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Reconciling credit card statements

Reconciling credit card statements

Greg Cole

The end of the month rush is here again. The monthly corporate credit cards statement arrives and cardholders, PAs and the finance team know they need to start the laborious task of justifying every card payment as a business expense. 

Hunt and gather 
Typically, once the card statement arrives, someone in finance is tasked to reconcile every transaction on it. Rarely do they receive neat and detailed expense reports ahead of time from cardholders, with relevant receipts attached. Instead, they have to work with each cardholder to record why each expense was incurred and locate each corresponding receipt.  Only then can they code everything correctly and ensure any recoverable VAT is indeed recovered. Sometimes there’s nothing more than envelopes stuffed full of receipts to work with, and pushing this laborious task over to the cardholders to do instead rarely results in a prompt, accurate or efficient system. This is a manual process that takes a good deal of valuable time for each card; time that could be better spent analyzing the spend or getting on with other work. It’s also not giving anyone any job satisfaction. 

A better way 
Using the Zetadocs Expenses app, it’s a breeze for staff to snap expense receipts on their smartphones as they are incurred, irrespective of the payment method. It’s quick to note a justification of each expense and record the means of payment. Later, when it’s time to submit an expense report, expenses for reimbursement can be reported alongside those paid for by corporate cards, easing the task of preparing and submitting the report.  

This approach prevents the reporting of company credit card usage from being a chore of its own, with no incentive for cardholders to do on time. Instead, it encourages timely reporting per business trip or event of all expenses, not only the reimbursable ones that staff want repaid quickly. There are normally fewer reports for managers to approve and expenses are grouped logically together rather than by means of payment, removing any need to cross reference between separate approvals. 

Upon final checking by finance, expense reports are exported by Zetadocs Expenses into Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Approved cash payments are automatically allocated to staff accounts in NAV for reimbursement, whilst approved card payments are held until they have been matched against the transactions on the corporate credit cards statement downloaded from the card issuer.  
New expenses can be created for or by cardholders from transactions that don’t already have a matching expense so that the credit cards statement is reconciled. Once every transaction is matched and approved, card payments are also exported to NAV and automatically allocated to the relevant card vendor account for the full statement value. 

The result is a more simple and efficient credit card reconciliation process, with every card payment detailed in NAV without any rekeying, and receipts stored neatly online for reference or audit. 

Eating our own dogfood 
Matt Hall in our accounts team at Equisys says: “My month end task of credit card reconciliation has been considerably simplified since we implemented Zetadocs Expenses with NAV. Before, the reconciliation process would have taken me a couple of hours per credit card, now it takes me less than 15 percent of that time as I’m exception reporting only. It has reduced the number of month end accruals as credit card transactions are entered on the system as they are incurred rather than in arrears once a month. This has given me a better understanding of where we are financially and therefore improved my profit and cash flow forecasts.” 

Hidden benefits 
Expense management systems like Zetadocs Expenses offer significant cost and time-saving benefits for the capture, submission, approval and processing of travel and entertainment expenses. However, it’s all too easy to overlook the additional benefits in staff motivation and loyalty by removing many of the pain points traditionally associated with processing expenses. Systems based on paper or spread sheets usually imply slow reconciliation, tiresome chasing of cardholders and mindless rekeying of expenses: not exactly fulfilling job content. Using Zetadocs Expenses can ease this pain. 

Take a look yourself 
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Previous Article What’s new in Zetadocs Expenses – January 2017 update
Next Article Zetadocs is one of the first solutions to achieve CfMD on NAV 2017


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