The goal of every finance organization is to support the production of reliable statements during the financial close process, and to do so in a way that increases efficiency and effectiveness while reducing costs and risk. However, as the scope and pace of business continue to increase in unpredictable times, CFOs are facing a complex set of problems. This is especially true for businesses that deal with a high volume of transactions. Finance teams not only have to reconcile up to thousands of transactions, but they must do so in a way that is fast and accurate without burning out their teams.
An inefficient financial close process can cost you great talent
Trintech recently held an online webinar to discuss the top challenges finance teams will face going into 2022, as well as the potential for automated transaction matching to serve as a solution to those problems. Featured speaker Tyler York, Product Marketing Manager at Trintech, discussed the current job market that CFOs are navigating:
“We have all heard the new phrase, the ‘Great Resignation.’ Eight out of nine executives say they’re experiencing a higher-than-normal turnover rate now, so it is no surprise that 81% of CFOs are concerned that high turnover and labor shortages will impact their company’s revenue growth. Why are people leaving? More than peers, CFOs think it’s for better wages and salaries.” – Tyler Yorke, Product Marketing Manager
The data supports CFOs’ beliefs. Reports by Forbes and Deloitte have shown that about one in four American employees left their jobs in 2021, with a majority of Millennial and GenZ workers indicating that they’re primarily motivated to leave their employer because they’re unhappy with their current pay. With no indication of this trend ending any time soon, CFOs need to be prepared for talent retention rates dropping and the subsequent need for process improvement as top challenges for 2022.
Within the office of finance specifically, technology is a key element to attracting and retaining talent. This is especially true of the younger portion of the talent pool, since Millennials and GenZ are technology natives that were born into it. If an organization handles the financial close process without modern exception management tools like automated transaction matching, they risk missing out on or losing great talent.
Automated transaction matching empowers teams and improves morale
As companies grow and begin to reconcile new sources and higher volumes of data, a manual multi-way matching process cannot effectively scale to meet the company’s reconciliation requirements. With a modern software platform like Adra Matcher by Trintech, automated transaction matching can be run according to specific rules and procedures determined by your office of finance.
Instead of combing through and reconciling a high number of transactions manually, your team can utilize automation and exception management tools that do the work for them. This frees up your accountants’ time they’d normally spend manually figuring out the root cause of discrepancies, and therefore creates a smoother close process. And instead of having to schedule constant task update meetings, management teams can simply log into the platform and see the matching process status, leaving them with only the exceptions to review.
“One important thing to note is a lot of people seem to think this puts their job at risk, but that is not the case. Just because you’re very efficient and lean in your financial close process doesn’t mean you don’t still play a pivotal role in another activity, such as team development or working on budgets or non-gap business reporting and so on. You and everyone else on the finance team can be adding value in many other ways across your organization.” – Tyler Yorke, Product Marketing Manager
By automating the more mundane aspects of the financial close process, your finance team can experience improved work-life balance while putting their highly trained skillsets toward tasks that actually add value to the organization overall. Further, you’re attracting talent from the younger tech-savvy generations.
Strategize to implement an automated transaction matching tool
Maybe you recognize the need to bring automated transaction matching into your financial close process, but you’re not sure where to begin your transformation journey. When developing a framework, consider how your organization can move through these hierarchical steps:
- Quality and consistency of source data: How do I automate the data loads and the manual manipulation of the source data from an existing or legacy source system?
- Many-match rules: How do I let the system perform multiple automatic matches based on various criteria before attempting any manual matches?
- Exception management tools: How do I let the solution reduce the manual workload matching the remaining items that do not automatically match according to my current configured rules?
- Controls operate consistently: How do I get the solution to flag items for further investigation, generate the requests by email and ensure they are resolved?
You can view the recorded webinar for a discussion of the questions above, as well as a further exploration into what a healthy close process looks like and how automated transaction matching can get you there.
Written by: Nathan Stabenfeldt