Enhancing your close cycle

By - April 20, 2017

The world we live in is fast-paced and driven by data. Middle-market companies have to be able to both function and thrive in this environment and we have consistently found that as organizations grow and evolve their close processes don’t keep up. Companies are too busy running the business to reassess their close cycle but they feel the pain of outdated, lengthy and cumbersome close cycles.

Lengthy and overburdened close cycles handicap companies by providing stale data that hinders decision making. This prevents companies from proactively managing the business. Management needs to be able to leverage accurate and timely data to make key decisions and adjustments. Modernizing the close cycle can help alleviate many of these problems.

Some key indicators of a lengthy and overburdened close cycle are:

  • Close cycle measured in terms of weeks rather than days
  • Heavy reliance on Excel schedules
  • Manual processes for reconciliations, reviews and sign-offs
  • Focus on transactional activity rather than analysis
  • Period-end reports not available for weeks after close
  • Missed reporting deadlines

Aligning your people, process and technology allows you to modernize your close cycle to provide the data you need, when you need it and how you need it.

BlackLine is a robust financial close automation solution that can automate and significantly shorten the close cycle. BlackLine is a cloud-based application that can be used by any industry, with any ERP and can be rapidly deployed across organizations of all sizes. It increases close process governance and control while eliminating manual interventions to maximize efficiency.

Some benefits of Blackline include:

  • Reducing close cycle time
  • Leveraging clearly defined activities
  • Enhancing policies, procedures and processes
  • Enhancing financial controls
  • Improving reliability of data and financial reporting
  • Increasing timely information to the business and market
  • Encouraging complete transparency and performance management

Modernizing the close cycle will allow you to obtain meaningful and accurate data in a timely manner. This in turn gives you the agility to respond to a rapidly changing business world and position your company for growth and stability.

To find out more about this or other ways that RSM can assist you with your business needs, contact RSM’s management consulting professionals at 800.274.3978 or email us.

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