September 11, 2020

5 Best Reconciliation Tools: Complete Guide

Finance Leadership
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Account reconciliation is a mandatory business process. While every business has its procedures, it follows a pretty standard process of matching transactions across ledgers and bank statements to ensure financial accuracy of accounts. Reconciliation tools help teams maximise their productivity and save time in what would otherwise be a very timely process of account reconciliation. 

But, how do you find the tool that is right for your business? It begins by understanding what account reconciliation software is and then comparing the features/pricing of the best tools on the market. This guide aims to help you cover all the bases! 

What is Account Reconciliation Software?

Bank account reconciliation software centralises the financial close process and automates it for businesses. The software pulls data from the general ledger and compares it to bank statements and invoices to quickly reconcile accounts. Then, the software allows the preparer to electronically sign off upon completion and send it over to the approver for a final review. Once it’s approved, the software stores the data in the centralised database and provides your business with a secure audit trail. 

Most software systems allow for teams to upload supporting documents, view company policies, electronically sign off on reconciliations and leave comments, if needed. It also allows for controls to be set up so that processes are gated between employees for audit and compliance requirements. Additionally, the tool may provide users with a dashboard or a visual representation of current financial standing. 

What Features Should Be Included?

When looking for reconciliation software tools, you’ll want to make sure the following features are included:

  • Reporting: A statement can be produced to highlight any records that are unmatched between the GL and bank statement. The system should also be able to compare financial reports from previous historical periods in time. 
  • Issue management: If there’s an issue, the tool should identify the exception and be able to roll the forward problems into subsequent periods until it’s been resolved. You can also leverage a clean-up method to resolve issues manually. 
  • Transaction matching: This is the crux of the tool. Here, the data can be pulled from various sources, compared and matched. You can establish matching rules for each account separately or create company-wide matching policies. You should also be able to define tolerance levels for a variance. 
  • Classification: Records should be able to be classified and attributed to their type classes during the matching process. This could be performed manually or automatically. 

Making a Choice: The 5 Best Reconciliation Tools

Choosing the right reconciliation tool means considering both the upsides and the downsides. Let’s take a look at what some of the best tools on the market have to offer. 

SolveXia: 

SolveXia is a Digital Work Platform for Finance Automation. Many organisations use SolveXia to automate their account reconciliations, with a critical benefit being significant (10x) gains in team productivity. SolveXia’s enterprise-grade automation suite provides data processing, reporting, data persistence, audit trails and more. It can pull information from your general ledger and disparate data sources like banks, suppliers and more to reconcile your accounts quickly. 

SolveXia is powerful with an ability to ingest data in any format and perform complex data matching. Your team can instead spend their time analysing and investigating exceptions rather than manually preparing data for the reconciliation. The software will also provide alerts and notifications for variances and exceptions and allow for workflow for staff, to correct and adjust for exceptions. 

SolveXia runs securely on the cloud and can seamlessly integrate into your current set-up. The software can be up and running fast, in less than 30 minutes, with the ability to add new users instantaneously, and can be managed and updated without tech support or coding. If you need to run SolveXia in-house and host it internally, that is also an option, but not a necessity. Furthermore, SolveXia is uniquely extensible, with an ability to automate any data-intensive Finance task or workflow.

What sets SolveXia apart most from other tools is it is more extensible than financial close vendors because it has data transformation and enrichment capabilities. You go beyond just your GL or Bank data and produce analytics using more integrated data, for example, overlap with rebates and commission calculations or management dashboards. 

You can try SolveXia for free for one month and get a customised quote to meet your business needs. 

Xero: 

Xero’s online accounting software allows you to see your cash flow in real-time through an easy-to-use interface. Some of its features include bank reconciliation, online accounting, invoicing, tracking inventory and paying bills. It also provides your team with reporting and links to all transactions. Xero can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection and uses encryption to secure your data. 

The tool is well-made for mid to large-sized businesses. One of its most significant advantages is that it has unlimited users on every plan. In contrast, many other software tools will require a minimum amount of users and can cap maximums. Users can try Xero with a free trial and begin paying for a plan for as low as $27.50 a month. 

