You may have recently read our blog looking at a study by Gartner into the aims and challenges of Financial Directors. Some of the key findings of the study seem to infer that automatic reconciliation software would be useful to financial departments, but to what extent is this inference backed up in reality?
To answer this question, we conducted a survey of 992 customers using our automatic account reconciliation software and compared the results to the Gartner study. Here is what we found:
Time is money and money is tight
Nearly a half of the CFOs in the Gartner study said a key aim was to reduce their operating costs. As you will know, one of the biggest operating costs to any business is staff costs, which is why time really is money. Automatically reconciling your accounts saves huge amounts of time – in some cases it is the difference of months of work – and therefore saves you a huge amount of money. In fact, 91% of financial directors we surveyed found time reduction to be a key benefit of using our software.
Accuracy in compliance is essential
Compliance issues can easily creep up on you and can end up costing your business both in terms of capital and reputation. All that is needed is for one account to be missed and you could be hit with a hefty fine and a loss of business. This is why almost a third of Gartner respondents wanted to increase controls to ensure better accuracy in compliance. Adra Match software reconciles up to 95%, or more, of transactions automatically, leaving only 5% to reconcile manually. With less accounts to do manually, more time and focus can be spent ensuring complete accuracy. This has proven the most valuable aspect of the software to our clients with 92% noting secure reconciliation as their main benefit.
Financial processes create more time-pressure than necessary
For some time, financial departments and directors have had the sense that their financial processes could be better consolidated to reduce the time it takes to complete accounts management. Indeed, with a number of deadlines constantly looming, there is a great pressure on financial departments to work at a very swift pace. Unfortunately, as the 32% of Gartner respondents demonstrates, finding a method for consolidating processes is a challenge in itself. That is probably why such a high percentage of those we surveyed (91%) found the alleviation of time pressure when closing the books to be the most beneficial outcome of using our software.
Financial Directors feel they have to balance time with risk
As you will know yourself, reconciling your accounts can be an extensive and highly time-consuming task. For some businesses their accounts are just far too extensive to reconcile manually and they end up, therefore, balancing the time available with the potential business risk. However, this is a balance no company should be expected to find, especially when you consider that a third of CFOs want to try and better manage their business risk (Gartner). By using automatic reconciliation software, 85% of financial directors we surveyed found that they could now tackle all of their accounts and thereby absolutely minimise their business risk.
Constant information updates leads to better business decision making
Business analysis and decision making relies on having the most up-to-date information available at all times. Companies only have the time and budget to manually reconcile their accounts a few times a year at most, meaning information is never as up-to-date as it could be. Frustrated with this limitation, a huge 57% of Gartner respondents required technology to better help with analysis and decision making. With our automatic account reconciliation software you are able to regularly reconcile your accounts in a matter of minutes, meaning the most up-to-date accounts information is readily available for analysis whenever a business decision needs to be made.
Quality data cannot come from a single person
As good as your accounts team is, it would be imprudent to accept data from a single person as the highest quality – after all, everyone makes mistakes. Almost half of the Gartner respondents have picked up on this data quality issue and are actively looking for ways to improve it.
When using software to automatically reconcile your accounts, you suddenly reduce the potential for human error and dramatically improve on the quality of your business data. Getting results that did not rely on just one person has been a massive relief for our clients with 81% citing it as a key benefit of our software.
You only know by trying yourself
These facts and figures help to demonstrate the disparity between what financial directors aim to achieve and what has been achieved with our software by our clients. They provide a strong case for looking into automatic account reconciliation software, yet 100% of our surveyed clients did not know for sure before they saw the software for themselves.
That is why we encourage all financial directors to book themselves a free online product demonstration. In this way you can actually see the software working before you buy and therefore be 100% confident in its ability to reduce your costs whilst improving the quality of your account data.