How FloQast Will Improve Your Close the First Time You Use It
Oct 12, 2017 | By Wynn White
Perhaps you’ve heard, but accountants aren’t so hot on change. It scares the bejesus out them, in fact, even more so than your average person. And most times, they’ll be the first to admit it! So trying to convince accountants that a process or tool they’re using is flawed and needs to be modified or fully transformed can be a challenge. Some people might say, “a nightmare.”
We get it, teams are taking a big chance when they decide to make changes to existing processes. Even if things aren’t perfect, why risk wasting time with a new tool or method when it could fail to make a difference? Squandering resources is that last thing anyone wants to do.
But really, squandering an opportunity might be worse. As people like to say, the biggest risk is not taking one. For example, if you could cut each team member’s time spent on the close by 30 minutes, would it be worth the time and effort to learn something new? I think most teams would say, “Yes.”
That’s why we love hearing from our clients about their “First Close with FloQast.” These are stories shared during the onboarding process by teams who tell us how their close has changed after implementing our platform. We hear all kinds of great improvements, and below are some of the areas that make the biggest impact:
Administration and organization
One of the biggest improvements that we hear most often from our clients is about the organization of their close. Many of them find that the structure ensures that the scope of their balance sheet is complete. In other words, fewer things are overlooked and that makes for a comprehensive and clean close that gives your team a new level of confidence.
FloQast also serves as a great tool for building and implementing standardized templates into your process. This gets your team accustomed to performing all of its work in a consistent way, cuts down on errors, avoids disorganization and will shorten the learning curve for bringing on new team members.
We believe that this will make such a huge difference in your close that we’ve developed templates and provide them to anyone who wants them. Download, modify them to suit your needs and use them consistently. Like many of our clients, you’ll see a world of difference.
As we’ve mentioned before, managers have the tendency to review things with their team here, there and everywhere. Not to mention the fact that every reviewer will do things a little different once she gets all the points down on paper (or spreadsheet or sticky note). It can make for a hasty, decentralized process where important points can get lost, forgotten or overlooked.
That’s why FloQast centralizes the review process. Each team member knows exactly where to find the official, real-time record of comments, open items and questions on each segment of their part of the close. And because managers can document their reviews in real-time, team members can also make adjustments, clarifications and corrections in real-time as well. This helps reduce the amount of correspondence between reviewer and reviewee, cutting down on overall time and helps establish consistency.
If there’s one thing we could all stand less of, it’s meetings. And your team is no exception. The dreaded status meeting would be a lot less awful if you didn’t spend so much time NOT CONTRIBUTING to it.
With FloQast, the status of your close is accessible to anyone on your team at any time. This means the dream of eliminating status meetings a reality! Of course, every team is different and some might want to continue to have a regular meeting, but even then, your meeting time will be greatly reduced due to the real-time updates in FloQast.
When we set out to create a tool that would make the close process simpler, we knew that the user experience would be crucial to its success. And because we’re accountants, we wanted to create something that accounting teams would find familiar and therefore, comfortable. We accomplish that in two key ways: 1) The folder structure and 2) The integration of Excel.
In both instances, we knew that accountants wanted something easy to understand and that wouldn’t replace the tools that they liked using. This allows team members to navigate FloQast easily and it also means the won’t need to master a whole new piece of software to make an impact on the close.
One of the most frustrating thing about closing processes is how small changes can have big ripple effects. The manual nature of tying out documentation to an ERP or other software can lead to duplication of efforts just because of simple differences.
For example, we had one mortgage company client that had dozens of bank reconciliations every month. Some were daily, some were weekly, but when the end of the period rolled around, they all had to be done. You can imagine how frustrating it would be to manually revise or update these reconciliations when changes would occur.
Prior to FloQast, this company spent 4 hours on the process. With FloQast, however, this all went away and now it takes less than 5 minutes. We have another client whose balance sheet tie-out went from 6 hours down to 2 minutes! This is all thanks to automation features and we’re always looking for opportunities to replace manual tasks with automated ones.
Improve your close with FloQast
This all sounds really good doesn’t it? We’ve heard from many teams who have drastically made their close more efficient by implement FloQast. Some teams have reduced their time by as much as 30 minutes per team member. Add up all that time over the course of a year and you’re talking about some big savings! This allows team members to focus on other areas of their duties, learn new skills and assist their group in other ways.
Get in touch with us to learn how FloQast can open the door to a better close.