Facing the challenges of the fast close

As companies grow in size and success, difficulties in financial consolidation and reporting often grow accordingly. Challenges include:

  • Multiple currencies.
  • Different accounting standards.
  • A wide range of reporting and compliance regulations.
  • Mergers and acquisitions.
  • The need for precise financial reporting.
  • The demands of corporate governance.
  • Timeliness in meeting reporting deadlines.

The benefits of a swift, efficient close

A fast, high-quality close demonstrates an organisation’s ability to complete its accounting cycles, whilst closing its books quickly and accurately. A rapid close, supported by a powerful financial consolidation system, reaps the benefits of:

  • Quick access to information.
  • More time for value-added analysis.
  • Improved control systems and quality.
  • Faster reporting and statutory compliance.
  • Reduced costs.

Financial consolidation solutions - Utilised by top performers

As proof of financial consolidation’s effectiveness, a recent survey reported that the majority of the top 25 best-performing finance departments use financial consolidation and reporting applications to manage their corporate reporting cycle - and since this is the first link in a chain that connects daily business activities with strategy execution, such an approach has significant benefits. In fact, the same survey showed that whilst the average finance team took around two weeks to close the books, top-performing teams completed the process in just one week or even less.

Fast, consolidated results generate public confidence

Underpinning an organisation’s ability to produce fast and accurate consolidated results is the public’s need for relevant, reliable, and comparable financial information, which is necessary to maintain public confidence. It also enables legislators, executives and the public to assess a company’s performance and effectiveness.

Handling management and statutory reporting

For today’s companies, compliance with statutory and management reporting requirements can be a daunting task - and without robust consolidation and reporting processes, it becomes a difficult (if not impossible) task. Adopting best-practice methodology, CPM applications are typically used by finance teams to structure and automate the monthly or quarterly aggregation of historical results - and these applications act as a consolidated book of record, providing audit trails and permanent storage of consolidated results, so that internal and external auditors can test and verify data.

CPM - Driving profitable growth

However, these applications also help organisations examine and analyse information that can support plans for change. These applications add significant value because finance or accounting staff that compile and create financial reports can also administer and maintain the system. Thus CPM applications can drive profitable growth by delivering predictable results, improving confidence, enhancing compliance - and streamlining all-important business processes.