SAN RAMON, CA, March 20, 2012 – Ventana
Research has released its newest benchmark research, “Trends in Developing the
Fast, Clean Close: Refining Financial Processes and Systems for Best
Completing the accounting cycle quickly and accurately is
essential for any finance organization. Not only is this a good indicator of
efficiency, but also the speed in which books are closed has a number of
ramifications. It can affect how rapidly a company is able to prepare data
management reports, and the sooner managers have this information, the sooner they
understand their situation. This in turn helps managers react in a manner that
should translate into better performance by individuals, departments and even
the whole organization.
The results of this research were compared to Ventana
Research’s previous Fast, Clean Close benchmark research. Not a lot has
changed, and in some respects companies may have lost ground. Four in five
participants said that their company should close its books with five to six
days of the end of the month and 65 percent said within five to six days of the
end of the quarter. However, only about half (49 percent) do succeed in closing
in that time frame, and just 38 percent do so after the end of the fiscal
quarter or half-year. Both of these numbers are declines from the numbers in previous
benchmark, when 58 percent said the monthly close occurred within five or six
business days and 47 percent said so for the quarter of half-year. However, the
research uncovered some simple steps that organizations can take to improve
their speed. One way is to institute a formal process to manage the close; 77
percent of companies that had a program in place to shorten their close
succeeded, compared to just 15 percent that lacked a formal commitment.
“When compared to the results of our previous benchmark on
financial consolidation and close research, we can see that financial
organizations still have much room to improve the speed of their accounting
cycles in consolidating financials and reporting on results,” said Robert Kugel,
SVP Research of Ventana Research. “This new research shows exactly what has
changed in the financial close research field in recent years, and gives key
insights and best practices that can enable organizations to improve their
Ventana Research undertook this new benchmark research to gain
real-world information about levels of maturity, trends and best practice in
this area. The research explores how finance does this today, how people at
various levels feel about the current processes and tools, plans they have to
change or improve them, and benefits they hope to gain by doing so.
Ventana Research will host a
live webinar to discuss the Fast, Clean Close Benchmark Research findings on
Tuesday, April 17 at 10am PT. To register, visit http://www.ventanaresearch.com/FCCwebinar.
Ventana Research thanks those that participated in the
benchmark and our media partner, Business Finance, and our technology vendor
sponsor, SAP, who helped make this research a reality.
Those interested in learning more about this benchmark research can find
additional information at http://www.ventanaresearch.com/fcc/. As a part of your registration you will receive
insights and education from Ventana Research on using technology effectively in
business. Ventana Research thanks those that participated in the benchmark and
our media and association partners who helped make this research a reality.
Ventana Research provides guidance to organizations through its Ventana
OnDemand (http://www.ventanaresearch.com/ondemand) and with its assessment and educational services
About Ventana Research
Ventana Research is the most authoritative and respected benchmark
business technology research and advisory services firm. We provide insight and
expert guidance on mainstream and disruptive technologies through a unique set
of research-based offerings including benchmark research and technology
evaluation assessments, education workshops and our research and advisory
services, Ventana On-Demand. Our unparalleled understanding of the role of
technology in optimizing business processes and performance and our best
practices guidance are rooted in our rigorous research-based benchmarking of
people, processes, information and technology across business and IT functions
in every industry. This benchmark research plus our market coverage and
in-depth knowledge of hundreds of technology providers means we can deliver
education and expertise to our clients to increase the value they derive from
technology investments while reducing time, cost and risk.
Ventana Research provides the most comprehensive analyst and research coverage
in the industry; business and IT professionals worldwide are members of our
community and benefit from Ventana Research’s insights, as do highly regarded
media and association partners around the globe. Our views and analyses are
distributed daily through blogs and social media channels ncluding Twitter, Facebook,LinkedIn and Business Week’s Business Exchange.
To learn how Ventana Research advances the maturity of organizations’ use of
information and technology through benchmark research, education and advisory
services, visit www.ventanaresearch.com.
Media: Copies of benchmark research report and interviews are available upon