Blackline: 

Blackline is a cloud financial close software system that aids in supporting continuous improvement in your business. Blackline has features that cover: financial close process management, including reconciliations and accounting automation. You can set up approval and review processes to ensure that your global company’s financials are accurate across different currencies and geographies. 

Blackline has helped businesses comply with industry regulations because of its capability to hold a massive amount of data and store information in various formats. To learn more about pricing, you have to get in touch with their team. 

Bank Rec: 

Treasury Software’s product Bank Rec reconciles accounts automatically through transaction management. You can set up matching rules and allow the system to do the work so your team can focus on human analytical tasks and decision-making. Unmatched records will get rolled forward until they find their match. Some of the tool’s features include: identifying, tracking and resolving matches, recording type classification, importing and automation and high-speed matching of accounts. 

With Bank Rec, there are no set-up fees, and the product can be paid for monthly through a subscription model starting at $99.95/month or purchased entirely upfront. Either way, you can include five users. 

ReconArt: 

Like SolveXia, ReconArt is entirely web-based and can be hosted on-site, if desired. ReconArt is reconciliation software that helps businesses with bank reconciliation, credit card reconciliation, balance sheet reconciliation, financial close, accounts reconciliation, variance analysis, journal entry and intercompany reconciliation. 

You can purchase ReconArt with five minimum users starting at $1,500 a month. Unlike SolveXia, ReconArt is a software system designed for the single solution of reconciliation. SolveXia offers more automation benefits beyond reconciliation. 

Benefits of Automation Reconciliation Software

Account reconciliation software saves your team time. More than saving time, it offers many necessary businesses like providing consistency, accuracy and clarity plus it reduces compliance risk, which can ultimately save you money, prevent fraud and maintain your entire company’s reputation. 

Here’s a look at some of the significant benefits of account reconciliation software. 

  • Fully automated and fast: One of the essential benefits of reconciliation software like SolveXia is that it is fully automated. This makes it easy to complete the financial close process in no time. Many finance teams spend the majority of their time inputting data, trying to understand variances and wasting time on manual and repetitive tasks. With account reconciliation software, the process is managed automatically, freeing up your team to focus on high-level work, while improving accuracy and insights while improving controls and reducing audit risks. 
  • Uniform approach / standardised process: The reconciliation process should happen monthly. At the very least, it will take place quarterly, so it helps to standardise the process to ensure its accuracy. With account reconciliation software, the system will run reconciliations according to the automated process the same way, every time. This is particularly useful if your reconciliations take data from different systems, and there is complex and varied mapping and data cleansing involved. Reconciliation software removes automated this process, saving time and improving accuracy. 
  • Reduce errors & enhance internal controls: Reconciliation software allows for enhanced internal controls because leaders and stakeholders can see how the process is functioning and rest assured that it’s running smoothly every time. It also prevents any actions outside the process, while alerts can also be set-up for any unusual variances or activities. By reducing manual human inputs, and with automatic mapping, you are also able to reduce errors. The software is trained to be accurate, which will prevent many potentially costly mistakes from occurring, while alerts will help identify problems as they happen in real-time. 
  • Recorded history: The software stores all data history and reconciliations. This is useful not only for audit trails and compliance but also for historical information. You can check in on how much something costs in the past and help to forecast future expenses. This way, you can better budget and manage financials in your business. 
  • Delegated responsibilities: With account software, you can assign roles and manage access controls. In this way, every person on your team is aware of their position and responsibilities. When reconciliation needs to go through an approval process, then the system will automatically assign the next step to the approver as required. 

Wrapping Up 

Ultimately, any business will have to perform financial close and account reconciliations. As a public company, these processes are highly regulated, and if done incorrectly, could cost you your business. For small and large companies alike, performing accurate reconciliations can reduce fraudulent charges and help identify mistakes in financial processes. Having an up-to-date view of your business’ cash flow is directly correlated to making wise business decisions. 

All in all, using an account reconciliation tool will save your team time, allow every person to understand their role and responsibility better, and provide you with a convenient and secure location to store recorded financial history. 

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