Fast Close: A Guide to Closing the Books Quickly

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9780471708971: Fast Close: A Guide to Closing the Books Quickly
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Written for controllers, CFOs, accounting managers, and business managers, Fast Close incorporates Steven Bragg’s own personally tested guidelines to help professionals speed up the closing process, especially in response to Sarbanes-Oxley’s more time-sensitive requirements. Bragg outlines numerous key improvements that, when gradually implemented together, are guaranteed to shrink the closing process down to as little as one day. Chock-full of helpful flowcharts and checklists to help readers prevent delays and bring accounting department closing procedures up to date, Fast Close explores specific instructions for closing faster, common areas of delay and how to overcome them, required controls to keep financials accurate despite the fast close, and much more. Create financial statements faster . . . much faster . . . with the expert guidance found in Steven Bragg’s Fast Close.

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From the Inside Flap:

One of the most common challenges controllers face is closing the month-end books and issuing financial statements as fast as possible. However, the closing process has traditionally been a slow one. Several surveys reveal that the average company requires about two weeks to close its subsidiary's books, followed by roughly another three weeks to roll up the results into corporate-level financial statements. Companies with more organized closing systems can reduce this process to about two weeks, while those companies with the best closing processes can reduce the entire interval to four days. And with the new Sarbanes-Oxley requirement to deliver Form 10-Q even more quickly, the pressure is really on. Finally, help is here! Fast Close: A Guide to Closing the Books Quickly shrinks the closing interval down to just one day.

Fast Close presents the successful, field-tested principles of bestselling author and accounting guru Steven Bragg—the same techniques he has personally used for years to issue financial statements for multidivision companies. Brimming with flowcharts and checklists to help professionals avoid delays and bring accounting department closing procedures up to date, Fast Close clearly illustrates how companies can close their financials quickly enough to issue statements within Sarbanes-Oxley's more rigid timeframe. Key improvement steps include:

  • Shifting the timing of closing activities out of the core closing period
  • Reducing the contents of the financial statements
  • Standardizing and automating the use of journal entries
  • Standardizing the chart of accounts
  • Centralizing accounting functions
  • Adopting inventory tracking and cycle counting systems
  • Shifting rebillable expense invoices out of the core closing period
  • Using a Web-based timekeeping system for consulting staff
  • Streamlining the commission calculation process
  • Optimizing the approval process for accounts payable
  • Linking supplier invoice accruals to the purchase order database
  • Layering consolidation software onto the existing accounting software
  • Integrating an ongoing improvement review into the closing process

By following the authoritative, recommended changes, readers can expect to arrive at a closing interval that may encompass as little as a single day. Achieve what was once thought to be the unachievable with the step-by-step guidance found in Fast Close.

From the Back Cover:

Advance praise for Fast Close:

"This is an outstanding book in which Steve reveals his secrets to a fast close. Having personally experienced his (one-day) fast close for years and enjoyed the beneficial impact on my company, I highly recommend this book for all financial officers that desire to have a large, favorable impact on their company."
—Richard V. Souders President and CEO, Premier Data Services

"Fast Close is a superb book for all financial executives. It clearly articulates how a company can achieve rapid closes and obtain benefits that go along with it. This book is a must-read for financial executives."
—Janice M. Roehl-Anderson Principal, Deloitte Consulting, LLP

Written for controllers, CFOs, accounting managers, and business managers, Fast Close incorporates Steven Bragg's own personally tested guidelines to help professionals speed up the closing process, especially in response to Sarbanes-Oxley's more time-sensitive requirements. Bragg outlines numerous key improvements that, when gradually implemented together, are guaranteed to shrink the closing process down to as little as one day.

Chock-full of helpful flowcharts and checklists to help readers prevent delays and bring accounting department closing procedures up to date, Fast Close explores:

  • Specific instructions for closing faster
  • Common areas of delay and how to overcome them
  • Flowcharts that explain how to route closing tasks through the accounting department
  • How to handle information roll-ups from subsidiaries
  • Closing steps: which ones to accelerate into the pre-closing period and which ones can be delayed
  • Required controls to keep financials accurate despite the fast close
  • And much more

Create financial statements faster . . . much faster . . . with the expert guidance found in Steven Bragg's Fast Close.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780470465011: Fast Close: A Guide to Closing the Books Quickly

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ISBN 10:  0470465018 ISBN 13:  9780470465011
Publisher: Wiley, 2009
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