The compiling of financial data and closing of the books by the finance function at the end of each year, quarter, month, or even day is a critical process for organizational decision makers to be able to quickly act on accurate numbers. Surprisingly, given how automation has transformed many finance processes over the past five years, the steps to prepare financial statements have tended to remain an in-office task. The combination of using traditional spreadsheets, on-site systems, and in-person collaboration kept closing the books a holdout process even as others were optimized.
But as the pandemic shifted finance professionals to remote work, organizations were compelled to quickly develop a virtual close process. This article discusses how the finance functions can perfect the virtual close by standardizing the process, centralizing systems, and then automating applicable closing steps.