Implementing a month end closing process

By Brian E. Ravencraft, CPA, CGMA, Partner at Holbrook & Manter, CPAs

Good financial practices are key to the success of your business, but too many businesses fail to implement them. Most business owners know that poor financial management is a major cause of poor business performance and growth, but still fail to carry out the financial tasks that are necessary to keep things running smoothly and successfully. Here are some ways to help implement these practices.

Begin by creating a month end close process with your accountant. This is done to prevent lost revenue, poor tax planning and missed financial opportunities. Beware: waiting until the end of the year to close out everything is often an overwhelming process. Trying to evaluate an entire year’s worth of transactions is a tedious process and often it is too late to do anything about any events that happened earlier in the year.

Try these tips for a streamlined month end close:

• Create a detailed closing schedule. Refer to this schedule often to keep yourself on task.

• Create a closing procedure with checklists- this will keep you from missing important steps.

• Conduct a pre and post close meeting focusing on the status of any open items from the last close and any open items that need address from the current close and create a plan to complete these tasks.

• Analyze data from month to month focusing on any item out of the ordinary and use this as an opportunity to discuss with your accountant instead of waiting until year-end tax preparation.

If you would like to create a process like this for your business, reach out and I would be happy to help.  Most folks are amazed at just how much following a monthly process can benefit their business.

Brian E. Ravencraft, CPA, CGMA is a Principal with Holbrook & Manter, CPAs. Brian has been with Holbrook & Manter since 1995, primarily focusing on the areas of Tax Consulting and Management Advisory Services within several firm service areas, focusing on agri-business and closely held businesses and their owners. Holbrook & Manter is a professional services firm founded in 1919 and we are unique in that we offer the resources of a large firm without compromising the focused and responsive personal attention that each client deserves. You can reach Brian through www.HolbrookManter.com.

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