For most organizations, the account reconciliation process is manual, time consuming, and a major bottleneck in the financial close process. Medium to large companies commonly reconcile thousands of accounts during the quarter-end or month-end close, yet 65 percent rely on manual methods to determine whether adjustments are required.
Leading finance departments are eliminating the risks of manual methods — missing or lost reconciliations, unreconciled accounts, improper use of roll-forwards, and insufficient justification or documentation — to protect their organizations against costly mistakes. The key is to not only automate the account reconciliation process but to fully integrate it with the financial close workflow. An integrated application makes the administration, preparation, and review of account reconciliations more efficient.
For this reason, Oracle Account Reconciliation Manager (ARM) is one of the most popular tools on the market. ARM is a module of Oracle Hyperion Financial Close Management (FCM) that is solely dedicated to account reconciliations. The module equips the finance department with real-time visibility into the reconciliation process to reduce risk, ensure compliance, and optimize performance.
Is Account Reconciliation Manager a good fit for your organization? If the symptoms listed below sound familiar, it may be time to automate your reconciliation process.
1. Lack of visibility into the status of completion
Does your organization struggle with tracking reconciliation progress or reporting on exceptions? ARM provides real-time insight into the reconciliation process with dashboard reporting. Dashboards are highly customizable and provide alerts for reconciliation and aging violations, meaning companies are able to be proactive rather than reactive throughout the reconciliation process.
2. Fragmented data
Standardization is typically difficult to achieve in a manual process. Multiple reconciliation formats result in fragmented data and problems accessing reconciliations. To drive standardization, ARM streamlines reconciliation formats with a single and uniform methodology to perform balance sheet reconciliations. FDMEE provides ETL subsystem and source system balance feeds directly to HFM and ARM. Source data is loaded to entered, reporting, and functional currency buckets within ARM to provide tie out between subsystem, source system, and HFM consolidation applications.
3. Reconciliations take too long
The mundane tasks of a manual account reconciliation process, from keying balances into a spreadsheet to producing reconciliations schedules, consume valuable time and resources on a regular basis. Improved efficiency is a major benefit of automating your processes with ARM.
For example, ARM helps accelerate the close process by automating certain reconciliation profiles. Report binder is a function in ARM that provides offline storage of reconciliation information and attachments. External and internal audit queries can be handled with little to no interference within the application or offline with report binders.
On-prem vs. cloud: ARM or ARCS?
Boasting the sophisticated functionality of ARM, Oracle Account Reconciliation Cloud Service (ARCS) adds in the advantages of the cloud — dramatically reducing the time and cost of deployment and administration.
ARCS is a great option for many reasons:
- Low monthly per user license cost
- Minimal hardware investment for a hosted solution
- Minimal client IT resource involvement
- Oracle application support
ARCS looks and functions like the 188.8.131.52 version of ARM; however, there are a few noticeable differences.
How to get started
Not sure where to start? It may be helpful to see how other organizations charted their course and achieved success:
- See the before/after transformation of 3 different spreadsheet formats from different companies into automated reconciliations
- Learn how Spectra Energy implemented ARM to get real-time visibility into the reconciliation process and improve efficiency with flexible auto reconciliation routines
- See how FMC Technologies streamlined a complicated, cumbersome financial consolidation and reporting process with ARM in this case study
Ready to start planning your project? Leverage our free tools and resources to hit the ground running:
- Learn the 3 keys to successfully deploying ARM
- Build your project plan with our Project Planning Toolkit
- Avoid the most common mistake — not fully integrating your solution into your close process
- Schedule a free strategy session with an EPM advisor
Account reconciliation is the #1 non-data-related delay in the close process — but look on the bright side. If your organization is manually completing reconciliations, the opportunity is yours to swoop in and save the day.