The close and period-end reporting processes are still very complex. How do companies currently optimize fast closing? What are the expectations for CFOs and finance teams?
As a result of market and regulatory obligations, companies are confronted with increasingly strict (group) guidelines for the delivery of periodic reports. Enormous amounts of information on transactions must be processed in a limited timeframe. This requires a great deal of effort on the part of a company’s accounting and reporting teams. Why is this process so complex? How will the tasks of CFOs and finance teams evolve as a result? Johan Jacques, Finance Transformation Lead at EY Consulting and Nicolas Valette, Head of Financial Accounting Services at EY, explain.
What is fast closing?
Fast closing entails the periodic and structured closing and reporting process of a company, in which all knowledge about the financial facts is collected and disseminated to the main stakeholders within a short period of time.
There is an emerging trend for this collection and dissemination of information to become more frequent, especially when preceded by an acute crisis situation (such as the current corona crisis and its economic impact). The aim of fast closing is to keep the time span between business results and collection/dissemination as short as possible.
To make this process efficient, companies wish to make full use of new technologies that can replace manual routine tasks.
This process involves various teams in a company, from accounting through consolidation to reporting. They must join forces to successfully collect and interpret all the desired information.
Why is this process so complex and significant for a company?
The closing and reporting process is a complex process that involves many different data suppliers and dependencies. Sharp group guidelines can steer this process to some extent, but a thorough project-based approach and user-friendly software is in practice very important to manage the closure and reporting process.