Financial Automation for Better Month-End Close Processes

month end closing process

Increase accuracy and efficiency across your account reconciliation process and produce timely and accurate financial statements. Drive accuracy in the financial close by providing a streamlined method to substantiate your balance sheet. Routable does the data entry for you, preventing errors and saving work down the line. The platform also makes it easy to import invoices in whatever way works best for your business, whether that’s forwarding bills through email, uploading them or bulk-processing thousands of payments through API. Match your internal financial records with account statements (e.g., from banks and vendors). This prevents reporting errors and ensures your books are accurate.

  • Every month, organizations collect, review, and reconcile all of their financial and accounting records and transactions from the last month for review and reporting.
  • The solution is to make a shift away from spreadsheets to a Cloud Suite that automatically pulls data from cross-business systems, eliminating errors and getting rid of concerns about version control.
  • Explore the future of accounting over a cup of coffee with our curated collection of white papers and ebooks written to help you consider how you will transform your people, process, and technology.
  • These include things like getting off of desktop spreadsheets, aggregating cross-business data into a single cloud-based system, and automating everything that can be automated.
  • Optimizing the month-end close will get financial numbers into the hands of leadership sooner to assist with timely analyses and smarter decision-making.

Month-end closings are not only essential to effective fiscal governance, but they also provide management with financial information that drives strategic decisions. The sooner your management gets good information, the more quickly they can respond — and organizational agility can be an enormous competitive advantage.

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Tools like SolveXia exist to save time, reduce errors, and make your financial processes run smoothly and easily. Whether you need to conduct an internal or external audit on your financial statements, the use of an automation tool will make this easier than ever. Before you begin preparing financial statements, review everything to investigate anything unusual and check how your actuals compare to your forecast or budget. Define your ideal time frame for each task and set deadlines for the account close process. This way, every person with a defined role in the process is aware of what needs to be done and by when. This way, you can cut the time it takes to perform account reconciliations down dramatically because the process becomes automated. Removing the manual process of account reconciliation will result in reduced human error, time savings, and, in turn, cost savings.

Adra by Trintech says 94% of workers reported a high workload during the month-end close and that 87% of people worked overtime. Accounting is responsible for gathering all documentation required to complete the period-end closing and completing all ledger adjustments. Sales are entered as they occur and a second entry is made in receivables, if we are waiting for the cash, or in a cash account if the sale was accompanied with a payment.

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Download a free sample accounting procedures to use as your own starting point to developing your own accounting policy manual. The University closes each accounting period following a month-end close process in PeopleSoft Financials. Prior to the close process, financial and business managers should be cognizant of the month-end procedures and tasks in both PeopleSoft Financials and PeopleSoft HR for which they are responsible. Details can be found in the Monthly Business Processes User Guide . This is the first blog in a blog series that analyzes why the month end financial accounting close takes time. In this blog, we set the stage by identifying the importance of the monthly financial close and discussing the key bottlenecks slowing the process.

Compare that with the 7 or more days reported earlier, without the use of automation. Realistic estimation of the time required for monthly closing must not neglect the non-closing responsibilities of the accountant and financial professional. Pre-close meetings are useful in discussing the schedule and timeline, and will help in rescheduling tasks to meet the month end deadline.

Reasons behind financial close bottlenecks

Two accounting periods/fiscal years will be open in the general ledger for certain days in July. Special attention must be taken when processing transactions to ensure they are recorded in the correct accounting period/fiscal year. Manual processes have too long been the norm for managing the month-end close, whether it’s for entering and consolidating data, creating reports, or performing reconciliation. Reducing the length of the month-end close in any meaningful way depends on automation. Another impediment to a fast month-end close is the fact that most organizations don’t have a single source of truth collecting and housing all of their real-time data.

  • Has a customer not finished a payment yet, or have you forgotten to send an invoice?
  • Once you decide that your month-end closing process isn’t working, you need to diagnose the problem and take corrective action.
  • BlackLine’s foundation for modern accounting creates a streamlined and automated close.
  • Management is often eager to get their hands on financial information that will inform their decisions.
  • You can use your calendar to plan out the times and dates to collect financial reports from the different departments when to record the transaction, and finally close the books.
  • If your accounting department is bogged down with manual data collection and manipulation for multiple days, they’re bound to get caught in the vicious cycle of never-ending backward-looking reporting.
  • Downloading all bank statements will be your reference for confirming transactions in your accounting software.

The month-end close process is a dreaded routine for many finance departments. The process is tedious and time consuming—but it’s also crucial to ensure your company runs efficiently. Closing the books each month gives executives the information and perspective they need to understand where the business is right now so they can make sound strategic decisions for the future.

These reports should be kept in packets, along with a printout of the journal entry, for documentation of the entry. The bookkeeper should prepare a list of all standard journal entries that need to be prepared during the month end close to ensure all entries are posted to the general ledger. The year-end close typically consists of a 1st close on July 3rd, a 2nd close approximately 7 business days later and a 3rd and final close approximately 7 business days after the 2nd close.

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Create a deadline to complete your closing procedures, depending on your business and your team’s workload. If you’re fighting for time, aim to catch up with your reconciliation ahead of the month end close process. But accounting for every transaction is key to avoiding discrepancies in your financial data. Prepare month end closing process a bank reconciliation to reconcile your bank account with your financial records. Bank reconciliations will also help you understand your cash situation and not overdraw your account. With a month-end closing checklist and a bookkeeping habit, you can scale the summit with ease and manage your finances well.

