How Businesses Can Shorten the Financial Close and Maintain Accuracy

fast close

Many businesses feel the burden of elongated period-end closing and reporting cycles.

They are tedious and time-consuming, while distracting employees from other pressing tasks. Typically, as technology advances, businesses find more efficient methods of conquering the same tasks. Yet, puzzlingly, a benchmark research report entitled "Trends in Developing the Fast, Clean Close" discovered that businesses are spending more time on closing now than they were five years ago.

Why Are Fast Closing Times Important?

Fast closing times can benefit businesses by improving resource and labor allocation and optimizing the efficiency of the organization. As a result, employees will be able to allocate their time more effectively, focusing more of their energy on tasks of higher value to the operation. Fast close times can also improve the agility and response times of an organization. Since managers can review the results of the close more quickly, they'll be able to respond more punctually to business opportunities, providing greater potential for business growth.

How Can Businesses Achieve Faster Close Times?

Fast closing times are undoubtedly critical to the efficient operation of a company. Yet, streamlining the closing cycle can seem like a daunting task. The key is finding the right software program that will manage all aspects of the closing cycle, while streamlining business processes to ensure optimal efficiency. When seeking a software application, you need to spend ample time ensuring the software possesses all of the features needed to support swift close times, while still guaranteeing a high level of accuracy.

Some important qualities to consider include:

  • The software package can integrate data from a number of sources such as ERP, HCM, CRM and other systems, either on-premises or in the cloud
  • The software utilizes workflow management to streamline the entire process.
  • The software is cloud-based, so it can be accessed anytime, anywhere on a variety of browsers and devices including Windows or Mac PCs or tablets.
  • The software is offered through a reputable vendor with a history of satisfied customers.
  • The software is easy to use, utilizing an intuitive layout that can be quickly mastered by the finance department.
  • The software offers efficient implementation and a low cost of ownership.

There are a lot of CPM and EPM software applications designed to improve financial close workflow. However, you need to ensure the software is cloud-based and purchased from a highly reputable vendor with an impeccable track record of customer success. And now, cloud-based software is becoming the preferred approach for many companies, given the time to value and cost of ownership advantages it offers.

Why Is the Cloud So Important?

Many companies operate numerous branches, conduct business travel, work remotely, and conduct field work, meaning the modern business is rarely stationary. You need a software application that's as flexible and mobile as your business model. A cloud-based platform allows employees to access the software anytime, anywhere on all of their devices, so their ability to work is never limited geographically. The cloud also allows for a more efficient implementation, while reducing cost of ownership and eliminating the need for installing updates, making it the most cost-effective and efficient solution.

Businesses are spending more time on closing than they were five years ago, which is a major red flag that their business processes need an overhaul. With rapid close times, businesses can conserve financial resources while utilizing labor more efficiently. A cloud-based EPM software solution can facilitate all aspects of financial close workflow, consolidating finance and operational results into a single platform. It will allow businesses to drastically decrease the length of closing and reporting, thus optimizing the efficiency of their company.

To learn more, download the free white paper "The Fast Close Imperative."

Download the Free White Paper

Posted by on May 4, 2016
Janette Kosior

Janette Kosior is Senior Director of Product Marketing with Host Analytics. Janette has more than 15 years of experience in the Enterprise Performance Management industry. Prior to joining Host Analytics, Janette was with Oracle where she led the Financial Close Product Management team. Prior to Oracle, Janette held various roles in product management and technical support with Hyperion Solutions. Janette has a BBA from the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts.

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