These days, finance professionals are on top of their game. From managing day-to-day spend to preparing for audits, it seems like they have it all figured out.
So you can imagine our surprise when we recently had a query in our inbox about the best financial close softwares. And yet, more than 62% of organizations say that financial close is still a manual and time-consuming process for them.
As it turns out, this is one of the most repeatedly inefficient processes when done manually. But with the right automation software, first-class financial close is easily achievable. In this article, we’ll list three top-rated softwares that optimize the financial close process from start to finish.
What is the financial close?
The financial close is an important recurring step in the bookkeeping process that keeps track of records prior to the end of the tax year. In this accounting system, the finance team verifies company revenue and expenses, and creates financial reports at the end of each month, quarter, and/or year.
The financial close also informs budgets and forecasts future profits, which is particularly important from the investor standpoint.
The monthly financial close process includes six key steps:
- Accounts receivable
- Accounts payable
- Account reconciliation
- Fixed assets
- Statements and reports
- Planning ahead
Benefits of automation
In addition to making finance teams’ lives easier and saving money, there are several key benefits to automating the financial close process.
First, using software during financial close simplifies the entire process. Large amounts of data makes processing finances manually very complex and time-consuming. However, automation instantly consolidates this data from different departments all into one place.
Moreover, software tools are capable of handling multiple data streams at once, so your teams don’t get overwhelmed.
As with anything in life, mistakes happen occasionally. But for processes like financial close, companies can’t afford to make even the smallest mistakes. With the tax dependent on monthly close, many companies use automation software to ensure that they are 100% financially compliant and ready for audit at all times.
Lastly, by streamlining tedious manual processes, finance teams have more time to work on higher value tasks and strategic projects for the company.
Financial close software: what to look for
When searching for the perfect financial close software, a number of key factors should be considered.
Your finance team is undoubtedly talented and busy, so you don’t want to make their job harder than it already is. Therefore, the software should be easy to use from the off, without a steep learning curve.
You also want to look for something customizable. Every company is different and organizations have various structures. Choose a financial close automation tool which allows personalized work flows.
Financial close software for busy finance teams
Founded by one of the original Peloton co-founders and an experienced accountant, Avise’s mission is to put the user experience at the heart of its technology.
With a specific focus on making financial close easier for all finance teams, Avise strives to give smaller companies access to the same tech that Fortune 500s use, at a lower price point.
The software offers a real-time analytics dashboard and integrates with other softwares that your team likely already uses, such as Quickbooks. It enables customization and offers analytical insights to drive your finance strategy forward.
One of Floqast’s greatest strengths is their mission to ‘centralize your close’. This means that the software has been designed to highlight the most important information at a glance, and allows you to assign tasks to different team members. Between bank reconciliations, invoice payments and reports, these features make financial close simple and easy.
Moreover, Floqast integrates with ERP and Excel. As a cloud-based platform, it promotes easy collaboration between departments to ensure your close is on time, every time.
While Floqast does fit into a traditional high-brow tech stack, they do offer custom pricing for smaller companies that are looking to scale.
Blackline has been one of the front runners in bookkeeping and accountancy software for years. In fact, it’s taken the top spot for financial close software in 2022 from G2. And it’s not hard to see why.
Blackline’s ‘smart close’ tech integrates directly with SAP, which means it’s ideal for Fortune 500s and larger corporations. With real-time visibility and a huge level of automation controls, this tech does most of the heavy lifting once setup is complete.
In particular, its reconciliation process is something to write home about if you’re looking to save time during the 3-way verification.
Prepare for financial close with Spendesk
To drastically reduce the time spent on month-end close, smart accounting automation is key. Fortunately, Spendesk helps with verifying data accuracy, automatic expense allocations, and receipt reconciliation so that your pre-accounting processes are as smooth as butter.
By creating the rules around your business operations, your finance team can easily map expense accounts and export custom data to the software of your choice.