The financial close is often a challenging and time-consuming process, and according to Deloitte, it is a process often run by institutional memory rather than clear and specific protocols—different people involved in the process “just know how things get done.”
But as businesses grow and evolve the same old ways of doing business just aren’t enough. Throw in a global pandemic and the overnight “new normal” of remote working and that back and forth of spreadsheets, documents and emails becomes increasingly difficult to manage.
Here are five benefits you can expect to achieve from automating the financial close process.
1. Save Time
Traditional methods of management reporting typically involve an ocean of emails, endless spreadsheets, static presentations, and the creation of static management reporting booklets. This is an extremely time-consuming process and many finance professionals say they have little to no time left for analysis. Automating your financial close process, ensures access to real-time accurate data, saving time, and freeing the finance team.
Automation allows you to involve more people in the month-end close process, thereby spreading the responsibility and lightening the burden on the Finance Team. Cost centre managers can be empowered with easy to use software, that allows them to identify anomalies and recommend corrections, which, once approved, can generate automatic journal updates into your leger, ultimately making the process quicker and more accurate, and driving greater accountability at a cost centre level.
3. Fewer errors
Financial reporting often involves manually collating spreadsheets and information from multiple sources. This has the potential to lead to human error, a lack of real-time information, and ultimately a lack of trust in the integrity of the final numbers. Worse still is the situation of different people taking their bit of data offline to excel and then changing that to suit their requirements creating many versions of the truth! With automation, all the data gets linked to the original source data and can be traced, thereby mitigating error and improving accuracy and transparency.
4. Enhanced compliance
As increased compliance burdens put greater strain on the finance department, leveraging technology for the financial close will allow finance teams to get complete visibility and achieve greater transparency. These tools empower the finance team with the ability to drill down from the highest level down to individual cost centres and even right down to the transactional level if necessary.
5. Improved decision making
Automating the close process creates transparency across departmental data and facilitates analysis that can improve insight into the business that is not possible with a static report. The move away from static reports to online real-time data can drive transformation and agility in decision making empowering management with a reliable trusted single version of the truth. The finance team is also empowered with more time for insightful and strategic work, for which they were actually trained.
idu-Concept’s reporting and analytics toolset offers high level, real-time access to critical business data so that your team can make decisions based on accurate information and evidence. Our intuitive toolset provides a 360-degree view of the data, putting the most important metrics in one place, this can transform decision making within your business.