The accounting team wanted tighter control over the quality of data feeding its financial reports. “It’s a whole lot easier to eliminate errors at the start,” Preston Wigsten, financial accounting supervisor, said. “Automation was the way to go.”
Capital City Bank carefully evaluated a few providers before selecting Fiserv’s Reconciliation Solution which automates the entire reconciliation process and eliminates manual interventions. Workflows fully automate labour-intensive processes and ensure compliance with corporate and regulatory controls.
With account certification built into the solution, it was more comprehensive than other solutions, and it was scalable for Capital City Bank’s large organization.
“We were impressed,” Wigsten recalled. The experience in the industry and references from its portfolio of banking clients also swayed the decision, he said.
“I love the certification module. It has sped up the process. It has such good audit trails.”
Daniel Cilar Financial Accounting Manager Capital City Bank
Saving Time, Adding Confidence Was Critical
With Fiserv’s Reconciliation Solution, data is automatically loaded into the system each night, eliminating opportunities for mistakes or fraud. “With that data management and enrichment process, we could finally have confidence in the data,” Wigsten said.
It’s also faster. Once imported, the system’s multithreaded matching engine goes to work, automatically syncing as many transactions as possible – in some cases over 90 percent – using criteria set by the bank. The accounting department now has just five full-time employees working on reconciliations.
“We eliminated one full-time employee in accounting and reallocated the equivalent of 0.5 full-time employees in other areas of the bank who no longer have to perform reconciliations,” said Cilar.
Capital City Bank also centralized reconciliation into its accounting department, which added an important internal control mechanism and saved time for staff in other departments. “With Fisev’s Reconciliation Solution, we are able to maintain clear segregation of duties. This means our reconcilers aren’t able to update ledger data or clear their own balances, which acts as a protection against fraud,” added Cilar.
Because the data is centrally stored and accessible, accounts that previously took 20 to 30 minutes to reconcile are now completed in just 5 minutes. Even with fewer reconcilers, Wigsten said, “We reconcile some accounts 50 to 75 percent faster.”
He added, “It’s a significant time-saver. There’s no need to pull materials to review. All the information we need is already in the solution. We can see our balance at a glance, even if there are exceptions.”
Nearly 90 percent of Capital City Bank’s eligible manual reconciliations are now automated through Fiserv’s Reconciliation Solution with more conversions coming.
Gaining Visibility for Auditors and Certifiers
Auditors have faster, simpler access to information too. Cilar gave internal and external auditors the ability to pull reconciliations and supporting documents directly from Fiserv’s Reconciliation Solution.
“That’s a big benefit,” Cilar said. “Auditors like the results and love the transparency and audit trails.”
Capital City Bank also benefits from ‘Account Certification’, a fully audited workflow-based solution to manage the review and approval process for reconciliations. Account Certification delivers critical visibility and transparency into reconciliation controls and the associated supervisory and attestation processes demanded by regulatory compliance.
Because reconciliation and certification are integrated into a single process, the data can be traced throughout the financial close life cycle – from data ingestion through matching, exception management, reconciliation, certification and signoff. The records are fully auditable, including time stamps and click history, and all notes, attachments and documentation are digitally saved in Frontier Reconciliation for easy reference.
Now Capital City Bank executives can certify with confidence – and have visibility into the transaction-level history of the entire balance sheet.
“I love the certification module. Our department managers like it. It has sped up the process. It has such good audit trails,” Cilar said.
Investing for the Future
Fiserv’s Reconciliation Solution has helped Capital City Bank transform the reconciliation and certification process through stronger controls, extended visibility and substantial efficiencies. Cilar added, “It bears fruit… it has been a very good investment.”
Reconcilers from a dozen different departments were manually entering data into Excel spreadsheets, which led to inconsistencies, formatting issues and opportunities for mistakes. The accounting team lacked visibility into the balances, so data integrity was impossible to verify or detect.
Capital City Bank chose Fiserv’s Reconciliation and Account Certification Solution to centralise, standardise and automate the reconciliation and certification process. Reconciliations are performed within the accounting department. The bank now has stronger internal controls, data visibility and a faster process.
- Data is automatically loaded, reducing errors
- Account reconciliations are up to 75 percent faster
- Nearly 90 percent of reconciliations are now automated
- Auditors and certifiers have more confidence in the data