Financial consolidation is a complex, tedious process; those in the financial C-suite are looking for ways to enable faster, more efficient close times.
Your financial consolidation process should flow effortlessly on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis—we understand this is a tall order considering how many moving parts and individual tasks are involved. To make sure your team of finance experts is at the top of its game, you need to find ways to streamline its processes to provide accurate and actionable financial results and insights.
Eager to build a lean, efficient financial consolidation machine? Here are four tips to improve this process.
1. Make It Flow: Automate Your Financial Consolidation Process
Financial consolidation includes plenty of processes that can eat up time and resources when done manually.
Consider what activities are a better use of your team’s time.
Your organization should take every opportunity to offload basic tasks so your finance experts can do what they are really good at. These tasks include data collection and data input, as well as a number of manual processes required to consolidate financial data. Validation and reporting can also be handled by automation, which speeds up consolidation while also reducing error rates.
Your organization can use this extra time to focus on other aspects of consolidation that can’t be easily automated, such as analyzing reports and optimizing your strategy for the future.
2. Consolidate in Real Time
The batch approach to consolidating data may be practical when it comes to manual consolidation. But the inefficiency of this approach can kill your time to close, and with automation capabilities, there’s no reason to engage in batch processing anymore.
Solutions exist, like Longview Close, that offer a continuous consolidated state where consolidation and other calculations are performed in real time as new information enters the system.
Technology can identify new trends or data changes quickly in a way that allows for consolidation practices to be changed on the fly, eliminating slowdowns that could otherwise result when the incoming flow of data features important changes that need to be accounted for.
The bottom line: Real-time consolidation ensures a continuous audit-ready environment and frees up your team to take a more strategic and thoughtful approach to month-end closing.
3. Use Integrated Apps to Increase Capabilities
The plug-and-play approach to business software is advantageous to organizations that want best-in-class solutions along with the flexibility to customize their approach.
These solutions are routinely updated over time and can be added or removed from your user platform as needed. Seamless integration with the financial platform saves your business from dealing with any setup or maintenance needs. Instead, you get the benefit of an easy customer experience and useful tools to accelerate your closing time.
Longview Close offers the widest range of plug-and-play business applications in the industry, which enables continued access to innovative solutions that support streamlined financial consolidation.
4. Reduce Your Reliance on IT
A comprehensive platform to support financial consolidation can reduce your dependence on IT and consultants, which clears the runway for faster, more efficient consolidation.
Self-service reporting enables the incremental addition of financial data into the system without the involvement of IT. Real-time data management means that this data is processed immediately, instead of accumulating over time to be managed through a batch job.
Meanwhile, financial teams have greater control over their financial consolidation tools because they don’t have to work with IT to maintain business solutions. Instead, an enterprise financial department can work with the software vendor to make sure updates and additions are made to the software platform over time.
Automated solutions like Longview Close can mean improved accuracy and, ultimately, better decision-making for leaders who rely on this information to guide business strategy.
Longview Close delivers the most plug-and-play applications in the industry, in addition to offering a low total cost of ownership to its users. Business leaders, meanwhile, enjoy real-time data access that can accelerate their closing time, create more time for financial analysis, and reduce the risk of data integrity errors.
To speed up financial consolidation and achieve faster close times, a real-time and automated solution like Longview Close is essential. And with this type of business solution, you also benefit from other features such as full audit trail capabilities, which will create further opportunities to improve your department’s long-term performance.
Interested in giving Longview Close a try? Contact us now for a free demo.