April 11, 2019

How to Effectively Implement Account Reconciliations

How to Effectively Implement Account Reconciliations

Modern finance and accounting solutions, designed to streamline the financial close, are no longer just basic cloud-based platforms. They’re configurable to ensure solutions can be tailored to each organization’s unique challenges.

This structure—a unified platform with configurable capabilities—is also more time and budget friendly, enabling organizations to add functionality as needed.

As a result, organizations are moving away from the traditional piecemeal approach to figuring out their problems. By focusing solely on solving for one close challenge—such as a time-consuming reconciliation process—organizations can be distracted from the real goal of streamlining the entire close.

Time and time again, we’ve seen organizations that approach implementation with a narrow scope create more challenges down the road. This stems from the mentality of, “let’s fix account recs today and worry about streamlining variance analysis tomorrow.”

For example, Company A wants to improve verification, simplify audits, and enhance internal controls, so they implement BlackLine’s Account Reconciliations solution. In the rush to get through the implementation process and minimize disruption, the organization opts for a limited data import, thinking, “we don’t reconcile these accounts, so let’s not import those files.”

But this approach doesn’t save time. In fact, it creates more work, now and in the future.

Company A may have streamlined reconciliations with a “quick implementation” approach, but when they’re ready to add more functionality—like Variance Analysis—they’ll need to import their data (and likely, more of it) all over again.

And each subsequent software implementation, instead of getting easier, requires more time, more money, and more effort.

The Solution? Begin with the End in Mind.

Leadership expert Stephen Covey’s adage, “begin with the end in mind,” isn’t just sage advice for individuals. It’s also great advice for anyone implementing accounting software solutions.

Organizations that approach streamlining the financial close with a big-picture mentality realize that the very first software implementation—be it a solution that auto-certifies reconciliations or one that matches millions of transactions—is the most critical.

These companies address key issues in the beginning by importing all their data, fixing broken processes, identifying and addressing long-standing discrepancies, and preparing accountants for ongoing (but manageable) change.

Read this white paper to learn the four essential steps to ensure today’s implementation supports tomorrow’s goals.

Michael Shultz
Director of Finance Transformation

Modern Accounting