Spreadsheets used for account reconciliations are usually portrayed as the culprit in slowing down the financial close process. The simple truth is it’s not Excel’s fault — spreadsheets weren’t specifically designed as an account reconciliation tool.
Whenever I demonstrate Oracle Hyperion account reconciliation solutions — Account Reconciliation Manager (ARM) and Account Reconciliation Cloud Solution (ARCS) — I frequently hear the same thing, “The application looks easy and is pretty straightforward.” During the training phase, end users almost always remark how simple the process is to reconcile.
Performing reconciliations in ARM and ARCS is a push button solution. The magic is in the activity that occurs through automation and integration leading up to the preparer clicking the ‘submit’ button and the reviewer clicking the ‘approve’ button. Automating and integrating the accounting process will help speed up your close process and lead to a successful implementation of ARM or ARCS.
Accounting Process vs. Reconciliation Process
There are two sides to the slowdown in the manual process of reconciliations — Excel and the accounting process. No matter how much it’s blamed for slowdown in the financial close process, Excel is only the surface issue of manual reconciliations.
The underlying problem is in the accounting process.
The accounting process is tied to the daily activity related to booking subledger activity or performing topside journal entries. This is the highest concentration of time spent on the manual accounting process. The common symptoms of a manual accounting process include:
- Daily reliance on multiple external statements
- Sub ledgers
- Tick and tie accounting
Automating the Manual Gathering Process
The manual gathering of data from multiple sources is the primary culprit in the bottle neck for account reconciliations. FDMEE and ODI do the heavy lifting by accumulating all of that data and allowing ARCS and ARM to display the data and automate the reconciliation. Data integrations with FDMEE and ODI also allow you to drill back to your ERP general ledger.
By easing some of those accounting processes, ARM and ARCS can do what it does best:
- High quality controls for reconciliation audits
- Task workflow security
- Visibility into the reconciliation process
- Analysis of balance sheet accounts
Let Us do a Demonstration for You
We would love to field your frustrations with the reconciliation process and find ways to help you. Our hope is that by the end of an implementation you will say, “The application is easy and pretty straight forward.”
Send in examples of troublesome, worrisome reconciliations and we will transform them on the next “Dear Arm Wrestler,” segment.