Rose Report: Issue 29

Simplify Your Closing Process

For any organization, closing the accounting cycle on an accrual basis is an integral part of running a successful business. It shines a light on the company’s financial health and gives executives insights on how to make better business decisions in the future. To make the most of your financial information, you need to make sure it is meaningful and delivered timely and accurately. For this to occur accountants need to make this process as efficient as possible. Doing so will speed up the delivery of financial information and improve accuracy, and ultimately improve an organization’s probability of success in their own missions.

Closing the books is a multi-step process: it includes reconciling balance sheet accounts and reviewing revenue, direct costs and indirect expenses. Executing all of these tasks in a timely and organized manner helps maintain accuracy—but in order to do this effectively, internal processes must reduce potential bottlenecks and opportunities to make mistakes.

First, break down tasks and track your team’s progress. To ensure each step needed to close happens sequentially and in accordance with best practices, RFSClosing’s web-based portal breaks down key tasks and assigns them to the appropriate staff. Accounting users can then see tasks they’ve been assigned, when each task is available for work, and the expected due date. Executives receive daily status reports to remain updated on their team’s progress, keep track of a monthly or annual close as it’s happening, and address problems before they cause bottlenecks.

Second, leave the paper trail behind. As a web-based application, RFSClosing eliminates the need to build and maintain a paper “closing binder.” Electronic records are easier to organize and maintain, plus they allow the work and review to take place anywhere. They can also be accessed remotely and permanently stored securely online. At the end of each month, your organization will have an electronic binder that supports its trial balance—and 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.

Last, maintain accuracy. RFSClosing incorporates a process for recording, reviewing and resolving issues identified during the monthly close. Senior staff can review details before financial statements are finalized. Issues and resolutions are saved electronically, so staff can refer to them during future closes and at year-end for audits. This is a useful tool for management to easily identify trends, train staff and improve the closing process going forward.

The closing process doesn’t have to pose a challenge at the end of each month. RFSClosing makes the execution of an electronic monthly close timely, efficient, organized and accurate. RFSClosing is helping our clients become Audit Ready All Year™.


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