Rose Report: Issue 14
Closing Made Easy
Closing the books is one of the most challenging and complicated tasks an accounting department faces each month. It involves myriad steps including reconciling balance sheets, reviewing income statements, and evaluating revenues, direct costs, and expenses. Furthermore, it requires open communication and coordination between the entire accounting department. The result: there are many potential bottlenecks and opportunities to make mistakes.
From an executive’s perspective, executing a timely and accurate monthly close is crucial. It gives a snapshot of your company’s financial health and informs your business decisions going forward. RFSClosing, a new web-based workflow solution, designed and built by Rose Financial Services, streamlines the closing process so senior staff can spend less time managing the close process and more time analyzing their company’s performance.
Here’s how RFSClosing can help your accounting department meet deadlines, stay organized, and maintain accuracy.
1) Meet Deadlines.
Closing requires several multi-faceted steps, many of which have to happen in a sequential order. Oftentimes, a close goes off the rails because one step took too long, leaving too little time for employees to complete the steps that follow it.
Using industry best practices, RFSClosing standardizes these steps and breaks them down into different tasks, each of which is assigned to the appropriate employee. When an employee logs into the web-based portal, he can see which tasks are assigned to him, when each task is available for work, what the due date is, and how much time he should allocate to complete it. As he’s working on the task, he can update his status to show others on the team his progress.
At any time, executives can run a status report to receive an update on the team’s progress. If an employee thinks a task is going to take longer than expected, he can update the status of that task so the delay is communicated to the whole team electronically. By keeping track of the close as it’s happening, senior staff can address problems before they cause a bottleneck.
2) Stay organized.
RFSClosing is a completely electronic system that removes all paper from the month-end financial closing package. Electronic records are easier to organize, access, and maintain than paper ones—they take up less space, can be searched through quickly with simple key word searches such as invoice or billing numbers, can be accessed remotely, and are permanently stored in a secure place.
At the end of each month, your organization will have an electronic binder that supports its trial balance. When the time comes for the annual audit, all of your journal entries and financial documents will be organized and easy for you and your auditors to access.
3) Maintain accuracy.
One of the biggest advantages of RFSClosing is that it incorporates a process for recording, reviewing, and resolving any issues identified during the monthly close. Senior staff have the ability to review all of the details before the financial statements are finalized. They can enter questions—such as, I don’t understand why the margins decreased for Division A?—and ask staff to respond. All of these issues and resolutions are saved electronically, so staff can refer to them during future closes and at year-end for the audit. This is a useful tool for management to utilize to easily identify trends, train staff, and improve the closing process going forward.
With RFSClosing, clients can execute electronic monthly closings that are timely, efficient, organized, and accurate. Click here to learn more about RFSClosing.