month end closing process

Ask someone who didn’t prepare the accounts to review them so they’ll find errors or problems you didn’t notice. If you have accounting software, you can generate these reports easily and avoid a ton of manual work. Double-check your prepaid accounts with your expense accounts to avoid duplicate payments. Check the ending balances, deposits, and withdrawals of your bank statements against your cash book.

You’ll use these documents to establish your listing of final balances for all accounts, known as your trial balance. The purpose of the trial balance is to show that your financial records are properly balanced, with a net balance of zero for all credits and debits. At the end of every month, a business needs to review its accounts to ensure it has properly recorded and reconciled all of the transactions that have taken place during that specific month. This helps to ensure all accounting data is organized, accurate, and complete.

To manage your fixed assets, make sure to generate the addition and review of a fixed asset invoice to check that your asset classification has been successful. If you’re looking for a month-end close procedure checklist, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will discuss all the necessary procedures that your company needs to conduct before ending the month. The final stage occurs when all the documentation required to produce the financial statements, along with the statements themselves, are given to the senior management for review. This is a critical internal control, as the person reviewing the statements and supporting documentation typically is not part of the preparation process. Accounting systems often have integrated modules such as payables, sales , or investments to manage a specific function of the company.

Businesses perform a month-end close to keep accounting data organized and ensure all transactions for the monthly period month end closing process were accounted for. We’ll do one month of your bookkeeping and prepare a set of financial statements for you to keep.

How To Optimize The Month

Conduct a post-close meeting to review what could have been done differently to improve the process. Record any stock-based compensation expenses or equity transactions. Profit and loss statements list all your sales and the experience that you have so far, informing you of all the progress you’ve made. These statements are so useful because you can use them to develop accurate sales targets and a reasonable price for your work. Many businesses have failed due to not being able to recognize the importance of thinking about the most important elements and not storing away records accurately. CliftonLarsonAllen is an independent member of Nexia International, a leading, global network of independent accounting and consulting firms that are members of Nexia International Limited.

When recording incoming cash, you should need to keep up to date during the month, keeping track of all transactions made down to the dot. If your company uses credit and debit cards as a method of payment, import all of these into a spreadsheet. Check that all accounts payable bills have been recorded in the system–including recurring bills. Moreover, have you made sure all of your timesheets have been submitted and approved? Frustrated with the sheer amount of time and money required for reports? Financial software acts as a “cheat code” for those who are interested in saving time and money on month-end close procedures.

month end closing process

Keeping track of revenue from product sales and services ensures that your business is on track with your forecasted ARR. Tools like SaaSOptics automate revenue schedules through CRM integrations and sync invoices to your general ledger chart of accounts structure so you can handle revenue recognition with minimal manual input. The month-end close is a crucial process for any business, but it’s also one of the most time-intensive. Building the right month-end close process checklist helps your team break out of the reporting silo and into a more strategic seat in the business.

What Is Month End Reconciliation? Best Practices For Finance

Month-end closings are not only essential to effective fiscal governance, they also provide management with financial information that drives strategic decisions. The sooner your management gets good information, the more quickly they can respond — and organizational agility can be an enormous competitive advantage. When a team notices anomalies in the data, then it’s important to conduct an investigation and fix the issue. For example, you can review your Profits and Losses by period to see that transactions in the accounting period and general ledger are in accordance.

Even if there aren’t many transactions, timing can play a role in complicating the process. Ultimately, month end close requires that various team members be in the loop and sequentially complete their tasks without delay. Rounding out the month end closing procedure is the working papers phase. Working papers are your reference for the month end closing procedure. These papers show all adjustments and calculations as you reconcile all major accounts for the period. If everything is correct each Ledger results in a zero balance for the month end closing.

month end closing process

Reconcile invoice payments, record accrual estimates for sales commissions, and tie accrual schedules to the ERP. Mosaic offers an analysis canvas that automatically aggregates data from multiple systems of record, so you can easily compare your budget versus actual spend for the month and forecast for the months ahead. Knowing about the major one-off expenses coming down the pipeline is crucial for marketing, finance, and accounting alignment.

What Is Important When Conducting An Accounting Month

For CFOs, it’s also time for quarterly financial reviews and audits. The third quarter is particularly relevant because as we near year-end , we want to ensure that our financials are in order for any strategic planning and budget planning needs for the new year. Record ASC842 lease amortization if applicable as well as any prepaid rent. Account for equipment depreciation and ensure you classify expenses that cross your capitalization threshold. You need to know exactly where things stand to offer accurate reports to your board leaders and executive suite.

