Teresa Mackintosh, CEO
“Banking is necessary – banks are not,” stated Bill Gates in 1994—a time when implementation of IT systems and growth of alternative channels such as web based banking and internet payments began to transform the industry. Now, two decades later, the level of financial technology adoption—a rising revolution—among the firms and the digitally active consumers has grown significantly. Catalyzed in large parts by the financial crisis of 2008-2009, financial organizations are adopting and investing in new business models and technology to deliver rich experiences, while maintaining transparency and trust with the customers.
According to the reports by KPMG and CB Insights, the investments in financial technology totaled $19.1 billion last year, a huge jump from $12.21 billion in 2014. The numbers are expected to touch new heights this year.
While the booming financial technology is invading the market with easy-to-use and compelling products, established financial services players are not doing enough to keep up with a surge in incipient innovation. The constantly evolving technology and new regulatory requirements are placing very high demands on an organization's ability to capture, validate, and correct general ledger information. More significantly, organizations are faced with increasing challenges that span the entire Record-to- Report (R2R) processes from reconciliations to journal entry and financial close to financial reporting. “The challenges are further compounded by the lack of standardized processes, bottlenecks in the system, lack of visibility and the proper tools to deliver the results,” states Teresa Mackintosh CEO, Trintech.
Helping customers alleviate such challenges and have an enterprise-wide view into critical financial processes, Trintech, is a premier provider of financial governance and financial software solutions for entire Record-to-Report processes. “We understand the deadlines, dynamics and struggles of managing the R2R process,” affirms Teresa. Besides, the Addison, Texas-based firm develops comprehensive solutions that help organizations to reduce costs, manage risk, increase efficiency and monitor activities across the entire R2R process.
Re-inventing the Customer’s R2R Process
As finance executives need to manage, measure, and monitor the entire R2R process from various perspectives during and subsequent to financial close cycle, Trintech offers Cadency, a uniquely designed financial governance software that incorporates the R2R activities into a single, seamless process. Cadency’s configurable dashboard allows users to focus on specific responsibilities and areas critical for success. The software automates and manages several aspects of the financial close including balance sheet reconciliation, journal entries, close tasks, governance, compliance, and financial reporting. The Cadency certification ensures the integrity of financial statements, via automated enterprise account reconciliation, balance sheet certification and variance analysis. Using a fully configurable end-to-end workflow, the journal entry process in Cadency allows organizations to avoid common issues—pitfalls resulting from disparate systems, missing/ inadequate supporting documentation, improper management approval, and/or lack of transparency into the impact of late adjustments—found in manual approaches.
Cadency manages the entire Record-to-Report process end to end, and users can gain audit transparency into their period-end close processes, in real time
The software also delivers real-time visibility, control, and validation of the status of journal entries — both standard and nonstandard, from preparation to approval to posting — translating into better governance. Cadency also includes several tools like Configurable Control Hierarchy, Control Status Console, and Control Exception Console amongst others that help maintain visibility and management control across all performance management and compliance activities. Cadency manages the entire Record-to-Report process end to end, and users can gain audit transparency into their period-end close processes, in real time.
Optimizing Account Reconciliations
Likewise, while reconciliation of high-volume transactional accounts can be a tedious part of the R2R process, Trintech provides ReconNET, a transaction reconciliation and data matching software. Customers can easily reconcile bank, cash, credit/debit card, ACH, lockbox and payroll accounts – improving productivity while reducing the costs associated with time-consuming and error-prone manual processes. The software automates over 90 percent of operational bank reconciliations, high-volume transaction data and exception management processes. ReconNET automates daily, monthly, and periodic reconciliation and account balancing processes, especially high-volume transaction accounts, for example, credit card reconciliation. “This is useful to organizations that need to utilize powerful matching algorithms to electronically match transaction data and automatically reconcile accounts,” says Teresa. Likewise, ReconNET automates processes for the resolution of unmatched reconciliation items such as variances, missing deposits, bank deposit corrections, Serial Number Zero (SNZ), amongst others. Built-in filters can tag items, send emails, and assign escalations to expedite the research incidents. With ReconNET, organizations increase visibility and control, streamline transaction management processes, and enhance reporting and analysis. Flexible reporting tools allow businesses to compare key performance metrics, and optimize processes and financial relationships to reduce costs and increase performance. ReconNET helps organizations validate, monitor, and document the effectiveness of established controls to ensure compliance. ReconNET features both detective and preventative controls to improve auditability and compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), requirements, BASEL II, stringent PCI audits and other similar compliance mandates.
