Every Month End it occurs without fail: the workload increases, more overtime occurs and rest of the company knows to steer clear of the finance team.
However, the Month End close process should not define us as accountants, we are so much more than just reconciling data and producing the monthly Profit & Loss. The Month End close and reporting process is just the tip of the iceberg that actually get noticed, but beneath the surface is all the other never-ending items that the finance team works on around Month End.
There is always a backlog of items to be completed, whether it is finally getting around to investigating that historic variance on deferred revenue after having said “I’ll look into that later” for 6 months now. Or actually trying to plan ahead for any new IFRS changes effective during the year that you know the auditors will want an accounting paper on.
All these other non-recurring items need to be captured, prioritised, and eventually completed. While this sounds like a basic task, we as accountants sadly do not do it well. We end up with multiple ‘to-do’ lists, one in excel that will never be re-opened or updated, one in some form of generic note taking software as we promise ourselves we will finally go fully paperless, and one in a paper note pad or note book as we break the paperless promise to ourselves yet again.
The problem with all of these (aside from the fact there are so many checklists), is that none of them are designed for accountants, none of them encourage collaboration or effective team management.
The project list needs the flexibility for items to be moved up and down the priority list, due dates changed as suddenly the thing everyone said was urgent, suddenly becomes not urgent. Although priorities change, things still need to get done.
The list also needs to be accessible by the whole team so that everyone can see exactly what is on the often ephemeral ‘to-do’ list. This will help with the inevitable conversation that we have all had along the lines of “I am happy to help you out, but this is what I am currently working on, so which one is more important….”. Having all the non-month end close data in one shared location for the whole team to view with clear prioritisation and due times, will also help avoid overloading the team and allow effective task allocation and reallocation where needed. Most importantly, it may help you live that elusive accountants dream where you are out the door at a reasonable time.
If you would like to know more about how Easy Month End
can help your finance team with specialised software that not only will capture your recurring tasks, but also those one off longer dated items, then reach out to the team here at Easy Month End. While we cannot do your tasks for you, we can help make sure that they done with the less amount of administration needed on your side.