Survey Reveals Chaotic Month-End Close Process Robs Employees of Work-Life Balance and is Error Prone
Jan 22, 2017 | By FloQast
3 out of 4 Professionals Re-Open Books After Close to Fix Errors; Study Reveals Close Management Software Improves Alignment and Reduces Time to Close
LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--FloQast, Inc., a provider of close management software created by accountants for accountants, announced the results of a survey revealing chaotic month-end close processes that are labor-intensive, fraught with errors and stress-provoking for accountants and their managers.
The sponsored survey of accounting professionals conducted in December 2016 by Dimensional Research brought to light that more than 82% of the survey participants found the month-end close to negatively impact them personally, due to increased stress levels (60%), difficulty scheduling regular life events (36%) and negatively impacting personal relationships (19%). Respondents most commonly cited having to miss or reschedule vacations and medical appointments, but also more personal activities such as birthdays, anniversaries and children’s school and sport events.
Additionally, the study revealed accounting professionals lacked confidence in the accuracy of their close:
- Only 1 in 4 reported that they were “very confident” that their last close was error free; and,
- 3 out of 4 surveyed reported they had to reopen their books after close to fix errors.
While individuals surveyed uniformly reported personal and professional challenges with the month-end close process, those individuals at organizations where close management software is deployed, reported distinct benefits for their close processes, based on the incorporation of technology, including having close processes that are more transparent and better documented (83%), teams that are better aligned (65%), and, in general, are more confident in their overall close (55%).
Through the use of close management software, of those surveyed:
- 4 out of 5 were able to reduce their time to close; more than half gained at least a full day of staff time during each working week of the close
- 72% reported that it helped improve the audit process by helping streamline PBC requests and addressing SOX requirements; and,
- Almost two-thirds noted how it relieves day-to-day task management of employees
“The survey results paint a bleak picture where almost two-thirds of accounting professionals report increased stress levels during the close,” said Diane Hagglund, senior research analyst of Dimensional Research.
“For too many organizations, the month-end close remains an extremely messy process—it is very labor intensive, error prone and relies on the tribal knowledge of the organization to get things done. The good news is that this research clearly demonstrates that there are ways companies can bring greater structure and organization to their close by deploying software and technology that directly addresses these issues,” Hagglund concluded.
“Close management software is helping to tame the chaos of the close,” said Mike Whitmire, chief executive officer and co-founder at FloQast. “We built FloQast based on our first-hand experiences dealing with manual and inefficient close processes. We developed our software to work the way accountants work, which allows them to close faster and more accurately. As the survey results indicate, it even helps reduce their close-related stress.”
To receive a copy of the survey report, visit www.floqast.com/survey or view the infographic. To learn more about the survey and its results, join Dimensional Research and FloQast for a webinar on January 24, when Senior Research Analyst Diane Hagglund will detail her research in Controlling the Chaos of the Close along with strategies to streamline the month-end close process.
The survey was conducted by Dimensional Research in December 2016. A total of 259 qualified participants participated in the survey and represented accounting and finance professionals. All had responsibility for month-end close processes in a hands-on, managerial, or support function.
FloQast is a leading developer of close management software, created by accountants for accountants to close faster and more accurately. Working with accounting teams’ existing checklists and Excel, FloQast provides a single place to manage the month-end close and gives everyone visibility. FloQast customers close on average three days faster. The award-winning solution is trusted by hundreds of accounting departments, including those at Twilio, Nutanix, Zillow and The Golden State Warriors. To learn more, visit http://www.floqast.comand join the conversation on Twitter @floqast.