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Performing a Swift and Accurate Month End Close – Keystone Habits for Financial Controllers

controller helping lead month end close

Your month end close functions as a core pillar upon which your business sits.

This article is part 1 of a 4-part series focused on “Keystone Habits for Financial Controllers.

Your accounting team’s month end close is the lifeblood of every growing business’ operational success.

The data that is handled and filed away during every month end close is the same data that informs your leadership team and drives your company’s core initiatives. When your month end close leaves inaccurate information in the books, your entire company is left in the dark.

Given that this task is so essential, it’s hard to believe that the majority of businesses are still relying on manual, paper-based, and outdated processes to perform it. But the reality is, many businesses are allowing the closing process to eat up excessive resources and place the entire company at risk of misinformed decision making by failing to improve the way they execute. With many businesses expanding their geographic reach, the process of performing a cohesive and accurate close becomes even more complex.

As a result, month end close is taking a quarter of businesses a painful 10 days to perform.

Financial Controllers are the overseers of every month end close, and the responsibility of ensuring success rests on their shoulders. These best practices help ensure your team is maintaining accurate data throughout the entire process of a swift month end close.

Centralize accounting operations to eliminate duplicate invoice payments 

If you’re trying to save time, there’s nothing worse than paying the same invoice twice. Not only is time wasted while processing the redundant payment, but now you must also dedicate even more time to re-balance your books and reconcile with your vendor to set up a credit.

Especially for companies that have invoice processing happening in multiple locations, it’s easy to fall victim to this type of mistake. For this reason, dedicating one central location to process and pay every invoice can drastically reduce the number of times these costly mistakes happen, and save you a lot of time.

Promote operating procedures that limit input errors

The more time your team spends performing manual data entry, the more prone to mistakes your team becomes over time. As vendor invoices arrive in the mail each day, it is tempting to have your team put off the process of coding them to a future point in time during which they can knock them all out at once. However, this practice will increase both the number of mistakes and resources required for reconciling them.

Capturing your invoices in smaller doses, or even individually, will limit errors and the amount of time you spend correcting mistakes.

Automate to cut out manual and tedious work

Investing in an accounts payable automation solution has improved team efficiency by as much as 50%. However, a key to maximizing your investment in automation is choosing a solution that automates the entire invoice-to-pay process, and not just an individual component within that process.

MineralTree Invoice-to-Pay builds all the best practices discussed above, and more, into your accounts payable process by integrating with your corporate bank account and common accounting systems, such as NetSuite, QuickBooks, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Xero, and Sage Intacct.

Curious to see what your accounts payable process would look like with automation? Contact MineralTree for a complimentary assessment of your projected savings with AP Automation.


Scott Siegler
Scott is the editor of MineralTree's Invoice-to-Blog, and also a co-curator of The Proper Payable, a weekly email newsletter covering the best (and worst) in financial strategy.


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