The Need for Speed in the Month-End Close
Sep 05, 2018 | By Blake Oliver
Some things you want to take slowly, especially those tasks with which you’re unfamiliar and do infrequently. To avoid mistakes, you always double check your work and do a thorough review.
Tasks you do regularly are a different story. For those, you want to pick up the pace. You want to structure a process that builds in checks and balances along the way, but also streamlines its execution. The more you practice, the faster you can go and still maintain accuracy.
The month-end close process is the poster child for what a well-structured and optimized process can achieve. The more streamlined it is, the faster you can go. And there is tangible value in doing so — management knows the state of the business quickly so it can make better, more informed business decisions.
The accepted wisdom is that it’s important to close your books within one business week. Yet according to Ventana Research, only 40% of companies close within 6 business days and one-fourth (26%) take two or more business weeks.
Software is great way to establish and enforce a specific process. It’s also a great way make your organization more efficient. In their recent blog post, industry analysts Ventana Research spotlight the month-end close process and look at how software can help. Senior vice president and director of business research, Robert Kugel, shares his viewpoint of how organizations can speed their close using software, including yours truly.