The Beginning of the End of Period Ends

How an ERP saves money, time, and resources in the life of the dreaded accounting period end.

 

I’m a recovering CPA/Accountant.  Period closes over a 7-year span drove me away from the profession.  The pressure, long hours, and redundancy were all things that I personally was not looking to do as an accounting professional. I wanted to use my expertise to enable a business to grow through analyzing the business trends, opportunities, and knowledge of the inner workings of a company’s financials.

Fast forward to the present; I jumped into the ERP software business in 1995 and have seen my fair share of period close pain over the years at all of my clients.  ERP software does help, but most of my clients follow the same business processes for period end close as they have for years. This is where I want to change the reader’s of this whitepapers mindset when it comes to period end closes.

Continuous accounting close is a paradigm shift for many businesses’ financial teams and most of these businesses have converted to technology platforms that allow for a continuous close process.  Here are the key concepts of continuous accounting close:

  • Change period closing process – Identify every close step and determine how this can be handled via the system and verified easily on a daily basis (Examples: intercompany reconciliations, account balance reconciliation and attesting, certain accruals, review of equity accounts that are expected not to change, certain allocations, etc.)
  • Provide your company’s business areas with access to the appropriate financial data on a daily basis with confidence. NOTE: this must be via system access NEVER paper if you want it to be timely and accurate.
  • The actual Period End Close is now just another day in the life of a Finance Professional

So what does the business gain from our finance team’s happier look on life, you ask.  The business will now be beating in time with the financial information that is available to them, as the tasks that occurred at the end of the period will now be included in the real-time financial information available to them in making key business decisions.  A secondary benefit is the speed at which the books are “hard” closed takes any of the current period close business distractions away and the team to focus on growing your business.