Month End Close Process: The Complete Guide

Month End Close Process: The Complete Guide

The cash flow statement illustrates how money flows into and out of your business during the reporting period. Poorly organized, low-visibility data makes it impossible to determine if the month’s financial information is accurate and complete. Reports that contain errors or missing details jeopardize the integrity of the company’s books.

  • The closing process is essential to ensuring that all the pieces are in their proper place and that the machine will be ready to run the following day smoothly.
  • Any decision you make in business depends on your financial situation ultimately.
  • But if you can’t keep up with such a fast pace, it’s going to show in your month-end close.
  • However, manually integrating data from different departments can present new challenges each time.

Company A, a multinational corporation in the manufacturing industry, used to spend weeks manually reconciling their financial statements and consolidating data from various departments. This labor-intensive process often led to errors and delays in reporting. Not only did this save them valuable time and resources but also improved accuracy and compliance. If you’re a finance professional or business owner, you know all too well the stress and time-consuming nature of closing out your books at the end of each month. The manual processes involved in reconciling accounts, preparing financial reports, and ensuring accuracy can be a real headache. Make sure to review and reconcile all bank statements and credit card accounts.

Create a Team and Assign Roles

They are an asset you’ll recognize as expenses in different accounting periods. If you’re fighting for time, aim to catch up with your reconciliation ahead of the month end close process. With account reconciliations, you’ll spot mistakes in your financial data and fraudulent transactions (if any!). Small businesses often struggle to collect money on time, resulting in poor cash flow management and bad debt.

  • Some small business owners underestimate the importance of the month end close process.
  • This month end checklist helps you gather the information you need before your monthly close date.
  • The month-end close lets your teams track all your monthly business transactions.
  • While accountancy is never truly finished, you can save time on your month-end closing processes to increase efficiency and deliver added value.
  • Occurrences like this could double the entire month-end process and will surely have a knock-on effect to other accounting processes.
  • It’s important to consolidate every category of transaction in one place.

Some companies use the term because the month end close requires the reconciliation of a range of accounts. With our help, you can make invoicing easier and access integrations designed to streamline accounting. Reconcile the 2 to reflect expenses paid and income received for the month. Furthermore, check your prepaid accounts against your expense accounts to prevent duplicate payments. It’s easy to let transactions made from the petty cash fund go unrecorded.

What is a month-end close process flowchart?

Modern financial systems equipped with automation and integration capabilities can significantly reduce the time required for tasks like data collection, reconciliation, and report generation. Automation streamlines repetitive processes, minimizes the risk of human error, and accelerates data accuracy. However, you can cut that down to as little as 5 days if your accounting team has access to automation software.

What are the benefits of having an optimized monthly closing process?

The accounting team will find and fix the error if the quotes do not match. Suppose Green Goods received an invoice of $3,000 for office accessories. So the $3,000 is placed in Accounts Payable, with another entry of the same amount in the expense account. Take into account any external factors that could impact your timeline, such as holidays or vacations.

What are the biggest challenges of the month-end close?

Has a customer not finished a payment yet, or have you forgotten to send an invoice? If the financial documents required for the month-closing process are stored in different locations, it will be cumbersome to access them quickly. So, a centralized repository is recommended to ensure the smooth collection of data. All fixed assets that a business might have, like equipment, technology, storage, housing, vehicles, etc., need to be assessed. It is also essential to consider that these assets depreciate, and the depreciation amount needs to be categorized under expenses. It is important to note that the month-end close is an official process to finalize the balance sheet numbers.

Enter Manual Accrual/Deferral

The month-end close process is a series of steps that are taken to ensure the accuracy and completeness of an organization’s financial statements at the end of each accounting period. But there’s a lot that needs to be done before those few closing entries can happen. Journal entries for depreciation and amortization need to be calculated and posted. Depending on your organization, you may have additional adjustments, allocations, and accruals to make.

End-of-month checklists reduce the time it takes to organize and submit internal financial reports. A well-thought-out to-do list keeps accountants and management on the same page when it comes to receiving financial reports. This process involves several steps your team will complete over several days, manually or with a closing software. Seeing that speed and accuracy are the most critical skills in the month end close process, we have created a free month end close template to streamline your team’s month-end projects.