Financial Close Optimization: Five Steps for Identifying and Resolving Systems and Process Inefficiencies

​A recent survey by the Institute of Management Accountants found that financial closing is one of the key challenges accounting and finance organizations face; more than half of respondents to that survey said streamlining the financial close process could help improve their team’s productivity.

However, making improvements to the financial close isn’t easy. The financial close cycle is not one process, but many interrelated and often interdependent processes, each with its own stages. One bottleneck occurring “upstream” in the financial close process can have a significant impact on the other processes that follow. In addition, both process inefficiencies and enterprise resource planning (ERP) system design flaws can cause constraints in the financial close process. Resolving these constraints requires identifying and addressing the root causes of issues, rather than only addressing the symptoms.