With visibility comes insight for a smoother month-end

man struggling to read laptop and paper data

Month-end close is a critical time for any finance team. But, when you have a myriad of spreadsheets and information strewn across shared drives and multiple locations, the tasks involved can quickly consume hours (and hours!) of precious time.  

Conflicting versions of the same report with different data lead to sluggish processes and stop you from digging deep into the detail. Identifying errors becomes next to impossible. All these issues cloud your view of how your organisation is performing financially.  

So, what’s the solution? How do you simplify and speed up the month-end close? The answer is real-time visibility – and the only true way to get that is with financial automation to consolidate and compare data.  

Here’s how a financial automation solution provides real-time visibility at every stage of your financial close: 

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What’s the status quo?

Start by pinpointing where bottlenecks or gaps are slowing your close procedure. To do that, you need a live picture of where you are now. A financial close solution helps you centralise your month-end data and processes on one platform so you can identify those inefficiencies.  

busy office scene

What’s urgent and important? 

Now you know where the problem areas are, flag the low-hanging fruit with the most risk exposure. You’ll want to tackle these processes first and replace them with automated workflows where possible. Attempting to automate everything at once can be overwhelming, so it’s best to eat the elephant one bit at a time.  

manual paperwork and data analysing

Where are your people in the close process?

A standardised framework with document templates and consistent data formats embedded in daily activities can help minimise errors and save valuable time. Adding automation increases efficiency even further while giving you real-time visibility of where your people, are at any given time.  

calculating data

How are you tracking against KPIs?

The real-time visibility from financial automation also lets you benchmark your initial state so you can check how you’re tracking with each KPI. This lets you make small, regular improvements that, over time, will collectively increase your team’s efficiency.  

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Do you have the right compliance controls in place? 

Whether it’s a task, account, journal, document or another activity, a financial automation solution captures all month-end information in its completeness, and most importantly, in real-time. With this level of visibility, you can identify any compliance red flags that require fixes or controls. It provides comprehensive audit trails that demonstrate how close process has been conducted correctly.  

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Is there room for improvement? 

The greatest advantage of automation is gaining confidence that the data you’re seeing is live and consistent. It’s where the real-time visibility rubber hits the road – because up-to-date data means more informed decision-making. You can interact with and analyse the data in many ways – by user or department – and find new opportunities to continuously improve your processes.  

A confident financial close is possible

Real-time visibility is the key to taking control of your month-end close. Without it, you can’t track the progress of tasks performed by your account team, spot process blocks, or act quickly to fix them. Nor can you make proactive decisions or access deeper insights. Having the data isn’t enough – it needs to be reconciled in a built-for-purpose automation tool. 

Learn how BlackLine can revolutionise your financial close process.

Get in touch to start a conversation with one of our BlackLine experts.

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