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September 29, 2023

God Only Knows Why Most Companies Still Manually Reconcile General Ledger Accounts

A recent report released by Robert Half and the Financial Executives Research Foundation found that "nearly two-thirds of finance departments in US companies and one-half in Canadian companies" are manually still reconciling general ledger accounts. 

That seems like a lot! But Roberto Halfo says it's biz as ushe:   

"The level of manual reconciliation reported in our survey is surprising; however, we've seen this same consistent response in the four years we have conducted the study," Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half, told AccountingWEB. 
Okay, so maybe technology, change, or smug tech-savvy up-and-comers stealing jobs from more senior employees is reason for la resistance. But you know what else is scary? Human error! And it can be pretty embarrassing sometimes! But many executives still aren't convinced that these computer machines and fancy software are all they're cracked up to be: 
According to the report, some executives at smaller companies are not convinced that available technology for automating the close is sufficiently tailored to their needs. They expressed concerns that their teams could end up expending more time and resources setting up a custom software package than it would take to continue with a manual process.
Allow me to shift gears into brash, know-it-all ageist guy for a moment — I hate the excuse of "it'll cost more to set it up and learn it then it will to continue doing it the old way." That's a lazy person's excuse. "Hey, this process sucks and is time-consuming, but BY GOD, it's our sucky time-consuming process and we KNOW IT backwards and forwards." They can't see past the next month's close or the rationale in — GOD FORBID — investing in something that might actually improve productivity. 
Meanwhile the person who actually performs the process is probably saying, "This would take about five minutes to reconcile if there was even the slightest bit of automation involved. But instead it takes all day and by the end of it I want to go home and take a bath with a toaster oven."   
But by all means, continue expanding your general ledgers with accounts that require reconciliations. I'm sure your employees appreciate the busy work. 

Report: Most General Ledger Accounts Reconciled Manually [AWEB]

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