For a lot of finance professionals, month-ends and year-ends are the most stressful periods. Closing out financial accounts from the previous period, resolving open items, and ensuring everything is addressed can be very tedious and time-consuming. According to a 2016 Dimensional Research survey, 82 percent of accounting and finance professionals find the month-end close to be a negative experience. Meanwhile, 3 out of 4 are not confident of their close process.
Among the possible issues that add to the complexity of the month-end reconciliation process is the use of multiple incompatible platforms, spreadsheet usage, version control issues, lack of accountability and inability to have insight into the process in real time. Companies have long sought of ways to streamline and automate month-end close. It wouldn’t only benefit the company’s accounting staff; it would also give businesses a clearer and more accurate view of their financial statements, which can help in making better business decisions to maximize profits and strategize effectively.
Why You Should Automate Month-End Close
- Better Visibility – Automation helps unify and standardize the close across all business units. Data is centralized, and insights are available with just one click whenever you need them. Increased visibility gives organizations clear insight to the close process and enables them to make more informed decisions.
- Increase Accuracy and Data Integrity – By eliminating repetitive manual processes, automation minimizes human error. This helps preserve data integrity and increases security by improving how data is produced, utilized, and stored. If errors do happen, they can be easily tracked, checked, and corrected.
- Reduced Risk – Decisions made through inaccurate and out of date financial statements put the company at risk. In a 2019 study, 96 percent of finance professionals agreed that financial reporting errors would have a negative impact on the company. 42 percent cited reputational damage, 41 percent cited risks in securing investment, and 40 percent cited increased debt levels.
- Faster Turnaround – Computers can do the job quicker than humans. They can work 24/7 without any breaks, thus enabling the finance team to focus on other important tasks and avoid having to work overtime. This translates to better cost-savings for the company in the long run.
Finding a User-Friendly Solution
Overall, automation ensures close tasks are completed on time while minimizing errors and increasing visibility which helps the company maintain a high level of compliance. However, integrating a new system amidst the busy workweek might seem a little overwhelming.
Employees are busy enough with their daily tasks. It would be hard to find time to learn a new, unfamiliar software. The key is finding the most suitable platform to automate month-end close. On top of cost and efficiency, it is very important to find a user-friendly platform for simple integration and better user experience.
SkyStem’s ART is a secure, intuitive and high-quality solution which prioritizes easy implementation. It was created by accountants for accountants. Our streamlined approach to implementation ensures that your new system would be up and running within a few weeks. No unwanted work disruptions. No expensive implementation fees. Free and unlimited customer support.