Monday, December 1, 2008
You would know if your company closed its’ books nightly!
Nightly closing of your accounting books allow for immediate reconciliation, so that you can identify and correct posting errors/miscoded items, generate net revenue/ledger balances, and create daily statistical performance metrics for a more accurate analysis.
Would you like to be able to go into your business unit and have some current gauge of the income statement’s profit position at a time frame when changes could be made to affect the final outcome, or would you rather wait for over two weeks after the month ends to find out that there was a negative bottom-line growth; after you were not able to do anything about it?
Although nightly closing of your business unit’s accounting books may not be as feasible for you as some other industries, the mind-set of it is not. Does your business unit have timely, up to date, and accurate accounting books for management to make critical business decisions when they need the information the most? If not, you need to.
Soft accounting closes are not that challenging. Just make sure that outputted numbers are taken into consideration and everyone is aware that there is some “flex” in the numbers. In my judgment, something of a current financial picture is better than none at all.
If daily conditions, factors, and circumstances are “change agents” that determine a business unit’s cash flow requirements and affect its bottom-line results, then would you not want to get some picture of how those “agents of change” are affecting the accounting statements in quicker time frames than the current ones in place now? Many of today’s accounting software programs can immediately generate some sort of preliminary statements with the push of a button, so why have you not added that to your weekly operational review checklist? Your views on how to use accounting statements must be parallel with the real world views, DAILY, because the change that is driving the supply-and-demand grid around your business unit can be viewed through these statements.
This is ground level thinking for “big picture” successful business building. You can make a difference in your business unit’s financial success by having the mind-set that your books close nightly.