“How can I close my books faster?” This is the question that so many companies, especially small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), ask all the time.
But dealing with complex reporting, missed reconciliations or outdated information is certain to throw the timing of even the best-planned closes out the window.
The challenge for many SMBs is that their accountants conduct month-end closes manually. Often, they do this because that’s all their financial accounting software will allow. Other companies simply don’t have a financial solution that allows them to automate. With both of these situations, the margin of human error plays a role in compromising the accuracy of the close process. And mistakes slow everything down.
You can’t blame these companies, of course. There are so many moving parts that the accountants must complete — necessary financial adjustments, account balance calculations and financial position reports, for example — that mistakes are nearly inevitable.
The key to eliminating these mistakes and speeding up the process is to use powerful financial accounting software. Here are two ways that these kinds of solutions help to speed up your month-end close.
- Reduce human error: Not only is it time-intensive to manually entry data, but all of this shuffling significantly increases the risk of human error and redundant data entry. In the computing process, people are usually the weakest link. Without a high-powered tool to apply best practices and structure to your accounting processes, the ability to compare apples to apples is nearly impossible. Advanced technology can be programmed to require users to perform the correct tasks and achieve consistency. This means there’s no more tracking down versions of documents. You’ll be able to access and share real-time data in a single repository, and eliminate mistakes caused from emailing documents back and forth.
- Automate processes: Financial accounting solutions offer the ability to build month-end closing procedures ahead of time. This means companies are able to build the reports once and then access and run them again as needed. By using one integrated system and not bouncing around from spreadsheets to QuickBooks, automation is much easier for performing weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual procedures.
By organizing data in a central location, simplifying reports and working seamlessly with your existing business software, financial accounting software improves the operational efficiency of your company. Human error plays a role in compromising the accuracy of the close, so it’s critical to use powerful tools, eliminate the manual approach and speed up your month-end close.