Finance staff from across Europe and America share their biggest complaints about their current reconciliation management set-up…

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The month end close process is always a stressful time. However, reconciliation management in particular, seems to be the most hated monthly task of all – and it’s not hard to see why. Reconciling account balances is tedious work, often taking days and is fraught with inefficiencies that slow down the whole process. All very frustrating for what is, in essence, quite a simple task.

If this sounds familiar then do not worry, you are not alone.In fact, we found that most finance professionals had similar complaints when it came to reconciliation management. So we’ve rounded up the top six most common onesas revealed in the recent Adra Match survey of finance professionals, and offered a real solution to each of these pressing reconciliation management challenges:

“Our biggest challenge is the amount of work we have to do in Excel and the number of transactions to review and process.”

Let’s get the big one out of the way first: Excel. Finance staff have always had a love/hate relationship with Excel spreadsheets. On the one hand they allow rapid calculations of formulae across thousands of entries, yet on the other, it is very easy to make a mistake entering or using data. What’s more, Excel provides no way of gaining an overview of the reconciliation process, seeing where changes have been made and by whom.

There were many similar complaints about Excel spreadsheets, so we won’t include them all. However, you can read the best by downloading the Adra Match financial close survey results.

>>> See the full list of challenges and risks associated with reconciling in Excel spreadsheets in Adra Match’s infographic <<<

excel spreadsheet errors, spreadsheet reconciliation, reconciliation management process, excel infographic

“The biggest challenge is that [financial] management expects faster and faster closure [of the balance sheets].”

Technology has helped speed up most business functions – from meetings to marketing – but unfortunately most finance departments have been left behind on reconciliation issues. As such, management tend to expect the close process to be ever quicker but without the technology, finance staff are stuck trading accuracy for speed. They need to provide a timely month end close, but this opens more potential for errors.

“We do our accounting in ERP, reconciling in Excel, and entering/reporting with an in-house system – three different applications!”

Copying information between applications does not help matters. Instead of speeding up the process, finance staff end up wasting time switching between applications and manually copying information across. The only real solution to this is to deploy software that covers the whole reconciliation process – from digitising invoices to final approval – and which integrates seamlessly with your existing software, such as your ERP solution. That’s exactly the reason Adra Match created enhanced balance sheet reconciliation software BALANCER – just take a look to find out why it’s been so successful

reconciliation challenges, reconciliation best practice

“There’s a lack of visibility as to which key controls have or haven’t been performed.”

Financial Directors and CFOs need the whole monthly close process to be transparent in order to ensure accuracy, compliance and monitor for fraud. Yet most accounting software lacks this fundamental overview of the control processes.

“We have too little time, too few accountants, and too many balance accounts not always reconciled. There’s no time for analysis during month-end closing.”

All the problems mentioned so far also mean that there is virtually no time at all to complete essential analysis of your business’s financials – something that is expected of you as a financial controller. Finance staff would like nothing better than to sink their teeth into some analysis work, but because of tediously long tasks like account reconciliation, businesses are finding that there is just rarely enough time!

“The biggest challenge is to achieve a faster, more reliable close, and to make it efficient.”

This seems to sum up the key complaints by finance staff pretty well. They don’t want the monthly close process to be a trade-off between speed and accuracy. They don’t want to spend days on end pouring over Excel spreadsheets. They want a neat, fast, reliable and, overall, efficient monthly close process.

Have we missed any of your own key complaints about the reconciliation process?

  • Let us know your biggest problem with the monthly close process in the comments below.

Fortunately, Adra Match have created enhanced balance sheet reconciliation, BALANCER to solve these problems. It’s a new product that integrates automated account reconciliation into a complete streamlined workflow for:

  • A faster monthly close
  • Fewer mistakes
  • A complete overview of the monthly close process and compliance
  • With individual logins for a segregation of duties

…and much more to help you achieve the dream of a fast and efficient monthly close process.

Find out more about enhanced balance sheet reconciliation software BALANCER in this short introductory video.