There’s nothing worse than month-end burnout as a financial team prepares for monthly closes. According to statistics published by Adra, 87% of individuals claim they had to work overtime during the financial closing processes at the end of each month. With financial professionals like accountants asking to push this year’s April 15 tax deadline due to an upend in traditional reporting activities (MarketWatch), it appears that everyone in the space is feeling the crunch right now.
Despite working at home in a digital-only setting or figuring out how the books will be affected by stimulus payments and PPP rules, the stress of reporting continues to be an unfortunate reality for many organizations. It’s time to identify common barriers and implement new strategies to avoid burnout.
Here are four steps to help make month-end closes less stressful:
1. Continual Improvement
Developing operational efficiencies and finding the right technology can be difficult. The best way to tackle digital transformation and efficiency is through the slow introduction of new technology.
When looking to improve efficiency or onboard a new system:
- Establish a timeline with important milestones and dates
- Start with clearly defined goals and outcomes
- Leverage new technologies that can help ease the stress of reporting through automation
2. Standardize Procedures
Organizations often suffer from inefficient reporting procedures, which only adds to team stress during month-end closes. Therefore, continuous improvements often include the introduction of new standards.
Standards can then help develop templates, rules, operating procedures, and similar reporting documents. When creating standards or guidelines to help your team, be sure they answer the following questions:
- How often should these standards be reviewed?
- What kind of templates can I craft to improve consistency?
- Is there industry-specific documentation I should incorporate?
3. Streamline Communication
One of the largest roadblocks in the month-end close process is a lack of communication. This roadblock has been worsened with the introduction of remote work. While working remotely has quickly become a new way of life, it challenges the ease of communication and approval processes between different teams and departments.
Do you often find yourself waiting to hear from another department? Are you regularly stuck on a task and limited from making progress. If you’re answering yes, it is time to identify ways to maximize efficiency by streamlining the communication processes.
Here are a few ways you can begin implementing a more robust communication system:
- Use a project management tool like Monday.com or Asana to track ongoing projects
- Create a shared team calendar with important dates or deadlines
- Establish a set stand-up meeting, where a few times a week, the team gets to present what they’re working on and any roadblocks they have
4. Adopt Future-Focused Financials
With so many technologies and resources available, companies should strive to identify solutions that will enable them to reap the benefits of digital transformation. Implementing new technologies and systems can help move businesses towards success by leveraging the services provided by emerging and developing solutions.
These solutions often include Cloud-based applications, tools, and resources that can be quickly integrated into organizational workflows to increase efficiency in month-end closes and related financials.
Many applications available today can help you:
- Automate manual workflows and processes to maximize efficiency and minimize errors
- Minimize delays on simple tasks
- Efficiently track and manage reports and statements
When implementing new automation tools, it’s best to start by automating mundane, repetitive tasks. Automation enables you to streamline these simple processes with minimal errors.
Leverage Automated Cash Management to Increase Departmental Efficiency
Month-end closes don’t have to get the best of your team. At Trovata, we aim to help businesses like yours automate and maximize efficiency within their workflows, enabling them to save time, money, and resources by developing reports the right way the first time.
Some benefits of our program include:
- Consolidated cash data
- Automated forecasting and reporting
- Low-cost implementation periods
- Continuous growth with your business
Ready to save time and sanity? Click here to download our “Accounting Automation Guide” and learn how automated cash management can transform your department.