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  • Writer's pictureKate Hughes

IRRECONCILABLE DIFFERENCES? DATITUDE FIGURES OUT FINANCIAL RECONCILIATION FOR RETAILERS

Robust financial controls are vital to commercial success.  And every business needs confidence the numbers are right and the finances add up – from orders to cash in the bank, to the bottom line. 


Financial Reconciliation

Financial reconciliation is an essential aspect of this, and yet, despite technological advances, it’s still a painstaking task for many retail finance teams. 


The very nature of omnichannel makes reconciling transaction and payment data increasingly complex, time-consuming, and costly. 

 

It’s the same old data paradox in retail.  Retailers have never had so much data, yet data democratisation is still a pipedream for many because data complexity means many can’t get what they need from it.  It’s the same for financial reconciliation.  Thousands of transactions across multiple channels (physical and digital) and locations, each with many different payment methods, systems, and gateways, need to be reconciled to verify accuracy, identify discrepancies, reduce risk, and maintain financial integrity.


Here we explore why it’s so hard, and more importantly, how retailers can automate this core back-end process, eliminating irreconcilable differences for good with Datitude’s innovative solution.


Why is Financial Reconciliation so Hard?

It’s often so cumbersome and resource-intensive because different systems use different data structures, formats, and processes (and even processing times), creating gaps and inconsistencies in data. Limitations in reporting, and incomparable data from core systems, add to the mix, meaning an inordinate amount of time is spent extracting and manipulating disparate, and incomparable, data. 

 

Retail payments reconciliation

Refunds are often complex if systems capture and process data differently, such as when a product is returned via a different channel to the original point of purchase channel.  Another example is a free delivery promotion: an ecommerce platform may record the delivery charge and a corresponding discount, but as data flows through other systems, the discount may not be captured or captured differently.  And then there are differences in currency exchange rates.


Even with the best payment gateways and fintech platforms in your tech stack, if your data is not seamlessly integrated and unified, financial reconciliation will never be easy, and irreconcilable differences may never be eliminated. 


Digital payment retail

With so many omnichannel transaction variables (cancellations, refunds and returns,  exchanges, delivery,  promotions and discounts, store estates, currencies, etc) each adding to the number of transactions, discrepancies quickly add up.  And without access to order-level data, retail finance teams have no way to establish the truth.  It’s no wonder it’s so painful!


Datitude has it figured - an Innovative Solution for Cohesive Financial Reconciliation

As data and omnichannel experts, Datitude has developed an innovative, automated solution for end-to-end financial reconciliation.  It includes exception reporting and provides visibility of discrepancies at order level

 

Source data from all relevant systems (eg. store POS, ecommerce platform, ERP, payment gateways and platforms, voucher payment systems) is unified in Datitude’s data platform using APIs and webhooks.

 

Bespoke, automated reports are available in Datitude’s Application (a proprietary, front-end user interface), comparing individual orders from across each system to show transactions and payments recorded by each provider.  Crucially, this approach enables unmatched transactions to be identified quickly, enabling discrepancies to be addressed without delay.

 

Users can quickly and easily access and share reports, drill down to order-level data, and extract data, slicing and dicing as needed, using Datitude’s Application and Excel Add-in. 


An interactive dashboard is available in Excel as it’s a favourite tool for many finance teams.  The dashboard compares order counts and values from each system, and can be filtered by store code and trading week.  It's simple but makes sense of the complexity.


Datitude Financial Reconciliation Solution - Interactive Excel Dashboard

The interactive dashboard is a compelling example of the effectiveness of Datitude’s Excel Add-in; by creating a dashboard in MS Excel driven from reports created in the App, data automatically refreshes when the dashboard is opened.


Transforming Retail Financial Reconciliation

Datitude’s innovative solution transforms end-to-end financial reconciliation; providing retailers with the clarity they need and driving more value from:


  • faster, more accurate, and traceable financial reconciliation

  • focusing on resolving financial, not data, discrepancies

  • full visibility of transactions and payments in one place

  • minimising revenue leakage and customer complaints

  • a future-proofed solution, scalable to accommodate increased volumes, new systems, and payment types. 

Don’t just take our word for it!  This is what our launch client has to say about the solution.


Working with Datitude on automating our financial reconciliation process has been collaborative and seamless, as always.  The time, effort, and resource saved in implementing this project means our team can now focus on making improvements and supporting the wider business, rather than manipulating spreadsheets – this project has proven to be transformational!

 

And it's been shortlisted for an award in the Retail Systems Awards 2024!


If you’re struggling to make sense of your data and want to save time and money reconciling finances and eliminating irreconcilable differences, talk to us about our financial reconciliation solution.


 

About Datitude

We make complex data simple!


Datitude is transforming how businesses connect, integrate, and unify their data. Our managed data platform and service provide the unifying framework to enable businesses to get what they need from their data, when they need it, in the format needed. A true single source of truth. No silos.


Whilst we made our name in omnichannel working with many retailers and brands over the years, as data experts we provide data solutions to a diverse range of businesses who need better access to their data and valuable intelligence and actionable insight they can trust.


 

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