Reconciliation from Colour Objects to Number Sets

by Leveraging Query Formulas to Generate Reconciliation Report


Colour and Number (顏色和數目) are a basic element to support the efficient works of professional accounting and the effective works of financial management. Colour represents perception as it does not physically exist while number represent measurement and precision which is used to count physical objects and abstract ideas e.g. human perception (認 知) of the value of goods and services.

Apart from narrow scope of the definition of colour, it can be used to represents a practice of approximation or rough measurement because when you identify any your friend, family, pet, physical asset, etc by approximation quickly. So you have to take a certain level of risk.

In today digital world, colour and number are interdependent for each other. If the computing device cannot output any colour by either printer or monitor, we cannot leverage our retina (視網膜) to support rapid data entry and interpretation of financial data. If the computing device cannot process number by either 0 and 1, it is not possible the device can send us any imaging signal.

The earliest history of human capable of applying colour is up to 40,000 years. The history of the substance of applying the counting technique (e.g. scratch marks on a bone) is much longer than it forms (e.g. count as number one) and the history of applying colour. The most common use decimal Hindu-Arabic and binary number system numeral systems are the most impact to human and computer in applying the counting technique. At the end of the introduction of colour and number, firstly please think about the follow two questions: – 

Can you prepare double entry vouchers without using decimal number system? 

Can computer process your double entry vouchers without binary number system?

Recognition of Different Colours and Numbers

For the age of 3 months, a baby can recognise familiar objects. Further 15 months, the baby is learning how to count visible objects. Recognition of colour objects which involve a complex process of matching the key combinations of colours (i.e. certain distinctive characteristic of objects). Comparison with the same age of children stages, obviously the capability of matching colour objects is stronger than matching numerical statements (assuming base on a comparable complexity). The capability of matching numerical statements highly depends on investment in education. An accountant is a trained professional while a colour artist is born. 

Reconciliation of Different Colour Objects and Number Sets

Most untrained people can recognise different colour objects, to recognise its differences in a rough manner, but unlikely you can find out a full list of differences. Professional Accountants are equipped with the capability to deal with the reconciliation of number sets in different combinations and presentations. For example: –

Precision: 1 and 1.01

Currency: HKD 1 and USD 1

Time: year: 2017 of $1 and year 2027 of $1

Colour/Size/Style: 1 and 1

Langauge: One and 壹

Unit of Measurement: 1 Kg and 1 Feet

Account Code: 1100 Fixed Asset Account and 6000 Sales Account

People can reconcile two different sets of number to achieve 100% precision, but it is unlikely they can reconcile two different colour objects to achieve 100% precision.

The number can be better than colour as a primary tool for accounting to achieve precision while colour as a secondary tool to support the better presentation of information e.g. colourful chart and dashboard.

Computerised Accounting

Nowadays business, we cannot accept to process and prepare accounts without computerisation. At least, the computer can support storing a mass volume of numbers by different types of storage devices. These numbers can be kept for an unexpected number of years. Early age of computerised accounting there was heavy demand for printing to support reconciliation of account manually. Account reconciliation is always a problem of the finance department.

Extending Computerised Accounting by ERP Software

The scope of computerised accounting is extended profoundly. However, the complexity of accounting is increasing significantly. Accountants may spend substantially of time to deal with the reconciliation of – not only accounts – but also covers a wide range of data managing by the ERP software. Professional Accountants are well trained and educated with the practice of different kinds of closing e.g. daily closing, monthly closing and yearly closing. If an ERP software does not follow a strict rule of financial closing, this will contribute significant workload to finance department to deal with different kinds of reconciliation – e.g. different users may ask why certain figures output from the ERP software cannot match with specific figures of financial statements.

Loss of Control of Data Integrity

When business operations become large in scale and systems are fragmentation, there are increasing chances data are being corrupt and lost. In this scenario, both IT and Finance Department may have some kinds of co-operations try all best to eliminate the workload of data reconciliation. In term of the sizable fragmented database, it may not be practical to prepare all relevant data reconciliation to achieve 100% precision. Mass volume of numbers as a whole become similar to colourful objects, you can recognise these colourful objects are matching with your expected objects, by approximation or by chance!

This is a performance test – your reconciliation speed. It is no doubt base on the above colour and number animation; you can recognise there is at least one difference between each image of the animation quickly. However, it is not easy for you to identify how many unique images of the animation by using merely your eyes and memory. See the following image; there are two sets of colour-number 10 x 10 matrix. Please try to measure your speed 1) Reconciliation of Colour Cells 2) Reconciliation of Number Cells.

Automation of Reconciliation

Designing relevant rules to adapt different kinds of data and account reconciliation can be a right direction you work toward success. However, whenever your management has priority of resource allocation e.g. spending on advertising to boost sales, it is not easy you can have a reasonable financial resource to upgrade your IT infrastructure to eliminate the rise of unreconciled data and accounts.

Software Selection

If you cannot eliminate the cause, you may explore whether any software tool available in the market to minimise your manual work of imperfect reconciliations. Before sourcing and evaluating these tools, first, you shall understand your problems. The second, you need to evaluate how flexible and simplicity the tool can match your current problems and prospective problems. Connectivity, processing speed and scope of configuration are basic comparison criteria for your exercise of software selection.

Command Reconciliation Interacting Query Formulas

You may have experiences to reconcile for all possible combinations of differences of two number sets with a little volume of data. Comparing with your reconciliation of colour objects, given that you can reconcile all possible differences, you may not be able to interpret massive volume of reconciliation results.

When you realise that your distributed database are evolving to so-called colourful, it may not be practical to achieve perfect reconciliation on demand basis. Reconciliation which is starting from identifying unreconciled summary figures and then extending to reconcile its breakdown of transactions will become a practical reconciliation method.

The application of query formulas to reconcile massive volume of numbers can be summarised numbers by different meaningful categories e.g. Jan 2015 Fixed Assets, Dec 2016 Retained Account, etc. You can see example of colourful Power BI Dashboards within this website

From Conclusion of Colour & Number to Next Business Case of Substance & Form

You may not work smart without colour and number. The specific form of counting (i.e. 1,2,3..10 & 0011) are very important to implement the substance of counting when you may not accept to scratch marks on a bone. Mass volume of numbers as managed by distributed database will become so colourful which share the practising of colour recognition i.e. approximation or rough measurement. Some business cases later you can see how the simple configuration of query formulas can be leveraged to output innovation of data visualisation with different colours. Finally, the next business case will be your rethinking how evolving changes in substance and form impacts the works of professional accounting.

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