Accounting departments are typically staffed by intelligent, reserved people with extraordinary attention to detail and a willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty to get the job done.

However, despite the low unemployment rate, good pay, and the overall stability a career in accounting brings, it’s also a profession commonly associated with high levels of stress and long hours.

When it comes to their work, accounting leaders have typically operated under an “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it basis.” Ultimately, this can lead to high turnover rates, but until recently, most companies ran their accounting teams as if business as usual, replacing burnt-out employees when necessary and stubbornly adhering to age-old processes that even to the naked eye seemed antiquated and rife with roadblocks.

No such process frustrated accountants more than the month-end close. Traditionally, the month-end close process was managed in a time-consuming, obsolete manner that often resulted in miscommunication, longer hours, and accuracy concerns, relying on individual tribal knowledge and far-from-efficient spreadsheets that would sometimes necessitate printing large volumes of documents and signing off items by hand. 

In other words: It was a mess. 

Finding a Fix

In the last few years, tech companies have caught on to the plight of the average accountant. Since then, the adoption of cloud-based solutions to more effectively manage the close has been swift and widespread. 

FloQast, a Los Angeles-based accounting software company founded by Mike Whitmire, a former auditor and senior accountant (and a Controllers Council board member) who had taken part in numerous, painful month-end closes and wondered why no one had come up with a fix.

Financial close software offers accounting departments a single place to manage the close while giving all relevant parties real-time visibility into its progress. Working with existing checklists and Excel to enhance the way teams already operate, FloQast improves overall collaboration, reporting, and process management from one, centralized location. 

Ultimately, adopting financial close management software can fundamentally change how accounting teams operate on a day-to-day, month-to-month, quarter-to-quarter, and year-to-year basis, shaving off dozens of hours and offering leadership — particularly for controllers — greater visibility and accuracy than ever before. 

The Next Step in Accounting Efficiency

As expectations for controllers and their accounting organizations evolve to meet the needs of rapidly growing organizations, having a highly-structured foundation for the month-end close — with its plethora of insight into the health of the business — is more important than ever.

On September 22-23, FloQast — which recently celebrated its 1,000th customer — is holding its second annual user gathering, TakeControl, to share best practices for closing the books, improving the audit, becoming more strategic as an accounting department, and more. Featuring a number of FloQast users and product experts, the two-day virtual event will offer attendees CPE credits for their time and participation, while providing valuable tips and tricks to meet and exceed leadership’s expectations for the accounting department moving forward.  

5 Questions Controllers Should be Asking Their CFOWebinar Tuesday, October 26

As key financial leaders within the organization, Controllers are increasingly tasked with improving the efficiency of operations, implementing new technologies and guiding teams toward paperless workflows. To do this effectively, they need to work closely with their CFOs to drive the organization towards executable strategies that maximize the value brought by investment in technology.