The financial close process has long been a critical activity allowing organizations to accurately record and report on their past performance. This accuracy is clearly not only essential for the organization to understand what has happened but also to ensure it meets the legal requirements to perform and publish a financial analysis. Considering the additional importance of using the actual data to seed planning and budgeting amongst other processes — effective, timely and accurate close processes are no doubt in the best interests of every organization. Amidst a steady flow of changes to global reporting regulations over the years, significant parallel shifts have occurred in the technology to support the financial close. These shifts fuelled a desire to perform financial close processes increasingly faster while maintaining and improving the integrity and accuracy of outputs. To prosper and thrive in this new world, most organizations have been forced to adapt. And the pandemic has only accelerated the change, though, for many organizations, such change was ultimately inevitable. Today, there’s more disruption in markets, and it occurs at a faster pace. As technology and methods of investing evolve, challenging traditional business models with something entirely different is faster and easier than ever. There are plenty of recent examples — the advance of the smartphone or the rise of Netflix, Tesla, Airbnb and Uber, to name a few.
Organizations therefore need robust financial close processes to gain information quickly and report to the market with more speed and accuracy than ever before. Unnecessary time delays, manual processes, different versions of the truth, and inaccuracies in data and reporting therefore must all become relics of the past.
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