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Do you know any company that closes in 1-2 days. Can you share there secrets of success?

I am hearing more from my executive team that they want numbers in 1-2 days like other companies "they know". Is this a reality?

If so, how do you turn statements that fast with any accuracy. Can you share some ideas to help get closer? I am already at 3-5 days.


Topic Expert
Philip Boken
Title: Principal Advisor & Founder
Company: PCB & Company
(Principal Advisor & Founder, PCB & Company) |

There are many companies that claim to "close" in 5 days or less. Cisco, for one, has been promoting their "virtual" close for nearly 10 years. When a company sets such a goal, they should first start by defining the close. In other words, what components of the close do they expect to be completed when they are "closed"?

In my experience, those that claim they are "closed" in 5 days or less usually are referring to their GL being closed, but they actually have several weeks more work to do before they submit their financials to management for review. When I help clients achieve a more efficient, higher quality close, I like to have them consider a model that breaks the close into three segments (1) pre-close, or anything before the end of the last day of the month; (2) the GL close; and (3) the "executive close" - anything else that is performing to finalize review and prepare for SEC filing / internal approval.

Those that are able to achieve a close in a few days as defined above (and there are a few out there) start by (1) setting a goal (2) capturing all the activities that comprise the close (including steps outside of finance from other functions and/or third parties) and (3) understanding where any why steps (A) cannot be performed prior to the last day of the month;(B) what obstacles are preventing earlier performance; and (C) what tools can be applied / built / utilized more effectively to reduce manual effort and allow earlier performance.

In my experience, the key is capturing the complete list of activities on a fairly granular level in a detailed "checklist". This sets the foundation for analysis. The close is a process and needs to be managed via metrics based on this checklist and obstacles need to be removed using vigorous program management.

Following such an approach is not easy to describe in a post, I do often conduct workshops for finance teams to help teach them the approach. Feel free to reach out to me if you have an interest in such a course (it can range from a few hours to a full day).



James Thomas
Title: Director of Continuous Improve
Company: Bristol Compressors International
(Director of Continuous Improve, Bristol Compressors International) |

Our company consistently closes in less than two days. By close, I mean that the GL is closed and a top line income statement and balance sheet presented to management. It takes another day or two to release all the ancillary reports. We managed to gain these results through a COntinuous Improvement team that documented each entry along with a timeline. We then questioned every entry. In today's world of automated GLs with automated postings, we found a lot could be done that way. We also found that a lot of our entries were just reallocating things like benefits in a very detailed manner to each department, when no one was paying attention in any case. We eliminated these or made them more generic rather than specific.


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