Four Ways to Speed Up Your Monthly Close

four ways to speed up monthly close

Monthly close is one of the most challenging times for finance teams. With so much work often condensed into several hectic days at the end of the month or a given financial period, it can be a weight not just on finance teams but across a business – consuming time, money, resources, and planning.

Most businesses have to spend several days focused to this process each month. CFO.com reported that it can take businesses anywhere from 10 days for slower businesses to around five days for faster performers. Speeding up this process, without sacrificing accuracy, can help your company achieve its goals by freeing up more time to focus on the fundamentals of the business and finding opportunities to save money or further optimize expenses.

Accelerating this process comes down to implementing the right techniques and strategies, so here are four things you can do to close the month faster.

1. Get all teams on board

Monthly close involves information and data from across the business and can include all the teams in your organization. The first step to accelerate this process is to make sure that the key stakeholders and team leaders are on board with the process. Help them understand what they need to deliver to the finance team and when, with clear deadlines and processes in place for them to deliver that information.

The key is communication and expressing how accelerating monthly close will drive benefits for the entire organization. If it simply feels like busy work, teams might not commit, but if they understand that accelerating the process will help the company achieve its goals, teams will make the effort.

2. Optimize for closing

If you have buy-in from the rest of the organization, now is the time to think about how you can optimize workflows and processes across your business to help your finance team accelerate your close. Start with visibility, whether through shared calendars, or utilizing your company’s project management tools, so that key deadlines are clear to everyone.

Second, make sure your tools are working together and especially with your ERP. Look at the resources provided by your ERP and make sure you are taking advantage of them. Your ERP is one of the most critical platforms for finance teams, so make sure you are building workflows optimized for whichever platform you have selected.

Lastly, take a look at how much of your monthly close is still dependent on legacy tools. It seems that no matter the team or task, there is always someone using a spreadsheet. While spreadsheets still have their role and their simplicity and familiarity can be attractive, new tools are constantly being developed that can often serve your team much more efficiently.

3. Embrace Continuous Accounting

This new approach to managing finances aims to replace the idea of one concentrated period of reconciliation and close with a constant process spread over the entirety of the month or financial period. It relies heavily on automation of repetitive tasks to accelerate the close at the end of the period.

The method, which is also called Continuous Close, needs to be implemented into your workflow and that means you also need to have the right tools to support it. Netsuite, the widely used ERP, has resources available for its users to begin working according to this model.

Here at Mesh, we believe that continuous accounting can offer major benefits for finance teams and this has been one of the philosophies driving our solution. Mesh, for example, helps to automate the collection and matching of receipts so that this process doesn’t need to be concentrated at the end of the month.

4. Be flexible

No matter how many steps you take to make the monthly close faster, surprises happen. Not everything will go according to plan. For that reason, it’s important to build flexibility into your processes. That could mean budgeting more time than you estimate is necessary, or simply structuring your finance team in such a way that they can step in when an extra effort is needed.

A faster monthly close is an important part of achieving your business goals, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of something else. Building in flexibility will help you achieve the right balance of speed while still making sure you close the books correctly.

If you’re interested in finding out how Mesh Payments can help you close out the month faster, book a demo today.

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