Bank feeds are a fairly recent advancement in accounting, and an exciting one at that. They are designed to reduce manual reconciliation work to improve overall efficiency. A technological solution, they enable data to flow freely between your bank accounts and the accounting software, automating administration and freeing you up to focus on running your business.
These are particularly important for small businesses that spend a disproportionate amount of time processing manual reconciliations. Automate large sections of manual bookkeeping to enable finance professionals to respond faster to business needs. It could even help integrate finances into your core processes for real-time reporting and analysis.
What exactly are bank feeds?
Bank feeds are software connections that facilitate the automatic download of all transactions from your bank account to your accounting software. This data can then be used to match bank transactions to accounting activities, reconciling accounts efficiently.
By simplifying bank reconciliation, you reduce manual data entry and save time with no sacrifices to the accuracy of your accounts. You can even create new transactions and make rules for automation that allow more in-depth tracking of bank activity. This means a more organised, efficient workflow for you.
So how do bank feeds work?
There are a couple of ways bank feeds can work:
- Direct data connections between your software provider and your bank of choice
- Feeds might be delivered via a third-party connected directly with your banks and payment providers
With the second option, the platform collects data and feeds it between your bank account and the accounting software. It obtains data from banks by copying the list of transactions from your online banking portals. It automatically cleans up that list, removes any duplicates and sends the feed to your accounting software.
How secure are bank feeds?
Bank feeds operate with industry-leading security protocols and use direct connections to banks and payment providers. Login credentials are stored in a highly secure system to ensure the bank feed can access your bank without compromising any data.
Your accounting software provider never gets any access to your banking credentials. This ensures maximum protection of those details. Once you provide the login credentials for the bank feed, it will access your banking website, retrieve bank statements and transfer that data to your software without ever exposing your login information.
How do bank feeds improve business efficiency?
Before the introduction of feeds, users had to manually type transactions from bank statements into their accounting software. Or they may have had to upload files manually. In both cases, these manual processes are error-prone and time-consuming.
With bank feeds, large portions of this work are automated and data flows effortlessly from banks to your accounting solution. This saves a lot of time on reconciliation work, enabling your business to operate more efficiently and be more productive. For example, automating the process of matching bank transactions with sales invoices that are awaiting collection or bills awaiting payment can potentially cut hours of manual data entry.
You can further improve efficiency with the addition of automatic rules. For example, rules can be set to match transactions from specific suppliers instantly, placing them under a certain category. Rules like this can improve the security and reliability of your data whilst keeping it up-to-date at all times.
Through the integration of data into core processes, bank feeds can assist in creating more timely, dynamic and future-oriented reporting that enables informed business decisions. You will have improved visibility of your cash flow and be better at cash flow forecasting, helping you prepare better for things like windfalls or potential cash droughts.
And modern cloud technology makes it easier to share this information in real-time to support more efficient decision-making.
How You Can Start Using Bank Feeds
Bank feeds must be set up and configured, most commonly in your businesses Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. Look within your software to follow the steps to connect your bank. Once set up, you can start selecting the way you want it to work. When you have done this, you will see live bank data appearing in your transactions pane. You can then start exploring features for automation of different processes and establishing rules.
It may be wise to seek expert assistance if you are not confident in setting up these integrations. This will ensure everything works exactly as intended so you get the best possible results from bank feeds. Furthermore, if you need to access a third-party solution to implement bank feeds, the process will be a little more complex.
The prominence of bank feeds has increased dramatically since they came onto the scene. They are now an important part of accounting processes in many industries. Automation of the reconciliation in accounting reduces manual data entry dramatically, which has an enormous impact on efficiency.
Integrate reporting and decision-making support with bank feeds. It could help transform your accounting software from a record-keeping solution to a source of dynamic business analysis that drives your success.
Why choose Eventura as your ERP implementation partner?
Eventura has been providing robust business solutions to countless organisations for over two decades. We are ERP experts and can identify all of your business needs, and deliver a comprehensive ERP solution that works for you.
As Sage 200 Partners and NetSuite Solution Providers, we can help you identify which solution will fit your business needs the best. Our expert team of business analysts, developers, consultants, technicians and support staff can guide you through your entire project, from initial scoping through to implementation and on-going support.
We’re also managed IT service providers meaning we can help you identify your entire IT infrastructure requirements from day one. If you would like to speak to one of our ERP experts to discuss your options or request a free demo, you can request a free call back here.