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Efficient Banking

For years, Valero Energy Corp. completed reconciliation for its 450 bank accounts manually on a monthly basis — a time-consuming, labor-intensive and costly task. Also, the slow process did not alert field personnel about store shortages until two to six weeks after they occurred. To automate the reconciliation process and consolidate bank accounts, the company turned to Trintech Inc.’s ReconNET software and DataFlow Transaction Network.

“We had an enormous amount of manual effort being done every month and the Trintech software gave us the opportunity to automate the process and get reports out to the field quickly,” said Stan Lear, supervisor, ReconNET development, at Valero. “What used to take three weeks now takes three days.”

A primary reason for automation was lowering the number of bank accounts and fees; the new system consolidated 450 accounts down to 78. “With Trintech, we increased the number of stores depositing to the accounts, and it is easier to keep track of them and find problem areas,” said Lear. In doing this, the company significantly lowered its banking fees, saving $2 million per year.

Each morning, files from the banks and the Valero’s store reporting systems are downloaded for reconciliation of the previous day’s activity, and what manually took seven employees now requires only two. The company was able to utilize the rest of the staff for other projects.

“The program takes the two files and compares them for similarities in order to reconcile them,” said Lear. “It looks at the deposit date and the amount and compares the two based on the parameters we set in the program. It reconciles them and we just have to look at the outstanding or flagged items.”

E-mail reports are automatically sent to area and zone managers as well as loss prevention specialists showing the previous day’s exception reports and they call the headquarters with any questions.

Additionally, Valero developed their own systems based on Trintech’s to reconcile fuel deliveries, grocery vendor invoices and money orders for its stores. “We went ahead and programmed they system to handle our fuel receipts, money orders and credit cards as well as invoices from our grocery vendor,” explained Lear. “It’s all part of the Trintech program, we just had to work out the requirements of what we wanted to see in the end product. I worked with the Trintech help desk and we were able to build it al in house using their software.”

Valero pays a yearly maintenance fee, which allows the company to take advantage of Trintech’s upgrades as well as their help desk.
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