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Using Automation to Close Sooner with Less Effort:

A Practical Shortcut to Accelerate the Accounting Close

Shortening the Close More Easily

There is general agreement that it is good practice for companies to close their books within one business week. Our benchmark research on the Office of Finance confirms that, finding that on average executives and managers in midsize and larger companies think that their company should complete their period close within six business days. Yet the research also shows that 60 percent of companies take seven or more business days to complete the quarterly close.

How quickly a company completes the period close is important because it governs how soon many essential performance metrics be-come available to executives and managers. The research shows that three-fourths of companies that close their books in one or two business days said they have timely information available to run the company, while only 27 percent said so among those that close in the second week and just 10 percent of those that take more than two weeks to complete the process. This is important, in our view, because delays in providing performance feedback hamper a company’s ability to respond quickly to challenges and opportunities.


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