Find End-of-Year Magic with a Smooth Year-End Close

Rebeca Bichachi, Product Marketing Specialist

September 29, 2022

A secure foundation, organized workflows and quick access to critical information pave the way for a smooth year-end close.

For some, year’s end can be a beautiful season, where the past 12 months and all activities draw to a peaceful close and a brand-new chapter begins. But for controllers, CFOs, accountants and finance departments? We’re just getting started. In no time at all, deadlines will be upon us, and government agencies, investors, and stakeholders will be looking for financial reports and results. It’ll be a race against time to ensure all adjustments, accruals, and allocations are recorded, for only then can the comprehensive review process kick off to check for material mistakes, errors, and omissions.

Established processes, workflows, and checklists are the best ways to ensure no stone is left unturned. But many companies struggle with defining period-close workflows every year and are hard pressed to pinpoint exactly what they need to simplify.

The Struggle Is Twofold: Accuracy & Timeliness

While accuracy needn’t equal perfection, achieving it is still challenging. Methodical business processes and workflows, established to ensure the capture of all material information, are often left with few or no improvements over the years, even as the business grows and changes.

On the other hand, some businesses do improve workflows by, for example, reorganizing the order of responsibilities and steps in a process. But then, they fail to document those changes, leaving teams struggling to maintain improvements as the years go on. Gaps in these systems are then left to be caught and corrected manually, increasing errors, review scope, and the time it takes to complete the year-end close.

Timeliness is also a struggle. The year-end close is a rush of deadlines, ensuring all transactions have been captured, sorted, and verified. Combining month-end, quarter-end, and year-end reviews means a flood of reports and information will be requested from managers and auditors in preparation for the issuance of audited financial statements. Every tracing, vouching, and analytical review adds to the burden of retrieval requests on accounting staff, who must take the time to compile and present their findings.

And because all parties involved are running on tight schedules, turnaround time for these reports must be as short as possible, leaving companies trying to manage the balance between a quick response and quality accounting reports.

Taking Back Control with NetSuite

Much of the stress, uncertainty, and dread associated with the year-end close can be reduced by ensuring confidence in the foundational methods of information capture and review. The more controls companies build into everyday processes, the less the business is exposed to risk, and with fewer errors, the business can close faster.

Having visibility into the strengths, weaknesses, and quality of source information lets finance teams properly establish, document, and modify year-end close tasks. Automating manual, repetitive tasks, such as account reconciliation and analytical reviews, minimizes the risk of human error and saves much of the time associated with completing these tasks and identifying and fixing errors.

Organization and clear communication ensure a direct path from beginning to end of the close process, while definition and assignment of responsibilities ensure precise tracking and completion. Because review tasks are so numerous in year-end closes, effective tools and practices for internal and external reviews are critical in reducing waiting time associated with information requests. 

NetSuite builds efficient close processes(opens in new tab) from the ground up, ensuring the accuracy and timeliness of year-end financial reports. Built-in automated processes reduce manual data entry, minimize human error, and support a faster close, while period-close checklists and configurable task lists ensure workflows remain on track.

With these tools, information can be captured effortlessly, securely accessed, and quickly retrieved upon request. With NetSuite and, perhaps, more organization and confidence in the year-end close process, you too can discover the rumored “beauty of year’s end” that everyone else seems to enjoy.

Learn more about simplifying the year-end close with NetSuite by joining our upcoming webinar, Closing(opens in new tab) Your Books for Year End.

NetSuite has packaged the experience gained from tens of thousands of worldwide deployments over two decades into a set of leading practices that pave a clear path to success and are proven to deliver rapid business value. With NetSuite, you go live in a predictable timeframe — smart, stepped implementations begin with sales and span the entire customer lifecycle, so there's continuity from sales to services to support.