Trintech provides finance departments in midsize and larger organizations with software to accelerate their accounting close processes. This record-to-report (R2R) cycle is complex because it involves the coordination of numerous people, many systems and multiple sources of data. There are iterative portions that involve cycles of reviews and multiple levels of approvals. These include reconciliations and adjusting of entries during the close as well as authoring, editing and updating narratives in the creation of disclosure documents. All of these must adhere to internal controls that require defined processes including reviews and approvals by multiple individuals. One key objective within the R2R process is to minimize the time it takes to complete the accounting close, with the generally accepted norm being one business week. Shortening the close means that all downstream tasks can be finished sooner, providing executives, managers, directors and shareholders with information about the organization’s financial performance and health sooner. Ventana Research asserts that by 2026, two-thirds of finance and accounting departments will improve their use of readily available technology to close their quarterly books within six business days, up from one-half that can do it today.
Trintech provides Cadency, a platform that streamlines balance sheet reconciliations; handles high-volume transactions matching and intercompany accounting chores to reduce workloads; automates journal entry creation and posting to ensure consistency, accuracy and auditability; as well as documents financial governance models and handles their compliance and related reporting. It also has software for managing the close process and the platform also applies analytics to identify areas of financial risk and offer strategies for addressing them. These capabilities have become even more essential as remote and hybrid working have become the norm, since they can overcome the challenges of managing time-sensitive, business-critical processes in a more complex working environment that makes collaboration and coordination difficult. To support these functions, it’s necessary for organizations to facilitate data integration, which Trintech does though targeted APIs, integration with common ERP systems and a data-as-a-service offering.
Cadency Direct, built on the ServiceNow platform, automates a department’s close-to-report processes while providing native workflows and triggers to organizations using the Now Platform. Our financial close research consistently shows that the most important reason why a department is able to accelerate the close is through an ongoing effort to refine the ways in which they manage the process. Not only does software like Cadency Direct help ensure that tasks are started on time, that hand-offs are smooth and timely and that there is complete visibility into the status of the process at any time, it ensures that the close is managed consistently and, as organizations refine that process, those changes remain baked in. Our Office of Finance Benchmark Research finds that 88% of organizations that have automated substantially all of their close are able to complete the process within six business days, compared to 59% that have automated some and just 40% that have automated little or none.
For midsize organizations, there is Adra software for transactions matching, account reconciliations and task management, along with related analytics to provide visibility and insight to evaluate the department’s efficiency and quality in managing the close process. Transactions matching substantially reduces the time spent ensuring the accuracy and fidelity of financial statements by automating the tedious tasks of matching transactions with bank and credit card statements, point-of-sale systems and other internal or external sources of data. Midsize organizations typically do not have the transactions volume and complex legal entity and systems complexity typical of larger ones, and Adra offers an advantage in its cost to deploy and maintain, without sacrificing performance. Additionally, Trintech and Planful have a strategic partnership in place to provide organizations with an integrated close management system that includes Planful’s consolidation system. The combination enables organizations to accelerate their R2R process while increasing control and auditability.
For 20 years, our research agenda has focused on processes and technology to streamline the operations of finance and accounting departments. Steady advances have increased the importance of using automation to enable organizations to use software to speed the close while promoting accuracy and control, allowing finance and accounting staff to spend more time on work that takes advantage of their experience and expertise. These advances will continue over the next five years, especially the use of artificial intelligence using machine learning (AI/ML) to identify potential errors and fraud and further reduce the time spent by the staff on repetitive processes. Cloud-based systems enable vendors to immediately incorporate advances in their software so that they are available to customers without their having to upgrade.
I recommend that organizations review the systems and processes they use to manage their R2R cycle. Those that take longer than one business week to complete their accounting close should investigate how technology can accelerate and improve their performance. As part of that process, I recommend that they investigate how Trintech’s offerings can help streamline and shorten their accounting close.