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Ten ways to take the pain out of the month-end closing reports

  • 09 Aug 2021
  • Best Practice & Strategies
Ten ways to take the pain out of the month-end closing reports Image

Month-end closing reports were always a pain point for the accounts payable department, which braced itself for this inevitably time-consuming project. However, during quarantine, closing out the month was more challenging than ever before. Organizations dependent on manual processes struggled to keep track and automate as quickly as possible to support remote workers.

Companies soon discovered that AP automation supports remote collaboration and helps the financial department stay on top of data in real-time. Automation saves time and takes the pain out of month’s end financials with instant collaboration and automatic updates. Discover ten ways automating increases the efficiency and accuracy of wrapping up the month.

Eliminate Manual Processes

Tedious manual processing kept the accounts payable team in the back office, tackling time-consuming tasks. Human error is inevitable in this labor-intensive process, especially during the month’s end rush to summarize financials. From data verification to invoice matching, AP automation digitalizes the process to save time and eliminate costly errors.

Streamline Processes with AP Automation

Relevant data is often buried and delayed under manual and paper-based processes in accounts payable. AP automation transforms organizations for greater visibility by eliminating paper invoices, providing real-time reporting, and creating ready-to-use and customized reports for the month and year-end closing. In addition, payment automation enables all types of payments in real-time. As a result, relevant data is at the fingertips of the right stakeholders. From the C-suite to procurement, streamlined processes and real-time updates support crucial financial decisions.

Assignment of Tasks

Nobody wants to question who is responsible for projects in accounts payable, where time is crucial to reduce expenses. AP automation provides transparency, so everyone understands the responsibilities assigned to each team member. In addition, AP automation supports collaboration, regardless of time, circumstances, or location. Invoice approvals and inquiries are resolved in seconds or minutes rather than days or weeks.

Standardize Procedures

Manual processes vary based on the team member’s approach to the project. AP automation makes it simple to develop and implement standardized procedures to ensure everyone from AP clerks to the C-suite is on the same financial page. In addition, well-documented procedures provide the highest level of speed and accuracy when tackling month-end closing reports as well as other audit processes.

Continued Training

Cloud AP automation makes essential system updates automatically and provides training for the AP team. Mandatory training ensures every team member understands how to maximize the potential of AP automation. Real-time updates simplify and streamline the process of the month’s end financials with all necessary data readily accessible to everyone. Understanding how to use AP automation correctly helps the team save time on the month and year-end reporting, putting this crucial information in front of the C-suite sooner.

Confirm and Post Transactions

Automation confirms transactions for the period, such as expense reports, timesheets, AP bills, AR invoices, and credit and debit card charges. From posting and verifying closing entries to closing sub-leaders, automation provides the transparency required to keep track of financials as they happen -  including looking for failed transactions and ones awaiting approval. As a result, financial reports offer real value to the financial and management teams, helping them make informed decisions that instantly impact the bottom line.

Reconciliation Matters

Reconciliation is another pain point in accounts payable, especially for organizations with manual processes. Comparing bank accounts and statements, AP and AR aging, inventory to the general ledger, and reconciling fixed assets, pre-paids, work in progress, and referred revenue accounts was a painstaking and time-consuming project. With cloud AP automation, inconsistencies are immediately evident, eliminating endless hours of sleuthing in the accounts payable department.

Run the Report

Reviewing the reports was also difficult with manual processes based on several different systems. Final reports took longer to complete with considerations such as budget versus actual, P&L variance and waiting for changes. AP automation generates an accurate final report with the option of customization. As a result, the AP team emerges from the back office as strategic partners with updated financials to help the company save money through early payments and negotiating discounts from suppliers.

Improve Processes

During the pandemic, companies reliant on manual processes quickly learned the importance of modernization. Improving processes is crucial to remain competitive in a constantly changing global marketplace. Cloud automation touchlessly performs tasks that once took hours of human labor - plus, work is done in real-time, from any device or location, in a collaborative and safe envirionment. As a result, organizations save time, money, and human resources while increasing efficiency and productivity - all good points to make to management when presenting the case for AP automation.

The Need for Speed

Time is money, a fact everyone remembered during quarantine. Organizations with robust AP automation solutions could securely support remote work, enabling production to continue with minimal losses. Speed is essential to get financial updates in real-time and make necessary changes as quickly as possible. Plus, with a cloud-based solution that’s available from virtually any browser, AP staff can rest assured they’ll receive approvals and information from anywhere in the business on time. Finally, AP automation empowers the team to ensure the month’s end financials are timely and accurate, providing the data management needs to make decisions.

From saving hours to ensuring the highest level of accuracy, AP automation takes the pain out of the month-end closing reports. Touchless processing eliminates the confusing paper chase associated with manual processing and supports collaboration in real-time from any location. So instead of waiting weeks to gain access to crucial financial data, the C-suite has it at its fingertips.

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