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4 Simple Solutions to Improve Financial Reporting Timeliness without Breaking the Bank

Sep 15, 2015

 

In today’s world of 24/7 news channels, social media, and the internet, breaking news is the standard. Can you imagine voting for the President based on three-month-old information? Unfortunately, many organizations make critical management decisions without current financial statements and should therefore work to improve financial reporting timeliness. Even the best accounting departments struggle to report financial results by the end of the month. Understaffing, limited resources, and poor system design can cause reporting delays of up to two or three months.

Fortunately, there are four simple and cost-effective solutions for improving financial reporting timeliness.

1. Use the web. Most financial institutions provide online reporting. Don’t wait on bank and investment statements to arrive by mail. Download statements from the web, and start reconciling accounts when statements are available.

2. Use your accounting software effectively. Basic accounting software allows users to perform primary functions without the use of other applications. Standard financial reports are usually available in various formats. Review your software’s reporting capabilities and use them. Income statements, checks registers, and payroll ledgers are at your fingertips.

3. Reconcile. Most accounting software has a bank reconciliation function. Instead of using Excel, and starting from scratch, utilize the accounting system. Enter the bank balance, cleared checks, and deposits, and then the system reconciles cash without issue.

4. Enforce reporting deadlines. Managers should create reasonable but firm monthly deadlines to produce financial statements. Without a plan, goals don’t get accomplished. By setting deadlines for bank reconciliations, adjustments, and reviews, timelier reporting will be achieved.

Time to Fix It

CRI’s accounting professionals regularly provide recommendations to improve accounting and IT system design. If timeliness of financial reporting is an issue for you, then it’s time to implement a solution. There is no time like the present!

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