In today’s economy, many companies are tempted by the option of moving their account reconciliation tasks to a SaaS solution. Providers of these solutions are known to offer a low first-year price point, but renewing the subscription is a different story: it’s not uncommon for year-over-year rates to increase by 10–20%.
Companies burdened by these ever-rising licensing costs are not without options. Oracle provides a solution for managing reconciliations as a part of their market-leading suite of financial close applications. Account Reconciliation Manager (ARM) is a module of Oracle Hyperion Financial Close Management (FCM), which provides a centralized web-based process for all financial close activities. Being a part of the Oracle Hyperion family, ARM inherits the ability to integrate using Financial Data Quality Management Enterprise Edition (FDMEE) to various source systems utilizing adapters via Oracle Data Integrator (ODI).
Transitioning from a SaaS environment to on-premises can and should be seamless. Below are three things you should know about making the move...
1. Source system integration
One particular limitation of other account reconciliations applications is the lack of integration with source systems. Applications such as Blackline and Trintech require the source system to develop a custom report or file for the administrator to load balances. The lack of mobility and flexibility can prevent a company in heavy acquisition phase from getting a new entity SOX compliant for reconciliations. For lesser-known source systems, developing a solution for SaaS applications can potentially mean heavy third-party involvement and fees.
Oracle Account Reconciliation Manager receives source system balances from FDMEE, which allows for automatic data feeds from ERP systems such as Oracle EBS and SAP. Additionally, import formats help FDMEE to capture the required dimension from a report or file rather than constraining the source system to conform.
2. Application artifacts
Transitioning to Oracle ARM from account reconciliation applications like Blackline or Trintech can be a seamless process with careful consideration to application artifacts. For example, a commonality between all applications is the reconciliation workflow and user provision. The initial step in transitioning to ARM is to identify ways in which profile export files or reports from the existing application can be leveraged to facilitate the process of creating reconciliation profiles in ARM.
3. Reconciliation formats
Another consideration is that SaaS account reconciliation applications have reconciliation formats that are not customizable and are out-of-the-box without consideration to client reconciliation policy. The reconciliation format is an important function that companies should use to strengthen their reconciliation policy and prevent a “one size fits all” approach.
ARM reconciliation formats allow for certification questions and custom verbiage to compare a particular subledger system or external statement. Formats can also be customized to include specific attributes that capture aging or outstanding reconciling items in account analysis transaction details. Notification for aging and reconciling items beyond a determined date are easily identified and can be modified to require an explanation. Finally, the customizable reconciliation formats of ARM allow for the creation of specific formats for all balance sheet accounts and strengthen the credibility of certifying the reconciliation.
Ultimately, the goal of the transition is to capture the reconciliation policy of the company and strengthen the process with the superior functionality and customization of ARM and data integration of FDMEE. Leveraging an experienced consulting partner is critical to ensure a successful transition. At US-Analytics, we have extensive experience in guiding companies through the transition from SaaS-based account reconciliation applications such as Blackline and Trintech.
It is important to remember that an immediate benefit is access to all modules of Oracle Hyperion Financial Close Management: Account Reconciliation Manager, Financial Close Manager, and Supplemental Data Manager. With increasing pressure to reduce close times and improve the integrity of financial reporting, finance departments need to replace manual processes with technologies that can help automate and streamline the financial close process and eliminate the risk of errors, omissions, and fraud. Integrated account reconciliation software applications such as Oracle ARM can remove a major bottleneck in the financial close process, increase accuracy, and reduce risk — not to mention complement existing investments in financial consolidation, financial reporting, financial close workflow, and transaction processing systems.