Which statement reconciliation software is the best?
Choosing the right supplier statement reconciliation software for you means considering the unique challenges you face in your organisation. We list our top considerations below:
Automated Matching Capability.
How many statements?
To begin, look at how many vendor statements you intend to match monthly, and how many invoices you process per year. Some statement reconciliation software pricing is based on these figures, and they can drastically affect the price you pay. Therefore, it’s important to know your figures before comparing suppliers.
A good rule of thumb for getting the most value from your statement reconciliations is to complete 80% or more of the statements received.
How much of the process to automate?
A tougher aspect to investigate is how much of the statement reconciliation process you would like to control. How much do you want to leave up to computers?
Some software offers a no-touch approach, with automated follow-up emails sent directly to the suppliers. This is extremely useful, but it also can cause risk. While computers and AI are good at finding discrepancies, some automated solutions lack a human touch.
Certain discrepancies may need a conversation, particularly if the supplier relationship is rocky, or it is a valued supplier. Sometimes the discrepancy is internal, for example, a lag or error in a processed invoice or received credit. In these cases contacting the vendor is unnecessary.
Your procedure when finding a discrepancy will determine whether you choose to automate certain suppliers, all suppliers or only the discovery/matching process.
Check your resources.
Determining how many licenses you need is useful as this can affect the price of some software. Delve into who in your team completes statement reconciliation. Is this something that has a dedicated staff member, or is it a task shared between the whole AP team? When choosing your provider, are you willing to pay for a set number of licenses or a set number of transactions?
Data Integration and ERP Compatibility
Check that the statement reconciliation software is compatible with your ERP, especially if your ERP is unusual or heavily customised.
Look at the various formats your supplier statements arrive in, for example Excel, PDF or another digital format, and see whether the software is compatible with these.
Do you need email integration? Referring to emails with statement attachments from within the statement reconciliation software can be very beneficial. Alternately, some software options can scan a mailbox (often dedicated for the receipt of statements) and automatically import those statements into the software.
How automated you want this process to be will largely depend on your current method of receiving invoices.
Cloud-based or on-premises?
Most statement reconciliation solutions operate as SaaS cloud-based software. But if your ERP is on-premise it doesn’t mean you can’t complement it with a cloud solution. All ERP’s have the ability to provide a data extract, and if you migrate your ERP from on-premise to cloud, the statement reconciliation solution continues seamlessly.
Efficiency and Time Savings
Automated reconciliation speed
Automation means scaling down the amount of time often wasted by manual supplier statement reconciliation. Instead of spending 30 minutes panning for statement rec gold, the nuggets are there waiting for you to find out how much they’re worth.
The secret to choosing your platform here is knowing how much time each one truly saves you. That starts with your organisation.
First, get familiar with how your team works. How long does your team have to complete statement reconciliation? How often is it done? How often is statement reconciliation completed at the last minute?
Our supplier statement reconciliation software matches at an average of 7 seconds per statement. It can also automate imports from a mailbox, so your statements download and match immediately. The exceptions are then ready for review when you open the software.
Other solutions often have a 24-hour delay for newly imported suppliers and some may only work on a daily basis. It’s therefore important to know whether your team can wait on invoices or would rather they be ready to address.
Bulk reconciliation capability
Bulk uploads save time for Accounts Payable staff who reconcile large quantities of supplier statements. A solution offering at least one bulk upload option is ideal for businesses with a lengthy supplier list.
Our solution’s bulk upload options include a simple drag and drop method, or email integration so statements upload directly to the system.
Flexibility and Customisation Options
When comparing any software that looks for errors, you need to know how it scrutinises your data. Some software completes a series of routine checks, which can be as simple as a comparison of supplier statements and invoice values. Others have more complex checks, including comparison against historical ERP data, or supplier data and previous transactions. Where possible, ask for a demonstration using your data.
User Experience and Ease of Use
Training and ongoing support
Investigate everything you can about training. Does training come as part of the package or does it cost extra? Is remedial training available and is that chargeable? This is an important factor when thinking about your budget.
You’ll also want to know where and how the training will take place. Will it be on your premises, at a training facility or online? This, alongside the number of users you will need to train, will enable a clear understanding of how soon you could use automated statement reconciliation.
User interface and intuitiveness
Support and Customer Service
Software updates and upgrades
Data security measures
Your sensitive financial data matters, and you need to know how secure it will be. Ensure you know how the providers ensure a high level of security. Ask about their procedures on data handling, NDAs, and what their information security management certification is. For example, we have NDAs in place and ISO27001 Certification for our cloud-based solutions.
Pricing and return on investment (ROI)
Providers should be able to give you a rough idea of the ROI you’ll get or the average value their customers receive. Our users, for example, are finding multiple credits with an average value of £13,000 and missing invoices with an average value of £8000.
So, what do you need to research when choosing automated statement reconciliation software?
- Automated matching capability.
- Data integration and ERP compatibility.
- Efficiency and time savings.
- Flexibility and customisation.
- User experience and ease of use.
- Support and customer service.
- Pricing and return on investment.
Evaluating these options and making an informed decision will allow you to find the best-fit solution for your team and your procedures.
For help with choosing your supplier statement reconciliation solution, we’ve made a helpful checklist (seen above). Find it here.