Every small business owner, accountant and bookkeeper knows that the month end close process is normally hectic and full of long hours, but there’s a better way.
Below are three tips that’ll streamline the process and take some stress out of closing the books. The best part is these improvements won’t cost you a dime.
Month End Close Checklist
Having a defined list of responsibilities and close duties is critical for streamlining month end and reducing errors or omissions. This checklist should have more than just journal entries or the business day the ledger locks. It should also allow for management approval or rejection, along with error tracking features, such as pivot tables sourced from the checklist. Error tracking features provide a feedback loop for continual process improvement.
Leverage Formulas & Macros
Manual, repetitive data entry processes make month end close inefficient, stressful and full of inconsistencies or errors, which is why leveraging formulas and macros is a priority. V-lookups, sum and count functions are among the most basic, yet effective ways to improve efficiency. Macros, which record a series of user steps and repeat them on command, make journal entry preparation simple and save many labor hours.
Balance Sheet Review
In large accounting departments, or small businesses where managers have a wide spectrum of responsibilities, it;s almost impossible to catch financial statement errors or perform a thorough financial review, before the books close. Delegating account analysis and review duties to staff members is an effective way to streamline the financial review process, and catch errors before they turn into material misstatements.
For additional information on streamlining the month end close process, please contact us contact us today. The first ten business days of the month will be free from chaos, if you embrace process excellence and change.