The fast close - Achieving Quick Wins and Big Wins

Why is it so important for corporations to close their books quickly? Closing fast enables faster access to financial and management information, which gives executives and managers the foundation for timely reporting and better-informed planning and decision-making. In addition, companies that close fast typically succeed as a result of streamlining their processes to become more efficient. This saves them money in terms of labor-hours, and enables staff that previously spent too much time completing accounting cycles to concentrate on new, more strategic business goals, giving these companies a competitive edge. Closing fast also helps companies maintain a healthy image in the market, while companies that don’t close fast often miss reporting deadlines and can suffer in the eyes of shareholders, investors, regulatory agencies, and trade exchanges where they face potential delisting. In this white paper, we discuss how corporate finance centers can overcome the barriers to fast close by shifting processes such as intercompany reconciliation outside the close process and by automating traditionally manual consolidation functions such as foreign currency translation adjustments, minority interest and equity calculations, and automatic cash flows. This paper also identifies solutions to help organizations sustain and improve their close times. Anybody in the corporate finance center—from the CFO to group controllers, and accountants to financial system managers—can benefit from reading this document.