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Four Good Reasons to Automate Month-End Close

accountant with laptop using technology
By Ally Mason

2 minutes

Remember, your accountants have bright minds. Automation helps them to use them to your organization’s best advantage.

Sponsored by Skystem

Did you know the ancient Greeks used automation for primitive clocks, robots and even computers? The word itself derives from Latin, meaning “acting of one’s own will.” In teaching machines to complete menial, undesirable tasks, people become the true beneficiaries of real freedom. The financial industry has long leveraged automation to streamline its processes. Here’s why credit unions should use automation during their month-end close.

1. Focus on Strategic, High-Value Activities

Why input repeating cells manually in Excel when you can simply use the fill handle? We use modern conveniences to gain access to more of our most precious resource: time. If there’s one thing that shouldn’t be rushed, it’s the month-end close. Automating a chunk of your reconciliations immediately frees up hours in the day to do more strategic, high-value activities. In addition to the work, the workflow itself can benefit from automation. Having clear tasks outlined for everyone involved—along with built-in reminders—contributes to a more efficient process.

2. Reduce Employee Stress

Humans are almost never performing their best under intense pressure. Automation can be helpful in reducing errors, especially in environments where budget or staffing is tight. A lack of resources can naturally lead to cutting corners, which is never helpful to processes that require diligence and thoughtfulness. Automation is your “phone a friend” advantage in the game of the month-end close. Use it wisely.

3. Good for the Planet and Easier Access to the Data

Going paperless is not just a benefit for the environment. Storing your documentation in the cloud provides easier access to pull it when the need arises. Whether for internal review or audit, this facilitates significantly less administrative work. Plus, no more paper cuts!

4. Reduce Fraud

Fraud can cost a business millions of dollars when it goes undetected for too long. It’s much more beneficial to create systems that prevent fraud before it happens than to deal with the consequences of the aftermath. Automating inputs and utilizing technology that can catch alarming discrepancies in reporting provides the infrastructure for healthy financials. Fraud is much harder to accomplish when the feed is automatic and done entirely by a computer.  

The month-end close can be a real pain without the proper resources. Understaffing and manual processes contribute to stress, anxiety and annoyance with the necessary work. Automating the part of the workload that can be automated eliminates some of the burden from the department. Your accountants have bright minds—allow them to use them to their best of their ability by freeing up space and time from their busy schedule.

Ally Mason is a marketing specialist at CUES Supplier member SkyStem, a month-end close SaaS product for accounting teams. Their flagship solution, ART, can eliminate up to 90% of manual month-end activities by leveraging automation, dashboarding and reporting. ART helps accounting teams win back more of their time and was able to reduce KEMBA Financial Credit Union’s reconciliation time by 50%. Want to see what ART can do for you? Book a demo today!

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