This is done so that your balance sheet can be “zeroed out” and your organization can start fresh the next month. Keep in mind that closing the books for a given month typically finishes within the first week of the next month. TheCFO is responsible for creating and reviewing all period-end activities to ensure the period-end financial statements accurately reflect the results of the Company’s activities. Review all cash transactions and reconcile bank balances to create a foundation for your cash flow statement and any cash flow forecast. Finalize journal entries in your ERP and save bank/credit card statements for your records. We hope this article assisted you in finding out the basics of month-end close procedures and provided you with an appropriate month-end close checklist.

Record Monthly Journal Entries

Accounts payable of course have a big impact on the final expenses which you have to address when it comes time to close the books. Continuously implement those improved procedures in future month and quarter closes. Gather a team for the closing process with clear directions and goals. Make sure everyone is in alignment and clearly understands what is expected of them pre-close.

Throughout the process, it will be difficult to see what’s finished or whether there are still adjustments to be made. Use your inventory count to make adjustments and reconcile your books when you complete your end-of-the-month procedures. Record all of the receipts for items you purchased using petty cash. Make sure your receipts and records match the balance of your petty cash fund.


Common sizing is a review technique that converts each line item of a financial statement into a percentage of a certain reference point. A common sized income statement typically lists each line item as a percentage of net sales, which allows the reviewer to compare the current report to those of prior months. The month end reconciliation close process finds its foundation in the General Ledger. As payments are sent out and received during the month, bookkeepers, clerks and accountants will record debits and credits. These records should match with external accounts like bank statements. Many business owners struggle with the month end closing procedure. It is hard to prioritize the essential tasks that need to get done.

Year-end close process and producing 1099s is no different than closing your sub-ledgers and your general ledger, just as you do at the end of each month. A checklist will allow you to delegate to other team members or automate with technology as your business grows. At some point, as your business grows, you may want to pass some responsibility off to another team member.

Not having a clear procedure will provide inaccurate reporting and tax bills. To simplify and ease confusion, here is our month end closing flow chart with an explanation of each phase of our process.

month end closing process

You have until ten days after month end to present your close information. For companies that have subsidiaries or international operations, they will have to consolidate the activities from the separate aspects of the business without including intercompany deals. In the end, only transactions made with companies or individuals outside the company will be reflected.

What Is The Role Of Financial Close Checklist Management In The Close?

Why rely on accountants to handle this tedious work when technology could do it instead – and better than ever. Once the power team is in place and the process has been streamlined, you can do away with a lot of manual and non-value-added administrative activities by implementing automation around the month-end close. This allows everyone to be on the same page and provides real-time insight into the process. Accounting departments face challenges with repetitive tasks and non-value-added activities at the end of each month.

Reasons Why Every Business Should Do A Month End Closing

Because of this interdependence, the accuracy of the income statement is dependent upon the accuracy of the balance sheet. Although, the impact of the actual transaction differs if your are using cash accounting or accrual accounting. Multiple reconciliations are needed to be completed before a book can be deemed to be closed for a month. These include merchant accounts, credit cards, operating bank accounts, central checking accounts among others. All credit card & bank charges have to be posted in relevant month and most of the discrepancies with bank should be sorted out within time period.

Communicate Company Cut

Let’s take a closer look at how automation technology improves the financial close process. While there is no doubt that much needs to be done during a month- and quarter-close, there is always room for improved efficiency in the processes. These closing procedures should not be days upon endless days of analysis of every small detail, particularly when those details have no impact on the company’s big picture or leadership’s decision making. Making this process longer than it has to be costs not only time, but also money.

That way, you can keep your accounts payable in tip-top shape for your monthly close. The month end close process involves recording, reconciling, and reviewing all business transactions and finalizing the account data for the month. Month-end close is an essential process that can be refined and streamlined to achieve maximum efficacy with minimum error, waste, and disruption. Invest in developing a fully integrated software environment to slash the “grunt work” of tedious manual workflows and eliminate obstacles like rogue spend, fraud, and human error. Establish firm closing dates, and develop processes to ensure all the necessary information is available and complete when it’s time to wrap things up for the month.

Remember to review this checklist before you close your books for optimal performance and to make accounting a breeze, make the effort consistent and daily. These fixed assets that your company may own will depreciate as time goes by, so it’s useful to keep up to date with these depreciations to get a better idea of their current worth. Remember to record any payments that are related to your fixed assets, such as maintenance and renovations when closing your books. This may not apply to all businesses, but for those utilizing petty cash/ petty cash funds as a method of payment you need to keep a record. The best way to do this is to keep track of all receipts for purchased items or items paid for using petty cash and keep this data safely stored ready for month-end close procedures. At the end of each month, there’s no denying that companies are under lots of pressure to get their books closed ASAP. Depending on the magnitude of the company and the number of people involved the time taken to close the books will vary, but generally, it’s a realistic goal to have them closed within seven days for most companies.

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