The monthly financial close is crawling with reconciliation demons just waiting to mess everything up. From the account specification beast to the four-eyed approval demon, these beasts need taming in order to achieve a fast and accurate month-end close. But taming the demons will require the right tools for the job 

Everyone knows that you need a stake to the heart to kill a vampire or a silver bullet to defeat a werewolf… 

BUT…is there an equivalent that will strike down all the reconciliation demons?

The sword of Excel

Over two-thirds of finance departments choose to complete their monthly reconciliations with the sword of Excel – the mythical weapon that is

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capable of defeating any accounting monster. Its reputation may be true, however, it often makes life much more difficult for you and ends up creating even more demons!

The Account Specification Beast – Whether you use Excel to cut up the account specification beast into multiple tabs on one sheet, or create separate files for each account, this beast will still cause you a whole lot of problems. The first method can only be edited by one staff member at a time – delaying the process – while the second method leaves a huge mess of files that could easily be misplaced. 

The Documentation Devil – You have three options: Add every piece of documentation to the spreadsheet, creating a massive file in the process; link to the documentation stored on your server, in which case you can’t even touch your file architecture for at least 10 years; or destroy a forest every month in order to print every piece of documentation out. None of these are particularly effective against the documentation devil, yet a third of finance departments continue to use binders.

The Four-Eyed Approval Demon – This monster needs a quick and accurate strike to take it down. Yet Excel is a slow and unwieldy application which lacks the built-in processes that helps ensure a quick and accurate close while staying compliant with segregation of duties principle.

An Overview Nightmare – Escaping from the overview nightmare is a task for which Excel is woefully underprepared, which is probably why only 8% of finance staff are happy with the visibility of their close process. There is simply no easy way to get a quick, clear and up-to-the-minute overview of your month-end close status.

Archiving Hell – Fighting your way through archiving hell requires more than just the sword of Excel. Either you need to keep a digital archive on servers, which then become untouchable for 10 years, or you print everything out and keep it in binders, using up a tonne of paper and lots of storage space. Neither option will help you escape this hell any time soon.

The Terrifying Audit – The final demon is sure to make your blood run cold – the external audit. This will judge whether you are an accounting hero, or have succumbed to the dark side. Using Excel to tackle the other demons will leave you exposed to eternal damnation from your auditor as they pick out errors and lapses in procedure. 

CFOs’ silver bullet

So what’s a CFO to do? Confronted with an accounting demon and with only the sword of Excel to hand, surely all is lost?!

Perhaps not. Like all these stories from fiction, a hero rises to go after the demons rather than waiting for them to strike. With the right tools to hand, the hero can strike the demons down with deadly efficiency, leading to a fast and accurate month-end close.

Balance sheet reconciliation software BALANCER, from Adra Match, is the silver bullet that CFOs need to defeat all of these reconciliation demons in one shot.

  • Account specification, documentation and archiving happens automatically as you go – just upload the documents to each account.
  • Multiple users can log in at the same time and track their changes with their own IDs, crippling the account specification beast and defeating the four-eyed approval demon.
  • Finance Directors and CFOs can get a real-time overview of exactly where the month-end close process is up to, what is left to do, and to whom each task has been assigned.
  • Much of the process is automated leading to a fast and accurate close process and helping you to reach accounting nirvana – even during the audit.

Inspect the silver bullet more closely by ordering your free demo of BALANCER now, and become an accounting hero.

Want to know more about each reconciliation demon? Take a look at the previous blogs in this series:

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