The transaction matching process, as the foundation of account reconciliation, is a crucial component of every financial close. Accountants gather and match transactions from two or more sources of data to ensure every transaction is fully accounted for. Navigating this process is often tedious and time-consuming when using legacy tools and spreadsheets, as accountants rely on error-prone spreadsheets to document figures and find any discrepancies.
The Challenges of Manually Matching Transactions
The challenges of a manual matching process only compound when businesses are growing their operations and documenting high-volume transactions. Companies in the retail, e-commerce, and restaurant industries continuously experience these challenges as they navigate 3rd-Party vendors and credit card transactions.
Lack of Standardization and Visibility
While spreadsheets are the traditional way of documenting financial figures complete with formulas and macros, they provide no clear way of tracking changes and standardizing layouts. This contributes to a lack of visibility and a high probability of errors — whether in the formulas or in the transactions themselves. Additionally, the formulas and macros can cause errors within the data, impacting the resulting financial reporting.
Matching transactions with outdated, traditional methods prevents finance leadership from gaining real-time visibility into the process. Multiple communication methods are often required to fully gauge the status of critical and dependent tasks. As cumbersome as manual matching is, utilizing the same status quo processes inhibits finance teams from operating as accurately and efficiently as possible.
Siloed Sources of Financial Information
Utilizing spreadsheets exported from ERP systems to manually match transactions further isolates financial data. In addition, navigating the close with traditional methods siloes the Office of Finance and prevents the finance team from effectively communicating with other key stakeholders and departments.
As the number of transactions increases for organizations, it is crucial that all transactions are inputted in a centralized location to improve communication and collaboration throughout the matching process.
Optimize Your Close with Automated Transaction Matching
Implementing an automated transaction matching solution brings forth many benefits for finance and accounting teams.
Improve Credit Card Transaction Matching
As organizations continue to utilize 3rd-Party vendors to offer multiple methods of payment and deliveries, there’s no doubt that keeping up with high-volume transactions can be burdensome when utilizing manual matching methods.
Rather than manually matching each figure and finding the discrepancies themselves, accounting and finance teams can allow financial automation software to carry the burden of highlighting the discrepancies, allowing accountants to focus their time on investigating those discrepancies. Organizations in the retail, e-commerce and restaurant industries can also enable technology to match multiple sources of data (such as 3-way, 4-way, etc.), eliminating the need to manually match multiple figures in order to correctly document each transaction.
“Between the different solutions we reviewed, Adra was by far the strongest solution for matching our bank level transactions. Ultimately, we felt like Adra could provide us with the controls we needed for our audits and it could support our high-growth strategy.” – Sr. Treasury Analyst, Torchy’s Tacos
Automating this rather tedious and manual process also provides Offices of Finance the ability to centralize their processes, further improving internal controls and streamlining audits.
Create Custom Matching Rules for Specific Merchants
As businesses — especially those in the retail, e-commerce, or restaurant industries — expand their operations to include 3rd-Party payment and delivery providers, the challenges of matching transactions to specific merchants become a more pressing issue. Different vendors have different matching structures; some merchants have a simple one-to-one matching structure, while others may have variances that occur during a match.
E-Commerce Use Case
E-commerce businesses routinely work with many vendors, whether to provide additional delivery or payment options for customers. While these vendors enable the e-commerce business to provide multiple alternatives, the process of matching different fees and transactions become increasingly more difficult without a standardized and automated matching solution in place
An e-commerce organization that offers products on Amazon may struggle to match transactions through Amazon versus the company’s website. For merchants that include a fee to sell on their site, the additional fees become more difficult to track as e-commerce organizations match high-volume transactions through spreadsheets and legacy tools.
Implementing an automated high-volume transaction matching solution enables the e-commerce organization to match transactions with a set variance and to create custom matching rules catered to each merchant. Rather than manually sorting through a large number of transactions on a daily or weekly basis and matching each set of transactions, the e-commerce business can automate the matching process by importing data directly from an ERP vendor and automatically matching multiple sets of financial data with multi-way matching
The benefits of using an automated matching solution empower e-commerce accountants to dedicate more time to value-adding activities that drive the strategic vision of the organization.
Invest in a Flexible Matching Solution
Investing in a financial automation solution that is not only innovative but also flexible is paramount to remain forward-looking and competitive in a dynamic business landscape. As organizations grow their back-office operations, it is crucial that they implement both a standardized and automated process that enables them to efficiently scale their operations while recognizing opportunities to further enhance internal processes.
“Adra makes getting it all done possible. It enables and empowers the organization to run at peak performance. With cleaner, faster data inputs comes richer, timely analysis and the ability to do high-value problem solving and strategic thinking. By allowing the technology to do what it is built to do and enabling employees to focus on more engaging and productive work, our finance team can see greater value not only from a budget perspective, but also in having a foundation from which to build or enhance a workplace culture that is more likely to attract talent and boost employee morale.” – Tom Walker, Chief Financial Officer of the Dallas Cowboys
Written by: Alex Clem