How Technology Can Help Modernize Your Account Reconciliations


This article originally appeared in SAP Digitalist.

In my last two blogs, we’ve looked at the importance of accurate account reconciliations, best practices, and why training is key. In this one, we’ll wrap up how to modernize your account reconciliations by tackling the biggest hurdle of all: change.

Once you’ve overcome any resistance to change and adopt technology, then you can start seeing the fruits of your labor.

Companies cannot afford to stay blind to reality and continue to avoid identifying and addressing the risks of the unknown. That’s like avoiding the doctor for fear of what you’ll find out.

You can put off looking into what’s going on within your accounting operations, but that won’t make the problems go away. And if something does go wrong—and you have a material weakness or need to restate earnings before you’ve had a chance to investigate—you could have very serious problems.

Scary, I know. But it isn’t just doom and gloom and avoiding risk. There are tangible benefits to moving away from manual reconciliations and adopting technology to help you get the job done right.

Risk Is Scary, but There's Cause for Optimism

Today’s technology can automate the account reconciliation process, enhancing the benefits of process optimization while increasing the accounting team’s overall productivity. It can help you increase compliance and eliminate the risk of error from using spreadsheets, providing:

  • Automated workflow

  • Real-time dashboard reporting

  • Reconciliation templates that provide consistency as well as automated schedules

  • Audit trails, as well as prior period history

  • Auto certification of low-risk, routine account reconciliations

You can gain instant insight across the finance organization with a personalized and simple user experience, and a central repository for all reconciliation and supporting documentation, allowing global secure access anytime from anywhere.

Real-Time Data to Support Decision-Making

With your account and supporting-item information in one place, you can have access to real-time data to inform your business decisions. You can run reports to see the aging of your reconciling items, and easily identify errors and the impact they could have on your financial statements.

Accountants can be rid of manual drudgery and automate repetitive tasks, leaving them more time for analysis. Finance teams can get more done in less time, even as the company scales, without increasing headcount. And CEOs can access real-time financial information without waiting for the completion of every closing task.

Embracing the concepts of Continuous Accounting and applying technology empowers pioneering accountants and finance teams alike to improve the quality of their work while, perhaps most importantly, removing the risk of the unknown.

As a result, companies can better analyze what’s affecting the numbers, and always know where they stand. In short, knowledge identifies and eliminates risk.