Over the past decade, close-management software has evolved to enable even midsize organizations to streamline department processes, operate in a virtual mode, accelerate the accounting close and reduce staff stress. It’s one step toward continuous accounting, which is defined by Office of Finance Research Director Robert Kugel as an approach to managing transactions recording and accounting that takes advantage of current technology to streamline and restructure the accounting function. In many organizations, accounting remains stuck in the past, failing to use available technology to reduce workloads and accelerate accounting processes. The objective of continuous accounting is to enable the chief financial officer, controller and chief accounting officer to be more effective by automating routine tasks, reducing errors, streamlining workflows and facilitating collaboration. Organizational efficiency and, potentially, accounting staff satisfaction is gained from the reduction of manual, repetitive processes that otherwise require review, sign-off and manual preparation of documented evidence.
FloQast offers close-management software applicable to midsize organizations. The company launched FloQast Ops in September 2021, which is an extension of the FloQast Close product. FloQast Ops comes with pre-built workflows and allows for the creation of new, custom workflows for compliance, financial planning and analysis and reporting on upstream and downstream financial tasks. Benefits include real-time insights, sharing tasks, automation of manual and repetitive tasks and audit-ready production of documentation.
FloQast applications enable the finance department to play a more strategic role from an operations standpoint via the ability to provide operational and financial data on an ongoing basis to support greater situational awareness and better decision-making. Our research indicates that there is a strong connection between how soon a company can close its books and the degree of automation being applied to its close process. By facilitating collaboration (even in virtual workplaces), streamlining workflows and ensuring processes are executed fully and on a timely basis, FloQast can free the controller to manage by exception, enabling the time to focus on matters that require their knowledge, skills and experience to resolve.
FloQast Ops is a workflow management application that fosters collaboration by facilitating the creation of cross-functional workflows. It provides a means of documenting the what, how and why related to tasks performed, and enables users to attach this evidence to speed reviews and audits. Rather than having to constantly wing it, workflow management systematizes best-practices processes, provides managers and executives with dashboards to manage by exception and balances workloads to reduce staff stress. FloQast Ops can connect daily, weekly, monthly or quarter-end tasks performed by financial functions such as accounts payable and receivable, tax and internal audit and compliance, increasing control and potentially decreasing workloads and last-minute tasks. With the centralized documentation feature, controllers can provide accessible records to auditors. FloQast Ops can also assist with smoother internal operations. To facilitate adoption and use, FloQast integrates with tools accountants already use like spreadsheets, email, collaboration tools and leading enterprise resource planning systems.
CFOs and controllers have been challenged by the shift to operating in a virtual workplace and the mounting challenge of attracting and retaining the best talent. Close-automation software can fill gaps created by the frequent absence of face-to-face collaboration and promote streamlined operations in processes that span multiple departments and business units. It also promotes continuous accounting, which aims to de-stress — and potentially help attract and retain — accounting staff by using software to replace manual work in easily automated repetitive processes. Organizations looking to accelerate the financial close process, streamline accounting processes and increase operational efficiencies should consider FloQast’s software.