While these issues are readily apparent, fixing them may be easier said than done. Setting realistic expectations, documenting process and procedures, and focusing on fundamental areas are together a worthwhile investment of time and resources to streamline operations and meet the needs of the organization. Start the process of improving your month-end close by evaluating whether your expectations, as an organization, are reasonable.
Consider the size of your organization, the systems in place, the size of your staff, the amount of data processed, and the complexity of the transactions. What can your finance team reasonably accomplish with the resources you currently have in place? Are there simple changes you can make to improve the efficiency and responsiveness of your finance department? Outlining fundamental areas and addressing these first will keep your finance team focused on the most important activities within your team.
An efficient month-end process increases discipline and structure, improves internal controls, and reduces significant risk. In addition to meeting organizational goals, finance leaders who invest the time and effort in improving their monthly-close process also benefit from a higher performing team and retention of valuable team members over time. If you have questions about how your organization can improve the monthly close process or would like more information about an accounting systems assessment , contact John Pace, CPA, CVA , Partner and Director of Outsourced Accounting and Advisory Services at jpace grfcpa.
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