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A Window of Opportunity for Reconciliations

They may not be making sales and sealing deals, but reconciliation centers of excellence are delivering an important service like their front-office colleagues do. The biggest difference is that their clients are the organization’s own lines of business.

But what these “consumers” expect of the reconciliation service, from delivery times to matching rates, may not always be evident: at best, reconciliations are often poorly documented, subjective and fluctuating. Typically, a holistic view into all aspects of service delivery is non-existent, or at least not as broad and dynamic as it could be.

Yet clarity and broad, real-time visibility are exactly what a reconciliation service needs to monitor performance and ensure high-quality delivery. This should be no mean feat for most global organizations, given the multitude of reconciliation tools, versions and processes they typically employ across multiple servers, regions and databases. Such a fragmented and complex landscape can also cause issues in terms of enterprise efficiency, consistency, scalability and maintenance.

An answer is out there. Reconciliation solutions are already helping many large financial institutions analyze pockets of activity and performance, albeit typically isolated and technical in nature. However, progressive organizations are looking to take advantage of the latest in reconciliation technology – offering the ability to systematically catalogue, monitor and respond to all activities across their entire reconciliation environment.

This allows reconciliation centers to establish a full inventory of their environment: a window into the reconciliation landscape that should take into account both business-driven and technical objectives. In the inventory, the reconciliation service team has the opportunity to define the expected outcomes of activities across the reconciliation landscape and document how, according to service-level agreements (SLAs), they are mandated to deliver. Then the reconciliation team can start monitoring and measuring the day-to-day execution of tasks against this inventory.

When service teams undertake this approach, the time between expected and SLA behavior can open a window of opportunity. It’s a chance to act quickly – maintaining service integrity, improving service quality and reducing operating costs along the way. By monitoring performance in real time, evaluating against expected outcomes, and responding to deviations in expected activity that have yet to impact SLAs, service centers can escalate, communicate and resolve issues more quickly, before they affect their clients. And by trending over time, they can continually improve processes or, if necessary, refine expectations and SLAs.

Reconciliation centers that move to redefine their services are not only positioning themselves to get a better view of their clients’ needs, but also putting the value, quality and success of what they do more clearly on display. Like a great shop front, this should help attract more consumers to all the firm can offer, which should help increase subscriptions. But the redefined reconciliation service is about much more than window dressing: it’s about the real performance, cost and efficiency benefits that can be found beyond the surface.

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