No company can afford to take long to get critical financial data into the right hands. Here’s a tested strategy that can shave time off of your close.
With today’s volatility, taking even a few days too long to track your company’s performance can leave you with a much bleaker picture the following month.
The problem? If you’ve “always” closed the month in 10 days, most staffers will think that’s just fine.
That’s why you need them to tell you where the bottlenecks are. As staffers start to identify them, they’ll see that there is room for improvement.
To get those creative juices flowing, you could “fish bone” your close process: diagram all the info sources, processes and steps it took to make the month-end happened.
As folks see the elaborate web of arrows you’ve drawn, bottlenecks should leap out at them.
Take them out of their comfort zone
So they’ve seen what’s worth fixing. From there you have to translate how much those corrections translate into days off your close.
You’ll probably have to drive the train on this one. And prepare for the flurry of excuses.
Think about making that first cut yourself. Then set a bold goal – maybe cutting your closing time in half. Your staffers may just surprise you as many start throwing out ideas on everything from where you could automate to how you can streamline.
That was the reaction one Pennsylvania CFO got. The end result: They now close the month in 80% less time.