What is the purpose of the closing process quizlet?

One purpose of closing entries is to transfer net income or net loss for the period to Retained Earnings. A second purpose is to "zero-out" all temporary accounts (revenue accounts, expense accounts, and Dividends) so that they start each new period with a zero balance.

Due to the amount of work involved, the month end close process is never a one-day-in-a-month activity and may take even a week off every month. BlackLine and our ecosystem of software and cloud partners work together to transform our joint customers’ finance and accounting processes.

Month End Close  |  Year End Close

Your team will be able to access key files much faster meaning they can spend more time on strategic work processes rather than waiting for spreadsheets to load. Closing the books every month helps organizations accurately track their financial performance. It is also critical for financial planning and setting long-term strategic business goals. Spring is the busiest season for most accounting and finance professionals. We know you’re in the middle of month-end close, quarter-end close, audit preparation, and tax filings. Financial accounting, which includes the month-end process, is an important function within any business.

What are the 5 types of adjusting entries?

Adjustments entries fall under five categories: accrued revenues, accrued expenses, unearned revenues, prepaid expenses, and depreciation.

The monthly accounting and bookkeeping closing process is important because it provides management with vital financial information. This process should be standardized by creating a list of standard journal entries to promote consistency between monthly closings. These adjusting entries produce accurate financial books, which are the basis for correct financial statements. Also, any error in the financial system has a significant impact on a company’s reputation.

In general, focusing on good data governance can help your organization streamline and speed up the close process. Sound data governance means creating systems to increase accountability and ensure data quality and consistency across the board. It’s the kind of project that can be easy to put off in favor of more short-term priorities. Perhaps the greatest challenge when it comes to the month end close process is the inefficiency that can rear its head. In most cases, organisations will report that the inefficiency stems from the starting point, namely – the collection of data from multiple systems. According to data from the American Productivity & Quality Center, the median account close process for 2,300 surveyed organisations was 6.4 days, back in 2018. In a survey from 2019 out of Ventana Research, 46% of organisations were closing in four days.

month end closing process

Once you close your books, you can’t go back and create journal entries for that month. So make sure your financials are accurate before closing the accounting period. If you’re a small business owner who feels the month end close process is a mountain of tedious admin, you’re not alone. The monthly financial close is an important but time-consuming process that entrepreneurs don’t look forward to. The financial accounting role goes beyond just transactions, covering income cash, bank loans, savings accounts, monthly expenses, and other essential parts that impact the entire organization. A misplaced invoice or statement can result in curious losses that you won’t be able to account for.

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Let’s say your company has earned $200,000 in revenue this month, in the form of customer purchases. Invoices have been issued, but payment isn’t due until the 15th of next month. So an accrual entry of $200,000 is added to record earned revenue, offset by a corresponding entry to the Accounts Receivable account.

  • Mistakes made by accountants during the month-end close are usually tricky to recognize and correct in time.
  • Manual processes are also used in the approval process, and in many firms, executives need to sign off on manual paper copies, which are subsequently maintained for audit purposes.
  • Inefficient technology causes employees to lose motivation and become frustrated.
  • So it becomes important to build a daily process that works between retail and accounting to capture, reconcile, and record summary journal entries from the retail system to the general ledger.
  • A full audit trail that tracks the entire close checklist process from end to end allows organizations to flag up recurring bottlenecks.
  • Matching the entries in your financial statements with the corresponding entries from vendors, banks, etc. is known as reconciliation.

Retailers are recalibrating their strategies and investing in innovative business models to drive transformation quickly, profitably, and at scale. Save time, reduce risk, and create capacity to support your organization’s strategic objectives. Structure and automate intercompany transactions to maximize operational efficiency while improving deductibility and reducing tax leakage. Unify all compliance documentation, projects, and stakeholders in one globally accessible, cloud platform to maximize visibility. Link controls to related risks, narratives, and projects, and ensure version control.

With limited time to reconcile the data, some teams are forced to close knowing they have accounting errors due to incomplete or inaccurate data. Although a very labor and time-intensive task, financial closing is a crucial aspect for any business’s success. During the month-end close process, the finance department busies itself with ensuring that discrepancies are reconciled to provide more accurate financial statements that reflect a company’s actual financial state. Consolidation of all the data sources required for the closing operation. These may include bank statements, financial statements and balance sheets, fixed assets and inventory, Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable documents, Petty cash fund and General Ledger data. Having a month end close checklist can enable systematic management of the process.

month end closing process

And even better, you’ll face less stress as the final days of the month bear down on you. An accountant’s job is never a single entity with a beginning and an end. It can, at best, be broken down into bite-sized pieces of monthly reconciliations so that the account close process does not become overwhelming at the end of the financial year. Perhaps the most compelling advantage to automated month-end close is audit readiness. Automated business processes not only allow standardization of operations but also ensure maintenance of records throughout the year, thereby creating an audit trail.

That typically means manual and labor-intensive, relying on use of multiple spreadsheets. The bottom line is that a slow close will increase general and administrative (G&A) expense. It could also be an indication of underlying inefficiencies across other financial processes – such as billing, cashflow and accounts payable. Finally, review revenue and expense accounts to confirm that they are accurate.

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