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Local developer deploys machine learning to accounting tool

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 09 Dec 2019
Dr Howard Rybko, chief digital officer at Syncrony Digital.
Dr Howard Rybko, chief digital officer at Syncrony Digital.

Local software development firm Syncrony Digital is looking to develop a machine learning component for its GreenLine financial close platform.

The company says the machine learning component is set to empower businesses to deploy audit sensors to scan for anomalies of transaction data flowing in at month-end.

The announcement comes as organisations are grappling with their group reporting environments.

“In a group reporting environment, the biggest challenge that accountants face is to ensure their financial reporting is accurate,” says Dr Howard Rybko, chief digital officer at Syncrony Digital.

“The accountants have to be able to trust the numbers they report to their boards and bankers. This is a difficult task in an environment where fraud is rife and controls are poor,” he adds.

GreenLine automates spreadsheet-based general ledger (GL) reconciliations and reduces manual period close time by at least 50%, the company says.

It has dashboards to monitor the progress of the month-end close. It optimises GL reconciliation processing, saving time in many ways, says Rybko, adding that it also auto-certifies applicable accounts, replaces boxes of supporting documents with tracked electronic uploads, and offers a suite of productivity tools designed to reduce the load on recon preparers and checkers.

GreenLine’s cloud-based platform enforces accountability and extends visibility to all stages of the period end process, the company says, adding that this reduces fraud and builds confidence in the balance sheet.

“Auditors will no longer have to dig through files in dusty storerooms. Instead, they will have one-click access to any account and its related transactions, enabling them to review and, if necessary, reject accounts and return them for further work,” Rybko says.

He explains that this enhanced oversight capability reduces balance sheet risk and inspires reporting confidence.

“Our stats show that currently about one in three SA group falls regularly 30 to 60 days behind in their month-end close.”

A South African-developed product, GreenLine works for any company with a group or multi-branch structure while automating the month-end close and integrating financial reporting.

“GreenLine is a South African product, with local support. It is priced to accommodate our tough financial climate. It provides similar functionality to international systems that are an order of magnitude more expensive,” Rybko adds.

He notes that the product was developed in conjunction with a large local services group as part of their drive to reduce rocketing dollar-based licensing fees.

“GreenLine uses the latest Microsoft enterprise application development technology. It incorporates MVC, Entity Framework and Microsoft SQL. It is designed to either be self-hosted by companies in their own data centres or hosted as part of a cloud environment like Microsoft Azure.”

Microsoft announced the opening of two data centre regions in SA this year saying the data centres ensure world-class cloud infrastructure that will power emerging cloud, artificial intelligence and edge computing innovations across the African continent.