If you hear the phrase "revenue reconciliation" and groan a little, you're not alone. For most retail managers, it's a necessary evil rather than a labor of love. Closing the books on a daily basis is important, but it shouldn’t mean coming in early, staying late, and eating lunch in front of a spreadsheet.
One of the greatest hazards is that since revenue reconciliation takes so much input, it is highly prone to error. Undertaking this task as a manual process leads to inaccurate ledgers and uncertain decision making, which can put the future of the store or brand in jeopardy. That’s why retailers should consider incorporating an automated revenue reconciliation process to eliminate these problems.
The benefits of automation
Retailers are increasingly turning to automation to transform revenue reconciliation from an obligation into an asset. When more of the workload is handled automatically and intelligently, operations improve immensely. Just consider some of the benefits.
- Eliminate errors. Smart processes are able to manage huge sets of transactional data with perfect accuracy. Financial decision making immediately improves because it's based on the most complete and accurate information available.
- Reduce theft. When both revenue and inventory are being reconciled at the same time, it's much easier to identify and eliminate instances of theft.
- Improve inventory. Dealing with too much or too little inventory is a non-issue when using automated revenue reconciliation. Key metrics are tracked in real time, making stocking, ordering, and reordering more efficient and effective.
- Save time. Revenue reconciliation takes a long time even in a small store. Automated revenue reconciliation handles the brunt of the workload. It's a big relief for managers and frees up a lot of time and energy for other initiatives.
- Enhance reporting. Automated revenue reconciliation leads to improved accounting overall. Decision makers have access to deeper insights in less time, which is a huge asset when trying to secure and sustain growth.
Simply stated, automated revenue reconciliation makes life a lot easier. The question is not whether to implement it but rather how to implement it effectively. Follow these best practices to get the most from your accounting upgrade:
1. Make the use case
Start by studying your current reconciliation process in-depth. This reveals where automation is likely to have the biggest positive impact. It also reveals what aspects of reconciliation are best left to humans. This knowledge helps you develop a use case for automation, in order to guide when, where, why, and how a solution is implemented.
2. Find a comprehensive solution
It's possible to automate just select aspects of revenue reconciliation, but the best solutions integrate these capabilities with other operational and accounting solutions. Systems that combine CRM, marketing, reporting, HR, and accounting all under one umbrella provide a 360-degree retail solution. Stores are then able to collect data from more touchpoints, organize and analyze it seamlessly, and apply it across properties and sales channels. Automatic revenue reconciliation becomes just one aspect of a total enterprise upgrade.
3. Get staff onboard
The best accounting tools in the world are not helpful unless staff can use them easily and comprehensively. Search for solutions that makes accessibility a priority. Then prioritize training and education before the rollout of the new solution. In the best cases the revenue reconciliation process is so automated that it takes little to no user input at all.
Older methods of revenue reconciliation helped stores maintain the status quo, but today's technology can help them seize the future. Hours once spent on accounting can now be spent on marketing, training, and customer service—the aspects of any retailer's business that will truly move the needle.
iQmetrix solutions are data-driven from the ground up, combining automated revenue reconciliation with functionality your wireless business can harness to succeed. Want to learn more?
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