Orchestra Act 1 “Closing the Books”

Whether your company is their accounts monthly, quarterly or annually there is always stress around these important cut-off dates. Never do we seem to have enough to prepare in advance or are there enough hours in the day to close the properly and in time.

The company I work for closes their books on working Day 3, but in reality Day 2 is expected to be final. Here’s some valuable that I have learned.

1. Understand expectations from your , your auditors and your statutory deadlines. These are the dates to work too. If you have reporting to do to various parties, include those in your list of people to satisfy.

2. Know which accounts on the balance sheet need review, are risky, or have a of issues. Make a list and document the high accounts clearly so you do not need to reinvent the wheel.

3. that is comprehensive, has clear owners and not only dates but also the hour on which you want the team to complete a certain item.

4. As the month-end gets closer meet with your team for at least an hour to review last month’s accounts. check if everybody knows their role for the upcoming closing. Outline expectations to avoid surprises like leaving at 15:00 on Day 1 to go to the dentist for example. Make sure that your controller is fully aware of the risks so he can help you drive timely closure.

5. Line up the other functions in and outside your organization so that they are ready to provide you the input you need to report your actuals and your variances. As an example, if Chain Management is responsible for providing you input on Variances, dont wait until the last day of the month to sit with them and get the .

6. During the closing, check the progress frequently and have open communication. I like to know when AR, AP are closed so I know all rebates and credit notes are processed and the number is now final. If you have these dependencies make sure that your team informs you clearly. Put the month-end checklist on a table in the room so everybody can tick off when they completed their step.

8. Finally do not stress, if you have planned properly and the teams knows their part AND…. you have followed these steps, your closing process should go like a brease…

Contact us if you want advise or just some examples of checklists or templates. And of course feel free to leave a comment behind on this site.

Be back for more….!

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