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Bank reconciliation for PBSA is difficult. Here’s how to make it easy.



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Bank reconciliation for PBSA is difficult. Here’s how to make it easy.

At the surface, bank reconciliation looks like a simple task. Just match the transactions reported at the bank with the cash book, GL or other internal data. With most organisations using accounting solutions that allow the entire process to be performed digitally, it is a lot easier than it was in the earlier days when physical copies were printed and matched with each other. 

However, when you consider a large operation – picture a PBSA (privately built student accommodation) company managing thousands of beds across dozens of sites – the sheer volume adds a lot of complexity to the process. Different sites may deal with multiple banks, each site may have several accounts used for different purposes, and in some cases there may be dissimilarities in the processes followed across sites. 

[SUGGESTED BLOG: Managing Accounting and Reporting for Multisite operations]

Add to this the fact that data needs to flow between a number of systems: bank portal, accounting software, online payment processors portals and, often, the front-end software catering to the students. Downloading statements from different banks, processing inter account transactions and juggling between the accounting software, front-end software, payment processor and the GL (general ledger) make the process tedious and time consuming.

Additionally, payments and charges tend to cluster during certain weeks, increasing the workload for that period. All this can lead to issues like:

  • Errors arising out of manual processing, especially during peak periods 
  • Less than stellar customer experience owing to issues 
  • Cascading impacts at the month-end reporting, slowing down the entire process
  • Difficulty of scaling the process or integrating new sites or properties into the system
  • Skilled accounting resources are bogged down in reconciliation related activities 

 

Making Bank reconciliation Easy: Right People, Process and Platform 

Working with 6 of the top student accommodation providers in the world and providing accounting services covering over 100,000+ beds across 250+ sites, QX has several dedicated teams specialising in PBSA accounting. To offer quality and accurate bank recondition services, we focus on hiring the right team, optimising the process and maximising the benefit from technology. 

1. People – Bank Reconciliation Experts 
Owing to the large volume of transactions involved, we have several people focusing on bank account reconciliation. By hiring talented and experience accountants as dedicated bank reconciliation executives or managers, we ensure that the quality of work is high. 

Whenever possible, we hire people who already possess the experience of working for the PBSA or property management sector.  If our staff doesn’t already have the expertise, we provide them special training pertaining to how the PBSA sector functions. 

With dedicated bank reconciliation teams that often go the extra mile to deliver on time with high level of accuracy, most of the common issues related to bank reconciliation are resolved. 

2. Bank Reconciliation Process – optimised and streamlined
A well-documented and streamlined bank reconciliation process helps to speed up the entire activity and minimises the occurrence of avoidable errors. At the early stage of any project, we work closely with our clients’ team to map out the existing process and suggest ways of improving it. 

A documented process would make every team member aware of the minutest part of the workflow. Such a workflow covers the steps that need to be taken for most of the common scenarios. For example, it outlines which accounts need to be used for specific purposes, how the student deposits need to be handled, how the monthly student rents are recorded and more.  

In addition, we work to predefined SLAs and KPIs which gives the Finance Managers a clear understanding of the volume of reconciliations that can be handled by the team. This makes it a lot easier to scale the team as required, when new sites or properties are added into the system. As might be expected, the speed, accuracy and timeliness of the process is also boosted once the process is optimised. 

As our relationship with a client progresses, we help accelerate finance and accounting transformation. Our Six Sigma teams minutely analyse the process, identify areas of improvement and help to hone it further. 

3) Platform – digitisation and automation 
The best people and process can help eliminate a wide range of challenges associated with bank reconciliation. However, a truly efficient process will make optimum use of accounting software and automation.

One key requirement is using the right software for bank reconciliation. QX has worked with most of the major accounting software and quite a few specialised bank reconciliation modules. Our team can help you select the best software for your needs or help you optimise the use of your existing system. Additionally, based on the client requirements, we also use our own bank reconciliation software and bank reconciliation automation solutions, along with a number Excel-based solutions that automate a majority of the steps involved in the process. 

Learn more 
Would you like to discuss your bank reconciliation process with an expert? Want to learn more about how you can streamline and automate bank reconciliations? Please get in touch with us

 



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