API integration brings measurable benefits in reconciliation technology
Data reconciliation technology follows an evolution path increasingly defined by scalability, reduced human intervention, and connectivity. The main objectives to continually improve speed and efficiency can be met so long as reconciliation solutions are capable of handling large data streams at sync with multiple external systems without the intervention of human operators. ReconArt API integration provides the highest level of reconciliations automation.
Custom-developed connection to the back-end of the ERP and a file-based integration with third-party systems no longer suffice for growing, global, fast-paced business managing process change on daily basis within a complex application landscape. For them, integration of their reconciliation platform via API addresses the necessity to position reconciliations right at the center of the digital transformation roadmap.
In more complex environments business processes often reside in multiple systems. API connectivity makes the orchestration of those processes feasible from a single location across all those systems. For example, a single location can trigger data generation and transfer within one systems, and then initiate the ingestion of data, the reconciliation and the transfer of the resulting output within another system.
What is API?
Integration via API (application programming interface) establishes a connection between two web-based applications enabling them to communicate on request / response basis or asynchronously. In the course of that communication, commands and data flows are exchanged, accommodating the synchronization between the systems without human interference or constant oversight. Ecommerce sites are a typical example with online shopping card, product inventory database, and payment gateway sharing data hands-off in near real time.
API is a technical component serving as a universal connector between disparate data sources. The API integration requires laborious and expensive development work. But bridging systems which regularly and intensively interact pays off in dramatic improvements of the efficiency metrics for end users.
ReconArt API benefits
ReconArt has developed standard API integration with our reconciliation platform to introduce an additional automation layer and optimize the existing reconciliation and financial close processes. It calls off time consuming and error prone manual processing and guarantees seamless and effective operations of critical enterprise infrastructure. Complexity and volumes are addressed. Growth and change projects are unobstructed. Information security is strengthened. Reporting is easier and more reliable.
End-to-end reconciliations automation: use cases & client requirements
As with many product evolution projects, ReconArt has been inspired by customer feedback and industry knowledge gathered for more than a decade. Some customers of ours are more conservative and do not take up frequent process modifications. However, enterprises in the cross-border money remittance, travel, or e-commerce industries operate in a dynamic, global network of counterparts and intermediaries. Data reconciliation is a core business process for them. They are the strongest proponents of full automation of the reconciliation lifecycle because their competitive position depend on its effectiveness.
In order to respond to specific challenges for this segment of clients, ReconArt has developed a set of tools for secure upload and on-the-spot verification of data files feeding the reconciliation accounts. This process upgrade is meant to fully replace manual processing. The recon teams cannot afford to waste time downloading thousands email attachments, converting files into the appropriate format, checking for inconsistencies, and pushing data manually into the recon platform.
Tracing and correcting errors involved a lot of back and forth within and outside the client’s organization. This used to be a frequently encountered scenario for remittance and travel customers. The main objective of the automation here is to complete these operations smoothly for a fraction of the time needed before and eliminate potential security vulnerabilities.
Now data inputs, however formidable, are channeled through a data hub integrated with the reconciliation platform. This process optimization solves a number of problems: data reaches the destination accounts instantly, its consistency is verified. If needed, transformation and enrichment rules can be applied to prepare it for the matching phase. Both the sender and the receiver are notified when the upload is completed successfully or alternatively, an upload failure has to be examined.
ReconArt API features
ReconArt API supports all functions required for input of data into ReconArt and output of data from the application within business processes that flow through our platform. Inbound & outbound integration with ERPs, workflow software, enterprise-wide schedulers, data lakes and warehouses are now facilitated with token-based authentication at place.
End-to-end automation of reconciliation means reducing human intervention to the bare minimum in each step of the process. These process steps are often performed on daily basis and the API integration activates automated operation in the import, export, and scheduler module within ReconArt:
Imports of data files participating in the account reconciliation & transaction matching
Automatic file ingestion is enabled. Scheduled processes like data transfers are triggered, and afterwards confirmation plus associated statistical information are received upon successful completion of the operation (alternatively, transfer error notification is issued). Another key feature is the verification of uploaded data which cuts the loop of repetitive manual upload failures caused by formatting problems, duplicate data, or incompatible file structure.
Data sets comparison and matching records
Matching is the actual comparison of line items to identify equivalent transactions and follow up on the unmatched transaction. The exceptions categorization can be automated with a comprehensive inventory list of typical / expected causes of mismatch, which is maintained outside the reconciliation platform and mirrored within it. Of course, manual flagging of outstanding items is feasible, but this is part of the accelerated investigation and prioritization of exceptions.
Reconciliation data exports out of ReconArt
Detailed or aggregated lists of matched/unmatched items or account balances are generated by preselected criteria and exported automatically out of the system. Customers utilize this feature extensively as the up-to-date and verified reconciliation output is tapped in other business systems and functions (compliance, analytics, statutory reporting).
Supporting tables used in the course of finance reconciliation
Exchange rates tables, lookup tables (used as a reference upon data enrichment, for example) can be updated automatically via the API with input from regularly updated external sources.
Audit and reporting
Aggregated statistical data related to the reconciliation processes can be retrieved automatically, as well as security logs, audit trail excerpts, and other system information for the purposes of data analysis or integration of the security logs in enterprise log processing solutions.
A special ReconArt feature first published on Bobsguide (now Infinite Intelligence) – the ultimate fintech resource, an innovative online platform that connects the providers of fintech solutions with the financial services professionals who need them.
Read the article here as well.