Can a Faster and More Accurate Financial Close Improve Customer Service?

Today’s world is one built on instant gratification, and companies across all industries continue to work hard to provide fast, efficient services to their customers. Believe it or not, your company’s financial close time can have a significant impact on numerous parts of your business, including your relationships with your clients and customers. Below, you can learn more about the benefits of a speedier financial close. 

The Complexities of the Financial Close

Some people find the financial close process fascinating, but others see it as tedious and perhaps even daunting. After all, reviewing and reconciling accounts can be a time-consuming process, especially for companies without the right tools in place to expedite it. For the last 10 years or so, finance executives have agreed that a five-day close is best practice, but surveys show that 60% of companies take at least six days to close. In fact, despite the fact that the benchmark close time has shrunk in the last decade, most companies take longer to close the books now than they did a decade ago. 

Why Are Closes Taking Longer?

It seems backward that businesses are taking longer to close the books now than a decade ago. After all, technology has improved a great deal, and with every passing year, businesses gain access to newer and more powerful platforms designed to help them simplify their finances and accounting. Despite this, many companies still use outdated processes and methodologies, and some simply have not adopted the newest and best technologies. They are still relying on spreadsheets and manual close processes that are slow and outdated rather than embracing technologies that offer drastic improvements. 

Why a Faster Close is Better for Clients and Customers

An accurate financial close gives companies the opportunity to analyze their financials, and that analysis is what ultimately paves the way for decisions and the actions that follow. Regardless of a company’s industry, a fast and accurate close benefits not only the business but also clients and customers in a few important ways:

  • Better visibility: With a more accurate and faster close, companies gain insight and visibility into things that may be negatively affecting their relationships with their customers. In return, they can find solutions to bottlenecks and make improvements more quickly, too. 
  • Enhanced compliance: Compliance issues can negatively affect clients and customers, too. When the financial close is faster and more accurate, there is far less risk for compliance issues that can negatively affect a company’s reputation. 
  • Happier employees: A happier and more productive workforce that spends less time closing the books will have far more time to spend on value-added tasks. This can affect their relationships with clients and customers in a positive way. 
  • Fewer errors: Some research has suggested that as many as 88% of spreadsheets contain errors of some kind. Reducing errors by automating the close process is sure to improve companies’ relationships with their clients and customers, as well.  

Though the financial close is intended to help companies reconcile their books and ensure their financials are on track, it can also impact relationships with clients and customers in a few important ways. Fortunately, powerful financial management software makes it easier than ever to automate many aspects of the financial close. This saves a great deal of time – often days – without compromising the integrity of the data. 

Faster Period Close Is Important – Here’s Why Flexi Software Is Up to the Task

Closing the books faster is a permanent goal in the accounting sphere, but a successful close can’t just be fast–it also needs to be reliable and accurate. Flexi’s 25+ year history is rooted in serving industries where the need for security, performance, and speed are paramount —particularly the need for a faster period close.

Flexi’s robust accounting software is uniquely designed to enable a continuous close process, even in the most challenging environments:

  • Real-time financial data
  • Multi-entity consolidations
  • Real-time, consolidated financial reporting
  • Detailed drill down capability to simplify audit and compliance
  • Multi-currency conversions

Flexi customers gain the ability to move seamlessly through the entire close process—soft close, adjustment period, and final close—with time to spare (and a lot less stress along the way).

Close the books quickly—and accurately

Unlike other accounting systems, Flexi was purposefully built to enable a faster period close, with every step of the process carefully designed within one single platform. This seamless integration of native apps allows real-time financial data to easily flow, wherever it is needed.

This design delivers superior speed and accuracy, ensuring a smooth progression through soft close to final close, with the ability to answer all the auditor’s questions before, during and after.

With Flexi cloud-based software, the following can be accomplished with ease:

  • Consolidate ALL your company financials in real time
  • Convert multi-currencies into a common currency
  • Pull data from different GLs into a standard format
  • Generate reports with just a few simple clicks
  • Distribute thousands of reports with complete confidence

Provide answers to all the auditor’s questions

Learn more about the many benefits you’ll experience with Flexi’s financial management software, saving your organization time, money, and stress.


Flexi offers a full suite of products to help your accounting staff perform and deliver–and save time while doing it.

With Flexi, you can streamline and automate labor-intensive financial management functions using accounts payable, general ledger, project management, and fixed asset solutions.

Flexi is an industry leader for a reason. With expertise in all aspects of accounting and 25 years experience, the Flexi team can offer the best of the best. Even better, Flexi offers cloud-based web services that not only streamline processes, but also make data accessible 24/7 from any device with an internet connection.

Learn more about Flexi accounting software solutions, or call 800-353-9492 to set up a demo today.

Are you feeling the pressures to close faster?

The pressure to close the books as fast as possible is higher than ever.

According to Adra Match, 90% of survey respondents said they feel they are under pressure to close faster, while only 39% are satisfied with the quality of their closing process and only 28% trust the numbers reported at their month-end closes. Another survey showed that less than 75% of survey respondents were able to close their books in six business days or less.

So what can be done to shorten the closing period? Who benefits from a shorter close?

Best practices for a faster close

If you’re feeling the pressure to close faster, there are a few best practices worth looking into.

Don’t wait to gather data

Don’t wait until the last minute to do every aspect of your closing. By asking departments outside of accounting to provide data throughout the month, and by spending incremental time doing daily or weekly closes, much of the data you need will already be ready to go by the end of the month–allowing you to close faster, and more accurately.

Save time by evaluating closing needs

Not all statements need to be closed on a monthly basis. Maybe some aspects of your close only need to be accounted for quarterly. Analyze your business needs and make informed decisions about what can wait to be closed to help save you time in the long run.

Use specialized software

Closing the books requires several accounting tasks that are time-consuming and tedious. With the help of the right software, much of these processes can be automated. For repetitive tasks that are repeated on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, set parameters to run the required reports automatically to avoid spending time rebuilding and rerunning the data required.

Flip to future projections

Instead of analyzing the period after it happens, try projection and estimation. By forecasting, projections and estimates will become more accurate over time, allowing your business more credibility, deeper analysis, and better traction.

The case against a faster close

While pressure is on for faster closes, keep in mind that if closing faster jeopardizes the accuracy of your numbers, then it pays to slow down and solidify your data. CEB data shows that the average close has dropped from nine days to six. And, in the past few years, 90% of finance departments have included “shortening the accounting close” in their top priorities. In fact, CEB research suggests that top-performing accounting teams that provide better decision support tend to close slower.

The bottom line

If the pressure is on to close quickly, see if the above best practices can be implemented by your staff, but bear in mind that speed isn’t everything–accuracy is the number one concern of any organization’s accounting team.