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Making the Case for Automating the Close

Going Beyond Costs and Benefits

Elements of the Business Case

There is longstanding agreement on the importance of a company closing its books as quickly as possible. A short close becomes all the more important during periods of business disruption and uncertainty because it allows an organization to accelerate financial and management reporting and frees up resources to prepare more extensive and impactful analyses. Companies that close faster have timelier financial and managerial information. Our Office of Finance Benchmark Research found that 62% of companies that close their books within six business days have timely information, compared to 39% that take seven or more business days.

Making a successful business case for investing in software to increase automation of the close requires more than simple calculations of costs and benefits. It can be difficult to quantify the exact value of being able to act a day sooner to address an issue or opportunity. And an effective business case must educate decision-makers and build awareness of the issues that prevent a faster close and the value of addressing them. In particular, senior company and finance department executives must be convinced that the dangers associated with the change are low and the risks of not acting immediately are high.

 
 

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