Is Month-End Close Slowing Your Business Down?
Business owners require financial reporting to make both financial and non-financial decisions. Many businesses have cumbersome month end processes that substantially delay getting information in the hands of the owners that need it the most. Month end close needs to be a systematic, streamlined and repeatable process that is done efficiently month after month.
Two of the most common issues that cause month end to be a dreaded process include:
- Roles, responsibilities and deadlines are not clearly defined and your team doesn’t clearly understand who is responsible for what items
- Team members lack understanding of the interdependencies of how tasks are related which leads to a snow ball effect causing delays in the process.
Gantt charts are a project management tool that can be used to enhance the effectiveness of month end close. This tool displays the tasks needed to close a company’s books on a time schedule. They can be powerful in highlighting dependencies of related tasks, establishing accountability amongst team members, and identifying bottlenecks in the current process. Identifying the monthly process can also bring awareness to tasks that are no longer relevant to providing good financial information as well as tasks that can be done before month end to ultimately decrease the time it takes to close the books.
When month end close is taking less time, it gives your team the opportunity to evaluate current processes to identify areas for improved efficiency. Quicker monthly results provide owners more time to analyze results to make sound business decisions.