliations matching ledger, trade, settlement and bank records.
Scalability, auditability, automation, control – all good reasons to look at Aurum today and discover the many benefits it could deliver for you.
Interested in knowing more?