Closing the Books in a Work from Home Environment.
Here is a summary of best practices for closing the books – including important concepts for closing remotely in today’s WFH environment.
- Team video meetings are indispensable - Twice daily meetings seemed a good place to start early in the pandemic but as teams have grown more comfortable in the WFH environment once per day and ad hoc assemblies are taking over.
- Formally assign teammates or “buddies” within your group to help relieve the WFH syndrome.
- File sharing in real time is a major bonus.
- Formalize a team review meeting before managerial/financial reports are released.
- Make sure the whole team has access to the Closing Checklist and keep it up to date. Here are some tips from Nancy Wu in her webinar, Perfecting the Close Part I - Introduction to the Formal Closing Checklist
- Leaders – check in individually with each team member at least once per day.
- Leaders – keep the management team abreast of where you are at.
- Perfect is too much to expect. Let good enough be what it means.
Start planning for next month as soon as practical:
- Assess your close and reporting process using the Managerial Reporting Scorecard.
- Three areas where changes in technology have affected reporting are discussed in How has Technology Affected Financial Reporting.
- The course Introduction to the Financial Closing Process focuses on improving the process to deliver more useful information quicker and at a reduced cost.
- Expect More From Your Close dives into three outdated beliefs about balance sheet account reconciliations, a key component of the Financial Close, that may be driving low management expectations on quality, productivity and cost.
- Find the core guiding principles for the month-end close in Happily Ever After - Achieving a Fairy Tale Month-End Close.
- Identify all closing processes that can be completed before month end and do them pre-close.
- Further reduce the closing work bottleneck by reconciling all the accounts you can pre-close.
Have a safe, WFH, fairy tale month end close!
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