Reconciliations: A Match Made in Automation
Dec 05, 2019 | By Erika Heckscher
Isn’t it great to be in a relationship where somebody just gets you?
It’s so effortless. You feel like you get everything you need, sometimes without even having to ask. It works.
That’s how we like to think about how FloQast works for accountants, though generally in less romantic terms. It just works. It knows you and your needs as an accountant. And like one of those perfect relationships, it keeps getting better.
As an accountant myself, and a product manager at FloQast, my goal each day is to find new ways to take FloQast another step closer to being that perfect significant other for our accountant users.
That drives how I approach my primary responsibility (and daily obsession): FloQast AutoRec — the product that automates reconciliations for bank, credit card, and other accounts.
I’m proud to say that AutoRec has added a lot of important features since it launched in April. Some are large, some are small, but the common thread between all of these enhancements is that they all were created with a sensitivity to the way accountants do this work in real life. Because we get you.
I’ll detail some of these changes below, but let me first tell you why I’m so proud and passionate about the rapid evolution of FloQast AutoRec.
Takes One to Know One
I’m quite familiar with the problems inherent in doing reconciliations. In fact, I’d wager that I started doing recs earlier in my life than you did. I did bookkeeping in my teens for my father’s law practice, and also worked at a local CPA firm — all before graduating from high school. My perspective on how recs needed better process, controls, and automation only grew as my career progressed — first doing audit and tax work for a CPA firm, then as an assistant controller at an airline company, and, finally, 10 years with PwC Consulting, helping clients implement new general ledgers.
In short, I feel your pain. And that’s why it’s been so exciting to play a part in the evolution of FloQast AutoRec.
What Have We Done?
AutoRec's most recent change is cosmetic: We changed the product’s name to AutoRec from FloQast Match. Initially, we used the term match because it describes the part of the reconciliation process that automation assists with the most: Identifying all the transactions that are found both in your GL and supporting system (like a bank statement for a bank rec). In other words, they match. The technology that performs that magic is so cool — and so powerful — that we decided to name the whole product after it.
Coincidentally, that’s why I named my first-born Rex. No, not really, that’s just an accounting joke.
Over time, we found that the name Match didn’t do the product justice, because it does so much more. So, we renamed it to better reflect what it does — automate the reconciliation.
The Big Changes
First, you can now upload either Excel or CSV files, so when you have more transactions to upload, your CSV files can handle a far-greater volume. Or, if your columns have formulas, saving it as CSV file saves those formulas as values. That means you can upload those transactions to FloQast AutoRec without having to do a manual cleanup step of copying and pasting values into those columns.
Next, you don’t have to configure those files to fit some rigid format before you upload them to FloQast AutoRec. We’ve added an easy-to-use tool to identify which columns in your uploads — in your layout — contain the date, amount, and descriptions for each transaction. You can even leave all your report headers in place and tell us which row the transactions start on. As a result, there’s no need to move columns around or remove the headings that come out when you export transactions from your GL or bank. If the amounts in either file are not signed appropriately, just use our flip sign feature, rather than having to change the sign yourself.
See what we mean by anticipating and accounting for what an accountant needs? We get you.
Next, some of you doing bank account reconciliations want to (have to?) reconcile all month long. That could be because it’s just too much to do during the close, or because you need it to manage cash balances. For that, you can now upload transaction files anytime to progressively reconcile your account during the month. Do this any way that suits you: Month-to-date files, separate files for groups of days, it all works. You don’t have to be careful to avoid uploading duplicate transactions; we take care of the de-duping for you. Of course, you can also use this to include those last-minute journal entries or corrections to the GL.
Finally, when you have outstanding transactions in one month, that you need in the next month’s reconciliation, just check the box when uploading files to the new month. We’ll then automatically roll forward those outstanding transactions to the next month. That way, you don’t need to go find those unmatched transactions and copy/paste them into a new reconciliation. Those little things add up and save you time, just like it did for CHG Healthcare. Here's the case study.
As has been the case since our initial launch, you can export all this work to a spreadsheet that includes the full account reconciliation already created for you. That includes a tab for the actual reconciliation, plus separate tabs for the outstanding transactions from your ERP, the bank, plus a clear audit trail of all reconciled transactions. We get the GL account balance and you add the bank balance to finish the reconciliation and save it to your cloud storage, to tie out back to FloQast Close.
Just a reminder — although the examples above reflect bank reconciliations, FloQast AutoRec can be used for any account, or any time you need to reconcile between two sets of transactions.
Where are we going next? Stay tuned. There’s plenty more to come. After all, we want to maintain the spark in our relationship. And there’s no better way to do that than to provide a few surprise gifts along the way.