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The Controllership Series - The Financial Close

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Lynn Fountain, CRMA, CPA (US), CGMA, MBA

Lynn Fountain Consulting and Training

  • CPA (CA)
  • CMA
  • CPA (US)

Published: July, 2021

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Before starting this self study program, please go through the instructional document.

Overview

  • Close the Books
    3 mins
  • Information Needed
    13 mins
  • Monthly Close Steps
    28 mins
  • Monthly Close Process
    40 mins
  • Consolidating Entities
    71 mins

Course Description

There’s something magical about the last few days of every financial period. No wait, not magical - miserable. Finance teams devote enormous time and energy to what should be a smooth operation.

And in every workplace, it’s a stress fest.

Regardless of a company’s size or financial sophistication, the financial close process can become convoluted.

A common challenge for the controller role is in closing the month-end and period-end books in preparation to issue financial statements.  This duty requires precision, timing and efficiency. Sequential steps — from recording transactions to generating financial statements — must be done efficiently, collaboratively and accurately before accountants can close the books.

Managers, analysts, Boards, and investors are digesting market information in real time and are beginning to expect the same of financial results.  To meet these high expectations, the CFO and controller need to find ways to speed up their financial close processes to report the financial results before they become perceived as old news in the new world

The closing process has traditionally been a slow one with many companies taking two weeks to close its subsidiary’s books and another two to three weeks to roll up and consolidate the results.  In today’s fast paced digital world, much has been done to help accelerate that process with integrated enterprise resource planning systems, general ledger and consolidate software. 

In this online continuing education course, the speaker Lynn Fountain will discuss the many facets involved in closing the books and will provide insights into expediting the process in order to be able to create more timely financial statements. 

Typical steps in the accounting close process include:

  • Analysis of business transactions
  • Make JE’s
  • Post to Ledger Accounts
  • Prepare trial balance
  • Make adjusting entries
  • Prepare adjusted trial balance
  • Prepare financial statements
  • Close accounts
  • Prepare post-closing trial balance


In this Controllership online CPE webinar, we will discuss the elements of the financial close and also important concepts to assist the controller in accelerating their close timeline. This includes addressing of all functional areas of the close including payroll, invoicing, payables, inventory, cash, and the general ledger.  In this online CPE course, we will also discuss important concepts of ensuring that your financial close is accurate by discussing bank reconciliations, overhead allocations, bad debt reserves, unpaid wages and accruals for vacation time, account reconciliations, deprecation and overall financial statement review.


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Learning Objectives

  • To define the process for closing the books
  • To determine the purpose of timely closing
  • To identify the preliminary steps to take prior to beginning the process of closing the books
  • To outline the steps to complete for the monthly close process
  • To describe the process involved in annual accounting close

Who Should Attend?

  • Accountant
  • Accounting Firm
  • Accounting Managers
  • Assistant Controllers
  • Business Owner
  • CEO
  • CFO/Controller
  • CPA (Industry)
  • CPA - Mid Size Firm
  • CPA - Small Firm
  • CPA in Business
  • Entrepreneurial CPA
  • Finance Pros
  • Senior Accountant
  • Staff of Accounting Firm
  • Young CPA

Testimonial

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