Automate Microsoft Great Plains reconciliation with a bot!

If your accounting department spends more than 11 minutes per month reconciling transactions, this page is for you.
The purpose of this piece is to show you why automating your reconciliation process with an accounting robot is your next step towards digital transformation.

An essential element to the close process is to ensure that transactions in the General Ledger accurately reect what takes place in your company’s bank accounts and credit card statements. This is typically done manually in one of the following three ways:

If the bank feed is available in the ERP, transactions are manually checked o one by one in the ‘bank reconciliation’ module until the difference equals $0. Most ERP systems will auto-match exact transaction amounts, but that still leaves behind a large swath of unmatched transactions.

If the bank feed is not automatically fed into the ERP, someone has to manually download bank statements from the bank website and upload them into the ERP. Then all of the unmatched transactions must be manually reconciled.

The entire reconciliation process is performed in an Excel spreadsheet. Oh the horror! This operation is typically called ‘tick & tie’ and each row in the spreadsheet usually has a checkbox column next to it.

If your accounting department employs any of the manual methods listed above, it would behoove you to get a reconciliation robot!

What makes reconciliation time consuming?

Bulk deposits

Multiple checks deposited together might show up as one transaction. Wire and ACH transactions can correspond to payment of multiple invoices. A reconciliation bot can handle this.

Processing fees

Credit card payments often incur 2.9% processing fees which makes the internal invoice amounts dierent than line items in the bank deposits. A reconciliation bot can sort this out.

Third party processors

Such as Stripe, PayPal, Square, Amazon, Shopify, etc., send bulk deposits after subtracting fees, refunds, and other charges. Without a bot, reconciliation under such circumstances is often bypassed in favor of one large adjusting journal entry at the end of the month.

Partial payments

Customers don’t always pay invoices in full or on time. Historic, open invoices are paid rst, requiring a ‘cash application’ process to be done before any bank reconciliation is performed. Add credit memos to the mix ... and the complexity goes up a notch. A reconciliation bot would smooth this entire situation over.

Lockbox

Banks oer lockbox services for handling large volumes of checks. Scanned images of checks are supplied in a PDF that requires someone to manually apply each transaction towards an open invoice. A reconciliation bot can automate this entire process.

One-to-Many & Many-to-Many Matches

One transaction in the bank feed can correspond to multiple transactions internally, and vice versa. Without a reconciliation robot, this means that reconciliation will involve finding a group of transactions that match the total amount.

Others

Transactions might not clear on the expected date, descriptions or memo elds may not line up, two or more transactions might look exactly the same, and the list goes on and on.

What is a reconciliation robot?

A reconciliation robot is a software program that is engineered to take control of the keyboard, mouse, and screen controls of your computer. It is programmed to perform your entire reconciliation process, from start to finish!
The robot will,
1. Log into bank accounts and extract statements
The robot will,
2. Log into the accounting system and navigate to the reconciliation section
The robot will,
3. Read and compare items on the bank statement and the accounting system, applying intelligent logic using dates, amounts, and descriptions.
The robot will,
4. Click on checkboxes next to each transaction, and report on any problematic or erroneous transactions.
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The robot performs reconciliation just like a human, except it’s a million times faster and never makes mistakes.

About robot technology:

Robots are novel yet powerful software tools in the era of automation. Most people are familiar with physical robots working on an assembly line. Software robots, however, are not ubiquitous yet, which makes them harder to visualize. The best way to think about a software robot is to imagine a digital worker who follows rules and makes logical decisions as they work for your company. These robots use the UI (user interface) of every application on the computer screen to execute a process from start to nish – just like a human would. They follow the logic and rules that your team provides in order to accurately perform accounting tasks. Robots typically run on the cloud so as to not take up any computational space on employee workstations.

About Plena Data:

Plena is an RPA (Robotic Process Automation) platform designed to build & deploy accounting robots in less than 10 days. Our state-of-the-art engineering and relentless focus on customer satisfaction has resulted in a loyal following of CFOs and accounting executives who swear to never go back to doing things manually. Our partners include top CPA rms like Deloitte, who enable the distribution of robots across accounting departments of all sizes and industries.

At Plena, our mission is to eliminate all manual, repetitive, and tedious parts of the accounting process.

Benefits of using robots for reconciliation:

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