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May 10, 2024

Joint Accounts & Accounting: Challenges and Solutions with Automation

Divyesh Gamit



Joint accounts are a popular way for business partners, couples, or even roommates to manage shared finances. They offer convenience by allowing everyone on the account to access and contribute funds.

However, from an accounting and finance perspective, joint accounts can introduce some challenges that can make managing them a bit more complex.

In this blog, we'll explore these challenges and introduce a powerful solution: accounting automation!

Challenges of Managing Joint Accounts: Keeping it Fair and Secure

While joint accounts offer convenience, they also introduce complexities for accounting and finance departments.

Here's a closer look at some of the key challenges:

1. Ownership Tracking: Splitting the Pie Fairly

Imagine a business scenario where two partners, Anita and Babita, contribute to a joint account. Anita invests 70% of the initial capital, while Babita contributes 30%.

Throughout the year, both partners deposit and withdraw funds. Tracking ownership percentages and allocating transactions accordingly can be a tedious task. Manually calculating how much of each transaction belongs to Anita and Babita can be error-prone, especially with frequent activity.

2. Reconciliation: Double the Trouble (and Potential Errors)

Reconciling joint accounts is often more time-consuming compared to individual accounts. With two (or more) parties involved, there's a higher chance of discrepancies between bank statements and internal records. Each joint account holder might have their own spending habits or record-keeping methods, leading to potential errors if reconciliation is done manually.

3. Signatory Management: Keeping Everyone on the Same Page

Joint accounts often have multiple signatories who have the authority to approve transactions. This is crucial for security and ensuring both parties agree on spending. However, managing signatories can become complex, especially for transactions requiring approval from all. Imagine a situation where a significant purchase requires both Anita's and Babita's approval. Manually routing the transaction for approval and ensuring proper authorization can be cumbersome.

4. Transaction Monitoring: A Watchful Eye is Needed

Joint accounts can be more vulnerable to unauthorized transactions or misuse of funds. With multiple people having access, the risk of someone spending beyond their allocated share or even fraudulent activity increases. This is especially true if there's a history of disputes between the joint account holders. Manually monitoring every transaction for suspicious activity can be a daunting task for the accounting department.

Also Read: Workflow Automation Best Practices for Your Accounting Toolbox

How Accounting Automation Streamlines Joint Account Management

Now, let's introduce the hero of our story: accounting automation software. This powerful tool can transform how you manage joint accounts, turning complexity into smooth sailing.

1. Ownership Tracking: Automation Takes the Wheel

Forget manual calculations! Accounting automation software offers a feature that automates ownership allocation based on predefined rules You can easily set up the software to reflect the ownership percentages for each account holder (like our business partners Anita and Babita). Every transaction will then be automatically split according to these predefined rules, ensuring accurate and transparent ownership tracking.

2. Reconciliation: From Tedious to Effortless

Say goodbye to hours spent reconciling joint accounts! Accounting automation software seamlessly integrates with bank feeds, allowing for automatic transaction matching and reconciliation. This eliminates the risk of errors associated with manual data entry and saves your accounting department valuable time.

3. Signatory Management: Streamlined Approvals

Managing signatories becomes a snap with accounting automation software's approval workflow. You can easily set up automated workflows for transactions exceeding a certain amount or requiring specific approvals. Imagine that significant purchase for Anita and Babita's business. The software can automatically route the transaction for both their approvals, streamlining the process and ensuring proper authorization.

4. Transaction Monitoring: A Powerful Watchdog

Accounting automation can provide robust transaction monitoring capabilities to safeguard your joint accounts. Automated categorization helps classify every transaction accurately, while anomaly detection identifies any suspicious activity that deviates from usual spending patterns. This way, you can be alerted to potential unauthorized transactions or misuse of funds, giving you peace of mind.

Also Read: Work Smarter, Not Harder: Invoice Automation with Suvit

Benefits of Using Automation for Joint Accounts

By embracing accounting automation for joint accounts, you can unlock a multitude of benefits for both the accounting department and joint account holders themselves.

Increased Accuracy and Reduced Errors

Automated ownership tracking, reconciliation, and transaction categorization significantly reduce the risk of manual errors. This translates to more accurate financial reporting, ensuring everyone involved has a clear picture of the account's health.

Improved Transparency and Communication

Automation provides real-time access to accurate account information for all joint account holders. This fosters transparency and facilitates better communication between partners, roommates, or couples managing finances together.

Time Savings for the Accounting Department

Repetitive tasks like reconciliation and transaction categorization become automated, freeing up valuable time for your accounting team. They can then focus on more strategic tasks like financial analysis and planning.


Is a joint account a good idea for me?

Joint accounts are convenient for shared expenses, but they come with responsibility. Consider factors like trust and financial habits before opening one. Discuss ownership percentages and spending limits clearly with the other account holder.

How can automation help with my joint account?

Accounting automation software can streamline ownership tracking, reconciliation, and transaction monitoring. This saves time, reduces errors, and provides better transparency for everyone involved.

What are the security risks of a joint account?

With multiple people having access, there's an increased risk of unauthorized transactions. Monitor activity closely and consider setting transaction limits or requiring multiple approvals for larger purchases.

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