How many supplier statements do you reconcile each year? The size and scale of your business only dictates how quickly you might drown in the workload – but there are lifeboats available!
Financial controllers will be only too familiar with the resource-draining activity that is supplier statement reconciliation. With a flood of potentially tens of thousands of supplier statements to reconcile each year, keeping your team afloat despite the workload is a tough task.
Without a paddle – using makeshift tools to stay afloat
The biggest problem when it comes to managing the flood of supplier statements that need reconciling, is that most account departments do not have a single all-encompassing tool for the job. As the Adra Match survey results show, finance departments often use a combination of different approaches to paddle along in the rising tide of work, but each of these makeshift financial reconciliation approaches suffers from serious drawbacks:
If you do not want to find a dedicated solution for this, here are some tips:
Manually scanning statements – This is the first step in the Do It Yourself (DIY) reconciliation process – manually scanning documents into a computer system. Besides being tedious (especially for a qualified accountant) and time-consuming, manually scanning documents has very real risks that you should be aware of. With so many to process, it is easy to make a mistake and miss one.
OCR software – Optimal Character Recognition (OCR) software can be used by an accounting department to digitalise scanned statements. While it is obviously far quicker than manually typing out each statement, it does still swallow up precious time of the reconciler. However, the bigger problem is the error rate. On some occasions, characters can be misread by the software, leading to incorrect figures, while on other occasions the field may be empty due to the supplier not filling the form out properly.
Excel spreadsheets – While spreadsheets can be useful, too many finance departments rely on them as the definitive tool. A spreadsheet can hold formulae, macros and other functions that help to speed up the workload. However, one of the biggest drawbacks of Excel spreadsheets is that there is no way of knowing who made what change and when. This can quickly lead to confusion, errors, incorrect formulae being applied and big problems when it comes to audit time.
>>> Are you still reconciling in Excel? This infographic illustrates why your finance department is in danger <<<
Don’t just float along in your accounting processes – steam ahead!
In an ideal world, the finance department wouldn’t just be staying afloat but they would be using technology to steam ahead. However, because of the mish-mash of approaches described above, finance departments could be treading water without a software solution for this.
Automated reconciliation software allows you to quickly and securely check your supplier statements which have been scanned, digitised (using OCR software) and turned into a list. An enhanced automation solution brings standardisation to your statement input, digitalise your archive and generate the audit trail along the way – making the job easier for financial decision makers a lot easier. This not only funnels the flood of supplier statements, it actually helps you improve your internal auditing and daily processes.
Adra Match Accounts can be utilised to match two sources like an OCR list of actually received items versus the OCR list over invoiced items, to ensure you only pay what you have ordered and received.
Watch this video to understand how Adra Match’s Accounts reconciliation software works to regain the control of your reconciliation process, and start getting ahead of your workload today.
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