A rapid month-end is the dream of all finance functions.
Many of our clients ask us to meet mid-month to avoid disrupting, interfering, or worse, creating more work around the month-end close-off.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
While there is the goal of continuous accounting, embedding month-end procedures into day-to-day tasks, coupled with automation - a rapid month-end can be achieved quickly through these five simple steps:
- Plan out the month-end process: Get a whiteboard and sticky notes, identify all your month-end tasks, and develop a timeline.
- Drop non-value-adding tasks: Nothing is sacred, just because it worked previously, or we did it before does not mean we need to continue doing it.
- Identify all the dependencies: All tasks that require another task to be completed should be identified, and these tasks then need to be aligned.
- Set hard close-off times and embrace accruals: Don’t leave something open for an immaterial amount, have processes in place to capture and accrue material items.
- Communicate changes with stakeholders: Bringing the organisation’s management on the journey is vital. Let them know that management reports can be out by day 2, but you need their buy-in from the start to ensure it’s a true and fair reflection of the accounts.
These are just some of the tips for getting into a rapid month-end process. If these are implemented, then the finance team should be ready for a transformational change and have identified areas of operational inefficiencies and automation targets.
If you would like to discuss how your finance function can become a high-performing team and close the books efficiently, or do away with a close for good, please contact your local BDO adviser.