Weeks of effort go into closing, consolidating, preparing, executing, and adjusting final numbers and narratives to report on any given financial period. Most companies use unconnected spreadsheets, email, and word processing documents to conduct the extended close cycle, from closing their books to filing their reports. But, all too often—and sometimes only hours before a filing deadline – financial close teams are made aware of a last minute change to the numbers.
A manual, disconnected extended close process that only loosely connects activities spanning the close process is too risky and inefficient. Even a small change made incorrectly during the final hours before a period closes can expose a company to the risk of financial errors and missed deadlines.
This paper reviews the processes involved in a company’s extended financial close process, the problems associated with a manual effort, and the benefits of using an integrated and automated single-platform solution for financial close management (FCM).