In this guide-to-blog series, broadly speaking, you’ll learn how to overcome financial close challenges to better your organization’s bottom line. More specifically, you’ll learn to shorten the period-close process and pivot from collecting data to analysis with advanced tools designed to help the accounting office modernize and potentially eliminate certain routine and rote tasks. In our first blog post, we’ll give a general overview of the guide and introduce transformative insight into today’s modern accounting.
Successful business leaders are expected to be inventive and forward-thinking in order to give their companies a competitive advantage. This thinking applies to all areas of the business, including the accounting and finance organization, which many view primarily as a cost center, not a market differentiator. The accounting office can be inventive; however, the benefits do not show up as increased market share or revenue. The challenge the accounting office faces is to lower costs, provide timely financial results, and more often, improve operational reporting to better manage the business.
With the cost center stigma, the accounting department is not always the first to receive funding for improving operational efficiency. So how does the modern accounting office improve its performance? Not all solutions require a financial investment, but if necessary, a sound business case demonstrating the needs and positive results can provide the justification required to modernize.
To bring real value to the organization, finance must spend less time performing rote activities and shift from “collecting data” to maximizing time spent creating useful information. This guide looks at three areas where technology and process changes can improve period-close activities and bring real value. Throughout this guide, references to period close generally refer to month-end close. Keep in mind that each quarter and year-end, there are additional steps and scrutiny of the period-close activities and financial results, especially for publicly traded companies.
“It is not unusual for finance to spend 90% of its time getting information into relevant business systems, validating it, and getting it out again for reporting – leaving limited time to interpret the data” (Oracle Blog).
Improvements in each of the following period-close core tasks can provide transformative change and are reviewed in this guide:
- Closing the books and external reporting
- Periodic reconciliations
- Managing the period-close process
To learn more on how to overcome financial close challenges, you can download our entire guide here or below. Otherwise, stay tuned for blog #2 in the coming week!