“We’d like to postpone our meeting to next month because right now we’re busy with our financial close and we need a couple of weeks to finish it”
Perhaps this isn’t a sentence you come across very often, but when catering / supplying to Finance & Control teams, it’s one of the most common responses during the first quarter of every year.
Apparently, closing the financial year still forms a cumbersome and lengthy process and we wonder why.
Why do Finance & Control teams choose not to change their sub-optimal and unrewarding Lemming-like process, year on year? With as a result that they keep stepping into the same pitfalls and spend too much time on the wrongs tasks over and over again.
As one off our clients often used to say: “we were busy working on yesterday’s shit of, rather than shaping tomorrow’s future”
Although there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to these questions, we see that many financial close issues stem from a sub-optimal reconciliation and lacking reporting approach. One in which periodical (in many cases manual) activities are still preferred above automated continuous methods. Of course, fin&con teams are deploying all sorts of optimizations and automations, and as much as these steps have positively impacted the operation, lots of them still need weeks for their financial close. The reason for this is that, regardless of the many benefits modern processes and tools bring, they still fall short when required to perform continuous seamless relational checks across all financial (transactional) flows. Whether it’s due to lacking connectivity options, insights/reporting options and/or the ways processes are being followed or applications being used, it are these relational checks that form the foundation for proper conclusions and closings.
Automated reconciliation helps
At Actuals we developed a state-of-the-art platform that drives a highly automated reconciliation process, which enables fin&con teams to build up a continuous relational check across all used applications (Single Source of Truth), in combination with a straightforward, temper proof approach. By making it an automated and continuous process, trends on deviations and issues can immediately be dealt with, instead of having to do so retrospectively. Together with enhanced insights through instant reporting capabilities, teams increase their grip throughout the entire year and exactly know where they stand in December.
When following such an approach, one can save him/herself hours of unnecessary retrospective work and earn back a full quarter’s worth in time that can be used to shape the future of your company!