Period-end closing is a complicated procedure. There’s no two ways around it and for many businesses is means having skilled employees working for hours to complete the various tasks outside of their normal job remit – when in reality they would be better served working on something else. This often means that period-end closing is time consuming, and littered with errors that taint the overall data. Some of the more common issues we see in period-end closing include confusion from multiple data sources, mixed media data, time consuming manual labour (which in turn increases error rate) and a series of inter-dependant tasks that delay the whole process, sometimes for months. But there are a few simple things you can do to reduce period-end closing time while simultaneously improving the accuracy of your final data.
Break It Up
Part of the issue in terms of both time and error rate is the fact that there are a number of different processes and procedures that need to be performed in order to complete the close. Many businesses end up doing all of these things at once, right up against the wire, which leads to time pressure, stress and mistakes. By breaking the period-end closing process into separate tasks and dispersing them throughout the month, you are making the whole thing much easier to handle. So for example, the task of reconciling the bank accounts can be done daily via automated software, rather than manually at the end of each month. This allows mistakes to be caught, and means that the bank accounts will be completely reconciled when it comes time to close the period, without any time wasted doing it the old fashioned way.
Monitor As You Go
Part of the reason period-end can become so complex is because the people doing it are playing catch up from the very beginning. Multiple issues are caught as they comb through reports, bank statements, letters and more, many of which could have been caught and resolved at the time instead. Documents get lost, processes aren’t completed or things sometimes just fall through the cracks. By employing an automatic monitoring and reporting solution, you can ensure that all of the necessary information is ready when it is needed, saving a significant amount of time and reducing the number of mistakes made throughout the period.
Automate Your Processes
One of the biggest time savers in period-end closing is automation. The closing process is full of repetitive tasks, many of which can be easily automated. For example, reconciling back accounts, collating data from various sources and generating reports. Those things are only compounded when it comes time to close off the year, as opposed to the month. So use the technology already out there to your advantage and automate as much as you can. From scheduling tasks to escalation, collation and more. There are a huge variety of elements you can automate to significantly reduce your closing time – the only question is how many of them you will use.
At Invenio, we believe that period-end closing should be as quick and painless as possible for all involved, which is why we developed an intelligent, automated solution to take on the bulk of the work for you. Our solution is actively processing data constantly throughout the month, drastically reducing the number of tasks required at period-end. Ultimately, this means that the process of closing off each period will take far less time and be far less prone to mistakes than traditional closing processes. Thanks to our bespoke period-end closing system, large multinational companies have been able to reduce their closing times by as much as 40% within the first period. To find out more, or to book your free consultation, just get in touch with one of our experts today.