When you hear “A.B.C.: Always Be Closing!” — you probably think of an angry Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross yelling at a room of real estate agents. It’s the motto of salespeople, but it completely applies to the world of accounting, if you think of it in terms of financial close.
A continuous, or extended, financial close is where we’re headed. Though this might be the most important part of the modern financial close, other aspects include automating time-consuming manual tasks and delivering high value and reduced cycle times.
In this blog post, we’ll address each aspect of a modern financial close, starting with a continuous financial close cycle.
Always be closing
Traditionally, your financial close and reporting process is a fragmented procedure. Your steps are loosely connected — which is an even bigger concern if you're still using manual processes like spreadsheets, but we’ll talk more about that later.
The mantra “always be closing” means taking a holistic approach to your financial close cycle. You’re addressing and managing the entire process, end-to-end, with repeatable steps that begin with sub-ledger close to submitting files to the appropriate regulatory body. By addressing the entire process, you’ll be able to distribute workloads evenly over an accounting period — so rather than waiting until the end of the month or the end of the quarter, you’ll “always be closing.”
Automating time-consuming manual tasks
Many organizations are increasing their finance staff, but a big issue lies in the manual processes. It’s nearly impossible to get things done on time when there are thousands of individual activities going on in separate spreadsheets.
A modern financial close means getting tasks done right, the first time. It’s almost impossible to do when you’re trying to track your close through spreadsheets, phone calls, and emails. A modern close means you need a great tool to automate your manual tasks and improve the quality of data.
There are many tools that can help you achieve consistent data, improved security, and quality financial reporting. If you’re searching for a solution to help you achieve a continuous close, check out Oracle Financial Consolidation and Close Cloud Service, and Oracle Account Reconciliation Cloud Service.
Delivering high-value information during a shorter cycle
Closing in a timely fashion (under a week) is incredibly important to your organization. Closing sooner means more timely information is available to better run your company. The top performers close in three days or less, giving them more time to report, analyze, forecast, and act. Using a tool like the ones listed above is the best way to deliver high-quality information in a reduced amount of time.
To learn more about how to modernize an outdated financial close process, download the white paper: