Nobody could have predicted COVID-19, but its effects on global business were immediate and will echo far into the future. However, very few organizations were prepared to suddenly continue their business processes from dispersed locations. They had to adopt and implement new technologies very quickly, especially the Office of Finance. Finance and accounting teams have needed to adapt very quickly in order to close on time and deliver the increased demands that organizations have needed from them. Though some might view the pandemic as a hindrance to their normal finance operations, other organizations view it as an opportunity to strengthen their financial processes to function efficiently far beyond COVID-19.
COVID-19 Reveals Gaps in the Close Process
Close Ledger & Consolidation
A key area that accountants commonly struggle with, especially in dispersed, virtual environments, is closing the ledger and beginning the consolidation process.
Reporting & Analytics
COVID-19 has magnified the need for advanced analytics and insights from finance and accounting. Leadership teams and different areas of the organization require these insights in order to drive business decisions to keep the organization afloat in a precarious economic climate
3 Activities That COVID-19 Has Made Critical For The Financial Close
Drive Efficiency: Developing A Global Month-End Close Checklist
When it comes to having a financial close checklist, companies fall on a wide spectrum. Some organizations might have ten to fifteen close activities recorded in a specific location that the Controller is comfortable with. However, leading companies may have hundreds of close activities recorded, and use the month-end close checklist as a catalyst for process improvement and acceleration.
Drive Quality: Running Analytics and Designing Close Policies
One thing that Citrin Cooperman sees Controllers struggling with is managing, maintaining, and controlling the company’s General Ledger. A tool that can help here is the ability to run data analytics to see who is posting entries to the General Ledger and when.
Drive Performance: Creating Dashboards For Finance Management
Because of the pandemic, it is even more important now that finance leadership is aware of every part of their organization’s financials. Dashboards help with this, and Citrin Cooperman has been assisting finance leadership in creating dashboards for monitoring capital and operational efficiencies, such as:
- Working capital
- Return on equity
- Net profit margins
- Asset turnover
This eBook is based on a joint webinar with Citrin Cooperman and Trintech, and examines how to drive efficiency, quality, and performance in the close process now and in the future.
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