In essence, ReconNET can be implemented and operated with minimal IT involvement. The solution delivers an intuitive transaction reconciliation system that supports and integrates with the customers’ current organizational processes, resulting in minimized training and implementation efforts. The system also contains an ETL file processor capability which dramatically reduces the burden on IT groups through the elimination of a mandated file format for transaction activity upload into ReconNET. This capability gives businesses the necessary flexibility to focus on the content of the file, while eliminating the need them to be concerned with its format.
“Over 500 companies worldwide have implemented our ReconNET solution to increase efficiencies by automating daily, monthly and periodic balances,” says Teresa.
ReconNET automates daily, monthly, and periodic reconciliation and account balancing processes, especially high-volume transaction accounts"
In an implementation highlight, a global company, Yahoo! found it increasingly difficult to manage compliance and risk mitigation initiatives in the office of finance. Different business units in different locations utilized different processes and disparate platforms to reconcile accounts. Reconciliation of credit cards, deposits, and payroll was primarily a manual process, resulting in delays and potential errors. Additionally, the business found it difficult to gauge its exposure to the risk of material exceptions or to evaluate the status of the reconciliation function in support of the period end close. Yahoo! identified the reconciliation function as being critical to ensuring the accuracy of the balance sheet, and it began seeking vendors with expertise in this area. Yahoo! selected Trintech based upon its track record of expertise in the reconciliation and compliance software solution marketplace. Trintech offered its ReconNET and Certification solutions that provided Yahoo! with many capabilities. A self-documenting system was set up which simplified access and reporting processes for internal accountants and external auditors. Dashboard reporting capabilities provided insight into the status of the reconciliation function to support compliance efforts. ReconNET automated deposit verification, payroll, accounts payable and credit card reconciliations for high-volume U.S. accounts. By implementing Certification and ReconNET, Yahoo! was able to standardize account reconciliation process globally. The manual processes were automated for a more accurate and efficient period end close. The firm then had visibility into the status of the reconciliation function across the entire enterprise. In the end, Yahoo! was able to make significant savings in the effort and costs associated with the reconciliation function.
While proffering such an extensive support to its customers through its products, Trintech additionally offers cloud and SaaS solutions that deliver smart security, security assurance, and disaster recovery services, as well as data aggregation services. The firm also delivers SAP integration through a SAP Certified Connector, offering a close-looped solution that is imperative when running a fast month-end close or automating the Record-to-Report process. Similarly, DataFlow service is offered by Trintech that automates daily data acquisition, validation, formatting and aggregation of customer account statements – simplifies access at the lowest possible cost. Moreover, Trintech further partners with BPO providers to provide an end-to-end solution for the Record-to-Report process.
Focusing on the Big Picture
A wave of financial technology is changing the ways in which people borrow and save, pay for things, buy foreign exchange and send money. Use of newer technologies is being central to the bottom lines of banks and credit unions. While finance may be most vulnerable to disruption by new software technology, Trintech is focused on constantly innovating its financial software solutions to help customers stay relevant in the market. Evidently, partnerships form an integral part of Trintech’s solution strategy, and the firm is focused on creating partnerships which will help them create solutions that meet the unique business requirements of customers worldwide. Envisioning the future with greater opportunities, Trintech plans to be a strong player in the finance industry and be the go-to technology and services provider for many of the world’s leading companies. More importantly, the firm is focused on being the premier provider of cloud-based software solutions for the Record-to-Report process.