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by Bonnie D. Graham
Financial Excellence with Game Changers, presented by SAP

Fast, Faster, Fastest: What's Next for the Close?

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The Buzz 1: The early development of accounting was closely related to developments in writing, counting, and money.…Accounting records dating back more than 7,000 years have been found in Mesopotamia, and documents from ancient Mesopotamia show lists of expenditures, and goods received and traded…all emerged in the context of controlling goods, stocks and transactions in the temple economy of Mesopotamia.” (en.wikipedia.org)

The Buzz 2: “When I talk to other CFOs about process improvement, they often tell me that their top priority is closing the books faster…Poor-quality data can’t be trusted, and it takes a lot of labor to scrub bad data.” (Perry D. Wiggins, CPA)

The Buzz 3: Of the 2,300 organizations that answered APQC’s General Accounting Open Standards Benchmarking survey, the bottom 25% said they need 10 or more calendar days to perform the monthly close process. … the top 25% can wrap up a monthly close in just 4.8 days or less—about half the time of the bottom 25%. … at the median are the organizations that need 6.4 calendar days to close out a month’s books.” (www.cfo.com)

Since the 13th century, accountants have been “closing the books” to give company owners a status on their business performance. And since this happens at all companies at every period-end, you'd think that by 2021, everyone has a perfect, optimized process.
But period-end closing still has a reputation of being a burden – causing headaches and overtime.

We’ll ask experts Marc Six, Katharina Reichert and David Dixon to share their insights about closing acceleration and business trends affecting Finance teams each and every period-end on Fast, Faster, Fastest: What's Next for the Close?

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by Bonnie D. Graham