A Simpler Financial Close Process For Retail & E-Commerce Organizations


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Over the last decade, the amount of transactions that the Office of Finance must properly handle in the retail industry has grown exponentially. This is largely due to the growth in the e-commerce market and the resulting surge in credit card transactions. Today, many restaurants are struggling with reconciling different sources of revenue – such as online ordering, curbside pickup, and food delivery apps.

The pressure to close your books faster is growing, yet you’re still relying on legacy tools, namely spreadsheets and legacy tools, to manage the financial close. You don’t have visibility into the process. You run into obstacles you can’t predict. Your manual processes are prone to error. Everyone is working harder to meet tight deadlines, increasing burnout and hurting morale.

This eBook discusses the:

  • Financial Tools Accountants Used Pre-COVID
  • Effects of COVID-19 on Retail and E-Commerce Organizations
  • Changes That COVID Triggered for Internal Accounting Teams
  • Future for the Office of Finance in Retail and E-Commerce

Pre-COVID Financial Process Framework

The Office of Finance has utilized spreadsheets since their invention in the 1980s and for a while, the spreadsheet served the accountant well. However, changes in consumer behavior coupled with increased organizational demands now require finance and accounting teams to look beyond spreadsheets for a modern financial close tool.

Impact of COVID-19 on Retail and E-Commerce

COVID-19 forced a widespread evolution in consumer behavior, especially within the retail and e-commerce industries. While organizations might have been able to adapt to these demands and behaviors on the consumer-facing side, the pivot of their business models caused internal accounting teams to struggle.

The Complexity of Account Reconciliation

Before the pandemic, one-to-one matches, two-to-one matches, and even three-to-one matches were all passable, although extremely inefficient, with spreadsheets. Many hours were being logged in this manual type process. Performing a traditional account reconciliation process with all these new elements of 3rd party delivery services and meal delivery results in a high potential for lost revenue, fraud, and write-offs. Utilizing an automated solution to solve multi-way matching rules further enables accountants to simplify their close processes.

Data Acquisition Challenges

With this significantly higher volume of transactions that rolled into retail and e-commerce organizations, it became apparent that the Office of Finance spends too much time manually sorting and uploading the data that begins the financial close process. Requiring accounting teams to manually input data by exporting ERP general ledger data is both frustrating and time-consuming when your accountants could be spending their time in other parts of the close cycle.

Future of Accounting in Retail and E-Commerce

Spreadsheets and manual processes don’t offer the Office of Finance any benefits — they are costly, limit growth, and exponentially increase the organization’s risk profile.

Download the brochure below to explore these topics in more detail.