Best Practices for a Fast Close Process


Month and year-end closings are the ultimate processes of finance where the efforts spent during the period materialize in accurate and timely reports. It is important that such valuable information is developed at a cos t that is justified by the benefits gained. Hence, organizations need to always identify inefficiencies in the closing process and apply continuous improvement. This course provides several tools for process analysis and improvements related to closing the books quickly and efficiently.

Planning the fast close process

  • Setting up a plan for a fast close
  • Pre-close process and activities
  • Implementing the plan and staying in control
  • Finance process redesign tools and techniques
  • Cos t and cycle time charts
  • Process maps and value analysis
  • Identifying process bottlenecks
  • Organizing fast close resources needed
  • Shifting close activities
  • Selecting Key Performan ce Indicators (KPIs)
  • Continuous improvements in closing process

The finance function as an added value

  • Usefulness of financial information
  • Defining the finance function stakeholders
  • Disconnect between finance and internal users
  • Tools to identify needs assessment and report user satisfacti on

Redesign of the finance function

  • The paradigm shift
  • Top information deficiencies
  • Tools to identify the need for a redesign
  • Reasons for process redesign
  • Three steps to carry on process improvement and finance function redesign

Applying Best Practices in the close process

  • Enhancing the operating cycle
  • Procurement and disbursement processes 
  • Accounts payable
  • Travel and entertainment
  • Inventory and cos t
  • Payroll process
  • Costing and analysis
  • Commissions and fees 
  • Billi ng and collection process 
  • Accounts receivable and billi ng
  • Collections and cas h management
  • Administration and reporting process 
  • The general ledger
  • Operational budgeting
  • Fixed assets
  • Financial reporting
  • Elements of the close reporting package