Background: To improve its financial reporting process, this multi-national financial institution wanted to reduce its month-end accounting close process from 10 days to 5 days.

CTS Impact Solution:

In order to identify and implement process improvements to reduce this client’s month-end close process, the CTS Impact team interviewed and observed current processes across the entire accounting function.  As a result, over 50 opportunities for process improvement were identified including:

  • Quick hits/short-term improvements
    • Create a standard month-end close checklist
    • Reduce number of allocations
    • Develop recurring journal entries
    • Expedite accrual entries through use of budget data
    • Earlier cut-off of accounts payable
    • Revise employee expense reimbursement policy
  • Mid and long-term improvements
    • Chart of accounts clean-up
    • Automate account reconciliation and analysis using BlackLine
    • Develop a standard quarterly management reporting package
    • Document standard operating procedures
    • Upgrade financial system to take advantage of auto-workflow functionality (Lawson)

Immediately after the implementation of the quick hits process improvements, the client’s month-end close process was reduced to 7 days.   With the implementation of the long-term improvements, the client’s close process cycle time will be reduced by at least 50%.