Ventana Research Releases Fast, Clean Close Benchmark Research and Education Services
New research will help finance improve speed and accuracy of the accounting cycle of closing financial and reporting on results   March 20, 2012

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 Execution.” 

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 closing speed.” 

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 

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 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 ( and with its assessment and educational services offerings. ( 

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 TwitterFacebook,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

Media: Copies of benchmark research report and interviews are available upon request.

Media Contact:

Bailey Donoghue
(925) 242-2412 





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