more-arw search

Q&A Forum

What have you done to make your close more efficient?

Looking for battle-tested ideas, large and small, that you have found save time, money, frustration, etc. Thanks!

Answers

EMERSON GALFO
Title: CFO
Company: C-Suite Services
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, C-Suite Services) |

Making sure I have an efficient, accurate and close to real time (if not real time) transaction capture process. Central to this is making sure that bank recons are done daily. Doing everything (or most everything ) in the transaction capture and processing stage (front end) frees up a lot of time at the end of the month.

Depending on the systems, depreciations and prepaids can be automated and as stated earlier, transactions have been appropriately captured and amortization scheds set up.

The only thing you have to worry about at month end would be special entries (if any) or accruals that are outside normal operational transactions.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

Can't tell you how much time is saved, error's captured and knowing exactly where you are with cash now that many accounting systems are able to automatically download bank transactions.

Wish we had this years earlier!

EMERSON GALFO
Title: CFO
Company: C-Suite Services
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, C-Suite Services) |

LOL Wayne, your response reminded me of a company that used to wait for the actual paper statement before they can close, even if they had online access. Like the numbers are going to change....one of those WTF moments.

Sarah Jackson
Title: Associate Editor
Company: Proformative
(Associate Editor, Proformative) |

Here's a white paper jam-packed with insights:

"The Modern Approach to Closing the Books: An Introduction to Continuous Accounting"
hhttps://www.proformative.com/whitepapers/modern-approach-closing-books-introduction-continuous-accounting

Super interesting stuff.

Best... Sarah

EMERSON GALFO
Title: CFO
Company: C-Suite Services
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, C-Suite Services) |

Said another way.....(sorry I feel that this is important and many still have this view)

Change the framing of the question so you change the perception of (and how you treat) "the close".

If I were to design a good system, "the close" will just be a proverbial "switch". You don't have to do anything and nothing to make efficient.

Technology has changed so much BUT we still have an old fashioned "closing" perspective. Closing in my view should just entail REVIEW of the financials captured, processed and generated by normal operations. Well, plus the special entries and accruals outside the normal operations...but that is it.

The problem/s (and solutions) are the processes BEFORE the close and NOT the closing process itself.

Tom Kelly
Title: Managing Director
Company: T > Edward, Inc.
(Managing Director, T > Edward, Inc.) |

All great answers. I would add that the term “process” implies that the monthly close has a defined beginning, middle and end. You know what? That is the problem with the “financial close process.” A process is a series of actions or steps taken to achieve an end. Here is a suggestion–never let the financial close process end! Why not always be closing the books, never stop, do it 24/7/365! Taking the 24/7/365 approach to closing the books has many benefits beyond lowering a finance professional’s fear and stress levels. In the current business environment it is imperative that companies gain faster access to the financial information at the heart of their decision-making. The purpose of taking a 24/7/365 orientation to close process should not be solely focused on doing it faster; the objective is to design a process for continually monitoring critical business information; and where applicable on a real-time basis. This has been done with another area companies loathe - budgeting. Many companies now embrace rolling forecasts. For more on this feel free to read more details in a white paper I wrote on this subject with a real-world example of what was done: http://www.cumula3.com/from-fear-to-fortune-whitepaper

Syed Najmul Hassan
Title: Accounting System Developer & Solution P..
Company: Adroit Business Consulting
LinkedIn Profile
(Accounting System Developer & Solution Provider, Adroit Business Consulting) |

Well said

Syed Najmul Hassan
Title: Accounting System Developer & Solution P..
Company: Adroit Business Consulting
LinkedIn Profile
(Accounting System Developer & Solution Provider, Adroit Business Consulting) |

A couple of thing I did after attending that webinar which I like to share.
1) I revamped the Chart of Accounts of entire group and introduced a unified COA. throughout the group.
2) Increased frequency of bank reconciliations
3) Downloading utility bills from net rather than waiting for courrier-early accruals.
4) Pushed HR to produce payroll and other employees benefit on time.
5) Pushed overseas accounting staff to send financial data on daily basis and instructed & helped my staff members to keep records uptodate.
6) Sought approval from BOD for provisions for expenses

2452 views
Topics
Products and Companies

Get Free Membership

By signing up, you will receive emails from Proformative regarding Proformative programs, events, community news and activity. You can withdraw your consent at any time. Contact Us.

Business Exchange

Browse the Business Exchange to find information, resources and peer reviews to help you select the right solution for your business.

Learn more

Contribute to Community

If you’re interested in learning more about contributing to your Proformative community, we have many ways for you to get involved. Please email content@proformative.com to learn more about becoming a speaker or contributing to the blogs/Q&A Forum.