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A CFO's Guide to Transforming the Close

As the end of the month, quarter, or year rolls around, many finance teams find themselves putting in long hours. Two-thirds of respondents to a recent Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) survey say they face pressure to speed the close, which is the reason they are working late into the night to meet their organizations’ financial reporting demands.

What’s even more disheartening is that only 28% of the IMA survey respondents trust their financial reporting, and even fewer — 20% — are happy with their current closing procedures. Some of the biggest concerns surrounding the close are collecting data from other departments and correcting errors.

Does the close and reconciliation process have to be this roller coaster ride that yields such unsatisfactory and unreliable results? Experts point to the continuous close — distributing routine tasks throughout the period and automating rote processes — as a way to reduce the last-minute crunch.

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