The period-end close can be a time consuming and demanding task for finance teams. But with our help, you could put an end to its recurring drain on your productivity and resources.
UNIT4 Business Software’s experience and unique insight into the finance function, combined with the unrivalled best-of-class accounting power of our Coda Financials software, offer you a solution that will make a real difference to the speed and efficiency of your period close.
Faster, better-controlled period-end closing
While some companies have made significant strides in reducing their close times, the process remains a long and laborious process for others. Research conducted by UNIT4 indicates that 33% of companies still take more than 10 days to close. Only 35% of companies are closing in under 5 days, and nearly 6% report taking more than 30 days to close the books!
Other aspects of our research also indicate that the close is inefficient, has potential for errors and can be personally stressful for those involved. For instance:
- 32% of companies spend more than one day to reconcile subsystems such as A/P and A/R
- 44% have missed a significant step during a period-end process, such as an accrual
- 46% report missing significant time with their family during the period close.
These figures illustrate that, for many companies, there still is plenty of room for improvement.
UNIT4 Business Software can help. Not only can Coda Financials shorten your close cycle, it will make your period close process more visible, repeatable, controlled and auditable.
Thanks to our Coda Link architecture, Coda Financials simplifies and eliminates many of the unnecessary and manual aspects of a typical close process.
No reconciling – the single financial model
Coda Financials broke new ground as the first single ledger or unified accounting system. Unlike the batch or multi-module designs prevalent in most accounting systems today, our unique single system design eliminates time lags, sub-ledgers, data fragmentation, reconciling and unnecessary integration between subsystems. Coda Financials ensures that your business data is consistent, always in balance, and always up to date. Changes can efficiently be made in ONE area without: losing control, creating reporting problems or increasing the risk of non-compliance. This is because data is held within one financial model – in one accounting application – not in multiple sub-modules and sub-systems.
By completely avoiding the errors that can creep in through batch updating and by simplifying the tasks required to close the books, it frees up time and people to focus on critical strategic issues.
If you are wasting hours, days or weeks reconciling your subsystems during every close process, it is time to consider Coda Financials.
Automating and controlling the whole process – wherever it might be
Coda Financials addresses a vital and overriding aspect of a period close – that it is a complex process: of collaboration between individual people; of chasing, collecting and confirming; of hassling and haggling; and of retyping and reformatting. Nevertheless, finance managers need visibility of all these financial controls that may span many systems, people, and departments. This becomes increasingly unwieldy when there are manual tasks lying outside primary financial applications – in spreadsheets, email or operational feeder systems. Unless these issues are recognized and solved, then closing the books will remain a resource-hungry drain on finance teams.
UNIT4 Business Software has solved this real-world problem by building a control management framework, which ties other systems, manual processes, and authorizations into one visible and auditable process flow. Coda Financials’ control framework simply “lays over” all the disparate processes and systems, providing visibility of the control activities buried inside the business.
With the Coda Financials control framework, your period close can become more:
- Repeatable & refinable – the starting point is your own best practice model for your period-close processes. All the steps are set out, so each one can be followed in the same order each time – guaranteeing consistency. They can also be easily fine-tuned to further improve their efficiency and effectiveness – without needing to learn specialized programming skills or constantly calling upon in-house IT resources!
- Visible & coordinated – the system takes your project plan for the period end and automatically generates a shared, secure website, to provide constant coordination of the processes and an instant overview of their status. It enables each participant to see the relevant information for each procedure (depending on that individual’s role and access rights). This includes details of the people involved, as well as the tasks, statuses and attached documents.
- Controlled & integrated – each task can be assigned to owners, along with timescales and any dependency on other tasks, while keeping all participants informed of what input is needed and when. This includes: automated emails to prompt actions by participants, InfoPath® forms to gather the information from source systems for review, online authorizations, and automated initiation of particular tasks when preset conditions are met. It also enables control over the process while it’s happening – for example to reassign a stalled task.
- Auditable & secure – every documented step in the process has an owner, and each change made is recorded in a tamper-proof audit trail to show what was done, when and by whom!
- Swift – automated prompts combined within a defined set of processes can dramatically reduce the number of days and man-hours required to complete this major, recurring task.
- Self documenting – because each step of a process is now visible and auditable, control documentation is continuously available online, including: supporting materials, spreadsheets and other time-stamped information. Since the documentation is a natural byproduct of the process, the control framework can significantly reduce audit fees and audit preparation costs.
- Enterprise-wide – the control framework extends continuous, ongoing risk management and compliance deep into your operations, all the way back to the process’ point of origin. The framework can bridge the gaps between insular systems and inaccessible data spread across the organization.
All in all, Coda Financials and its control framework are exactly what you need, to ensure the finance department can spend less time adding up your bottom line and more time adding to it.