A rapidly changing payments ecosystem around the world has made the need for a faster return on investment imperative. Automation within the life cycle of a payment is mandatory for any company wishing to achieve this goal. One area, often overlooked, where this can be achieved is in the reconciliation process. Here automation, combined with intelligent workflow, can deliver a faster ROI to companies whose manual reconciliation processes slow down data collection and matching and post reconciliation adjustments.
The challenges that must be addressed when automating the reconciliation process include:
Multiple data sources. Data required for reconciliation is sourced from multiple different sources in different formats. Data is inconsistent and requires manipulation and/or enrichment.
Matching business logic. Ability to logically tie, group or match items from data sets is complex and given over to people with unique skills, requiring significant effort and difficult tools to operate.
Allocation of status/disposition. Open items requiring follow-up and coordination are handled in inconsistent and unstructured ways with little insight into work progress or resolution– such as via email.
Integration of outcomes. Outcomes and determinations not easily fed into reporting streams or into other systems.
There are solutions available on the market that can expedite the automation of these manual roadblocks, e.g., RS Software’s Auto-Recon offering. When considering which offering can best address your organization’s needs, look for the following types of functionality:
Flexible Workflow-based Rules Engine: Most manual processes in data collection and transaction level matching should be executed through a workflow based rules engine. This provides a way to easily view transactions and make quick changes to the system without major coding effort.
User Friendly UI for Web Portal: Look for a user interface that is intuitive and provides access to a dashboard view of the reconciliation system for CXOs and Treasurers. A comprehensive alerting system should be included to simplify error detection, reporting and resolution.
Simplified Post-Reconciliation Adjustment: Make sure the reconciliation system you are considering includes the ability to easily make adjustments to unreconciled transactions with financial institutions and processors.
By automating the reconciliation process, an organization can reduce the time and expense associated with exception management, end-to-end processing, audits( based on automated account certification and electronic storage of data) and gateway processing (due to reduced code changes). To ensure your organization attains these benefits and the improved ROI they bring, choose a partner that has specific subject matter expertise in payments.
This expertise will preferably span decades and include a number of blue chip clients since the payments industry is one of the most demanding landscapes in the world to work in, given its security challenges, regulatory requirements, and stakeholder expectations.