What Is Month End Close? Steps, Process, Checklist & Best Practices Vena
Standardizing your processes through a checklist will save you from the headache that comes with inconsistent work. Our Month End Close Checklist Template will allow you to effectively delegate work to your team members without worrying about work quality and accuracy. Using the checklist, both newbies and pros will understand the minute steps it takes to get the work done.
If there are any discrepancies, adjust journal entries so that the cash book matches the real account statements. Finally, month-end closing provides potential investors or creditors with immediate insights into the company’s financial health and overall performance. When closing the books, accountants can discover mistakes, double entries, or fica tax withholding rates in2021 omitted numbers, either by accident or in an attempt to cover up fraud. This gives them a chance to correct these errors before they become a bigger deal. Reconcile deposits and receipts for this fund to ensure your petty cash balance is what you expect it to be. It may be best to check this fund weekly to keep track of your small payments.
Finding the Solution with Automation Tools
Businesses perform a month-end close to keep accounting data organized and ensure all transactions for the monthly period were accounted for. Before printing your final reports, ensure that you close your accounting system for the month, preventing anyone from posting to prior accounting periods and retroactively changing balances. No matter what your bespoke month-end close process looks like, data availability and integrity will make or break its effectiveness. If your accounting department is bogged down with manual data sorting and Excel spreadsheets, they’re bound to get caught in a vicious cycle of never-ending, backward-looking reporting.
Regular checkups serve as opportunities for managers and accountants to polish their communication and workflows and to find the most efficient ways of exchanging information. Don’t wait until the end of the month to start your month end close process. Furthermore, review your general ledger to ensure you’ve posted credit and debit entries correctly. So, how can you simplify your responsibility of closing your books monthly?
What is a month-end close process flowchart?
Can I use this checklist template within the Financial Cents application? In Financial Cents, you can create a project from this checklist template, making it easy for you and every member of your team to get work done. Financial Cents also gives you a great overview of all client work and projects so you never miss another deadline.
Efficient month-end closes are the foundation for strong board reporting and insightful flux analysis. Inaccuracies and delays in the close will derail each of these processes, hurting your standing with investors as you struggle to explain the “why” behind your numbers. Business partners are no longer content with long reporting cycles—they want faster insights from financial information. And you get faster insights by automating tedious, time-consuming tasks. Over 50% of companies report that their month-end close process takes two to three weeks to complete.
Excel in YourRole as a Vena Contributor
In the header we’ve included a date field, so the date the checklist is printed will be reflected automatically. You can get month-end off to the right start by asking for some items early. This part may be tedious, yes, but that is why this process is called a reconciliation. Another challenge might be unmatching data formats coming from disparate sources, if registered by different employees and especially if information processing procedures are not standardized. It’s important to ensure all the discounts and extensions are accounted for, and then recognize the bad debt which will not be paid. Get up and running with free payroll setup, and enjoy free expert support.
That’s crucial for ensuring your accounting data is as accurate and complete as possible. At month-end close, review your revenue and expense accounts to confirm they are accurate. Check to see if you recorded your expenses in the correct accounts for the period.
Be sure to communicate the closing date with anyone who has access to adjusting the ledger. One way to stay organized is by using basic accounting software to track your transactions and store your reports. If you’re using QuickBooks, here’s how you can use the software to close out a time period (whether it’s a week, a month, or a year). And as a reminder, if you are using Fullbay, things like vendor bills, customer payments, and invoices are automatically sent to QuickBooks so you don’t have to do it manually. Typically, with account reconciliations, you must include accompanying worksheets that combine information from multiple sources. Doing so can streamline your processes and save hours of intensive work.
Best Month End Close Checklist Template
So many accounting and finance departments are decentralized or in a constant state of change. Rather than having a standardized checklist and dashboards where leadership can easily see where things are, each accountant, entity, or location has a separate Excel file. If you’re an accountant, you’ve probably been responsible for a number of different checklists during your career. These range from a printed list or Excel file on your hard drive to shared files managed by teams. Whether you’re new to F&A or an experienced professional, sometimes you need a refresher on common finance and accounting terms and their definitions. BlackLine’s glossary provides descriptions for industry words and phrases, answers to frequently asked questions, and links to additional resources.
End-of-month inventory reviews can reveal useful trends such as seasonal variations and help better prepare for the whole fiscal year. Overstocking traps capital in the inventory unnecessarily and might never be monetized. On the other hand, with understocking, companies risks production delays or even outages.
- For starters, tracking inventory monthly allows you to better see your inventory shrinkage, that is, loss due to theft, breakage, spoilage, etc.
- Vena automates time-consuming financial close processes, e.g., data collection, account reconciliation and inter-company transactions.
- For starters, it will be easier as you go forward, and more importantly, by taking the blindfold off, you will be off to the small business races.
Plus, it ensures you maintain a good relationship with your suppliers. The goal is to ensure payments to all employees are correct, including bonuses, commissions, and other benefits. It also allows you to confirm that all payroll entries, including accruals, are posted to the accurate ledgers.
By conducting monthly check-ups, companies keep track of their financial health and can make informed business decisions. Now you need a checklist that ensures you have all the data you need to complete those steps. This month end checklist helps you gather the information you need before your monthly close date.
Global brands and the fastest growing companies run Oracle and choose BlackLine to accelerate digital transformation. BlackLine delivers comprehensive solutions that unify accounting and finance operations across your Oracle landscape. The path from traditional to modern accounting is different for every organization. Centralize, streamline, and automate end-to-end intercompany operations with global billing, payment, and automated reconciliation capabilities that provide speed and accuracy. Ignite staff efficiency and advance your business to more profitable growth. Streamline and automate detail-heavy reconciliations, such as bank reconciliations, credit card matching, intercompany reconciliations, and invoice-to-PO matching all in one centralized workspace.
Adra by Trintech says 94% of workers reported a high workload during the month-end close and that 87% of people worked overtime. Hope after reading this you might have got an insight into the checklist for month-end closing. Let’s first interpret the meaning and importance of the month-end close checklist. While the above list would be applicable to any small business, it is also true that different businesses and industries will have different entries that need to be accounted for. For example, a construction business would need to also have information at the ready regarding bonds and bonding, equipment leases, WIP (Work in Progress), contract revisions, and so on.