Near the end of every month, staff accountants everywhere begin the reconciliation process to ensure the month’s financial transactions have all been recorded. Regular tasks include posting un-entered invoices, resolving any discrepancies in inventory, comparing budget with actual expenditures, analyzing the results, and preparing reports. All publicly held corporations are required to perform regular reviews to ensure the accuracy of their financial statements.
Although industry-standard workflow has long evolved past calculators and pencils, most accountants still rely on spreadsheets during month-end close. Starting with reports generated by the company’s accounting software, they import, massage, merge, and reformat data in spreadsheet models to confirm balances and track down discrepancies.
Given how universal and regular this labor-intensive approach is, accounting teams worldwide are ready to automate the monthly process wherever possible and reduce dependence on spreadsheets. Some follow-on calculations and workflows are inevitable, but most of the repetitive tasks are overdue for replacing.
Automation greatly reduces the labor involved in loading and mapping multiple source files together then generating multiple views into the monthly data. Programmed workflows eliminate human error in scheduling, selecting, filtering, joining, and formatting reports into data sets that accountants can use as is or hand off for additional modification. With routine calculations automatically performed each month, accountants can focus on higher-value tasks.