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Close Your Books Faster: 9 Ways to Speed Up the Year-End Financial Close

Author: David Silverstrim | 6 min read | August 3, 2023

The close is crucial for businesses, providing fast and accurate financial information that decision-makers rely on to measure outcomes and adjust plans. However, the traditionally manual process of year-end close can be time-consuming and prone to inaccuracies, making it challenging to meet the growing demands of stakeholders and stay competitive in today’s fast-paced business environment.

Many businesses have turned to automation to streamline their financial operations in response to these challenges, particularly in the year-end close. A recent finance survey conducted by Gartner found that 55% of finance executives aim for a touchless financial close by 2025. Automated financial processes that connect stakeholders and systems can improve the speed and accuracy of financial reporting and analysis, enabling decision-makers to make informed decisions quickly.

With this in mind, this article will provide nine recommendations to help finance teams move towards a more automated year-end close. These recommendations will help businesses reduce manual processes and minimize the risk of inaccuracies, leading to faster, more accurate results that enable more informed decision-making.

9 Strategies to Accelerate the Completion Of The Year-End Financial Close

1) Utilize Automated Solutions for Reconciling Accounts

Use a purpose-built reconciliation solution to manage all your account reconciliations and leverage robotic process automation (RPA) to speed up processes even more. With flexible rules for auto-certifying period-end reconciliations and matching individual or group transactions, your team can focus on more complex exceptions that require human judgment.

2) Simplify Intercompany Transactions Using Business Rules

Optimize your intercompany transactions based on business rules to improve tax compliance and decrease the time to close. A connected, cloud-based enterprise performance management (EPM) solution can help you achieve this, ensuring compliance with regulations across multiple jurisdictions.

3) Enhance the Transparency and Efficiency of Expense Allocations

Streamline the allocation process by calculating complex resource allocations based on interdepartmental relationships and shared resource use. A connected cloud EPM solution can help you achieve transparency and ensure that expense allocations across business and functional units are calculated correctly.

4) Update Reporting Methods

Deliver timely and accurate information to internal and external stakeholders with a cloud EPM solution that provides an XBRL creation and mapping tool. A single, intuitive, cloud-based interface for creating, collaborating, and distributing reports can keep the reporting process on track, enabling a streamlined approach.

5) Bring Data in Line with Enterprise Data Management

An enterprise data management (EDM) solution is used to rationalize master data structures and different business perspectives, facilitating data governance. This enables “one version of the truth” so that everyone agrees on the reported numbers.

6) Establish Connections and Integrations with Other Department

Use a connected cloud EPM to leverage shared data from ERP or other systems. Speed and accuracy improve when teams stay on top of transactions throughout the cycle using an integrated platform.

7) Enable Remote Work for Enhanced Productivity

Ensure that your EPM solution is cloud-based and easy to access remotely, with built-in collaboration and workflow tools. This is particularly important in the current environment where remote work is more prevalent than ever.

8) Leverage Cloud Best Practices

Transition to a cloud-based finance system to benefit from software frequently updated by the cloud provider, with the latest best practices and streamlined processes built-in. This will help you avoid the complexity and inflexibility of customizations that become increasingly outmoded over time.

9) Intelligent Process Automation

Leverage machine learning-based technology such as intelligent process automation (IPA) to automate much of the orchestration involved with the financial close and track task completion status across multiple systems. As this technology matures, it could automate more and more of the closing process, increasing speed and accuracy while freeing up your team for more strategic work that impacts the bottom line.

Speed Up Your Closing Process with Datavail:

The year-end close is a vital finance ritual that allows decision-makers to measure outcomes and adjust plans. With the current economic uncertainties, getting timely and accurate financial data is more critical than ever. To achieve this, finance teams must automate their year-end close processes by leveraging cloud-based performance management solutions like Oracle’s Enterprise Performance Management Cloud. By doing so, they can accelerate their time to value, lower IT resource requirements and benefit from an easy on-ramp to the cloud.

However, moving to a new system can take a lot of work, especially for Finance executives strapped to legacy applications or drowning in spreadsheets. That’s where expert consultants like Datavail come in, with our vast experience in Oracle EPM projects. We can help organizations maximize the ROI of their Oracle technology investments and unlock their full business potential. If you’re considering switching to Oracle FCCS, don’t hesitate to contact us for a demonstration of the platform. Interested in learning more about Oracle’s cloud-based financial close and consolidation tool? Download our whitepaper “Get Your Finance Team Grooving with EPM FCCS” to learn how it can help you executives meet your business needs.

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