5. Trust the Value of Technology, but Verify the Claims of Technology Vendors
Automation can provide significant efficienc...
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5 key insights_on_accounting_close


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Top-performing midsized company finance teams spend an average of 300 hours less per year on the accounting close than their peers.

CEB Finance provides powerful benchmarking data and
best practice solutions to help CFOs and their teams to identify inefficiencies in their accounting close processes and to prioritize improvement efforts.

Learn the 5 best practices leading CFOs use to shorten the accounting close process.

Contact us to receive detailed Accounting Close Process Benchmarks and Best Practices that will help guide your process improvement efforts.

CEB Finance

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5 key insights_on_accounting_close

  1. 1. 5. Trust the Value of Technology, but Verify the Claims of Technology Vendors Automation can provide significant efficiency gains, yet only 25% of midsized companies are satisfied with the automation capabilities of their finance IT systems. IT investments return less than expected because vendors overpromise business value and finance executives underestimate the difficulty of system adoption. 3. Rely on the True Process Experts Neither consultants nor corporate executives know all of the details of your close process; the accounting staff who close the books have the best understanding of where and how the process is broken. Systematically tap into this knowledge to determine exactly where and how to reengineer the close. 4. Don't Lose the Forest for the Trees While the most knowledgeable staff provide invaluable detail, they can also become too focused on specific aspects of the close, missing larger opportunities for improvement that span the whole process. It is important that accounting leaders take a holistic approach to the close process to understand how the steps of the close fit together, where there are interdependencies between steps, and what improvement opportunities impact multiple steps. 1. Start Small, then Build on Early Wins Finance teams are already stretched thin; make the time you spend on improvements count. Start where you have the most ground to gain against the average midsized organization and look for easy wins that build momentum for more robust change. www.executiveboard.com© 2013 The Corporate Executive Board Company. All Rights Reserved. CEB Finance Leadership Council For Midsized Organizations With reporting activities consuming 20% of finance budgets, a shorter close is crucial to accounting efficiency—the most efficient (top quartile) finance teams typically spend almost 300 fewer hours per year on the close than groups in the bottom quartile. Despite the significant potential savings, the scale and complexity of the process makes it difficult to effectively allocate limited staff time to the most impactful opportunities. 5 Keys to Drive Accounting Close Process Improvement Most finance executives start close improvement projects by dictating change from the top, yet we find progressive finance leaders take more of a bottom up approach, building support for change and engaging knowledgeable staff to identify fruitful opportunities to add efficiency. ■ CEB Solution: AOL Line Level Improvement best practice and Process Reengineering Cohort Contact CEB Finance to Learn More +1-866-913-8102 FinanceMidsized.Support @executiveboard.com Shorten the Accounting Close Five Key Insights ■ CEB Solution: Process Map Creation Tool sand Process Mapping Workshops ■ CEB Solution: Finance IT Benchmarking Tool and IT Implementation best practices 2. Proactively Address Change Concerns & Motivate Change 61% percent of employees report high levels of change fatigue, making it unlikely that all accounting staff or partners will immediately embrace a close process reengineering project. Get ahead of that by communicating the benefits upfront and building support. ■ CEB Solution: Accounting Close Process Optimization Diagnostic to benchmark your current processes 11 6 Bottom Quartile Top Quartile Days to Quarter Close Midsize Public Companies ■ CEB Solution: Autodesk Activity Audit best practice and Process Activity Checklists www.executiveboard.com/ finance-leadership-midsized