In today’s fast-moving world, companies have to juggle multiple priorities when managing their business, such as overseeing financials transactions, measuring corporate performance, attesting financial reports, timely closing and consolidating financial data. Thus, it is no surprise that CFOs are always aiming to close books and comply with regulations faster and more efficiently.
Infographic: Top 5 risks for CFOs in 2017
An efficient financial close will help companies:
Access financial information faster
Reduced closing times give companies much faster access to information relating to their corporate performance, which allows management to quickly spot and address problem areas. As a result, companies can make business decisions faster to improve future performance.
Free up more time for value-added analysis
By streamlining the financial consolidation process, companies can free up significant time for accounting staff, which allows them to add more depth and value to the written reports produced at the end of the quarter and year. Besides, there is more time for ad hoc financial analysis during the monthly cycle, thus improving the quality of decision-making.
Read more: Financial consolidation - Dealing with intercompany transactions
Save time and cost
An efficient financial close helps reduce the time it takes to manually intervene, reconcile errors, analyse variances, and process and collect data across a variety of close processes. In addition, being able to automate the close process means there is no need to hire a lot of people or ask staff to work longer hours. This means reduced HR costs.
Improve quality and control systems
The quality of reports can be greatly improved if companies can get them right the first time with an efficient close process. This is because more time can be dedicated to analysis rather than to correcting errors. Moreover, internal control systems are subsequently enhanced if companies have a streamlined close process in place, thus improving the audit signoff process.
Read more: 3 ways to weather the perfect storm of corporate reporting
Maintain strong relationships with stakeholders
An efficient financial close helps companies deliver financial information to stakeholders faster than their industry peers, which implies a higher level of management expertise. Such companies communicate with their investors and analysts with greater speed and detail as well, giving them greater comfort. Thus, businesses can have bigger access to capital for reporting earlier.
The benefits of an efficient financial close are clearly defined. But what could stand in the way of companies trying to achieve that goal? Find out more in our full whitepaper “Financial Consolidation: Building a bridge to operational excellence.”