3 Strategies to Close Your Books Faster

Every year, Sage conducts a Close the Books Survey to better understand the closing-related challenges organizations face and the best practices they’re using to overcome those challenges and close faster.

Key survey results

The 2022 Close the Books Survey polled more than 1,400 finance and accounting professionals from dozens of industries. Key findings include:

  • 93% say they are under pressure to close the books faster
  • 87% report using a cloud-based or hybrid accounting solution like Sage Intacct
  • 60% say accelerating the closing process would give them more time for data analysis to uncover new insights and trends
  • 40% more large companies have automated processes, compared to smaller businesses, resulting in 15% faster closes

Three strategies for accelerating closes

Insights from the survey results point to three key strategies for achieving a faster close: automation, AI, and new investments.

  1. Automation: Automation can help businesses of all sizes save time during the closing process, as they move away from spreadsheets toward cloud financial management. According to survey respondents, the top processes they’re automating are proactive searches for anomalies or errors, daily bank reconciliations, and bank or credit card feeds. Respondents ranked the highest time savers as templates for journal entries and prebuilt dashboards and reports.
  2. Artificial intelligence: The survey found that 21% of larger companies already use AI as part of their accounting software. AI functionality is built into solutions such as Sage Intacct, the cloud-based financial management and accounting software, which gives organizations the ability to check large volumes of data for accuracy in minutes and learn from that data to provide deep insights.
  3. Investments: About 40% of survey respondents said they have adopted new technology in the past year to help with the close process—nearly twice as many as the prior year. With AI, machine learning, and other advances, it is perhaps not surprising that organizations are investing in newer solutions to automate key processes, integrate with other business systems, improve access to data, and provide added agility and scalability.

Get more out of Sage Intacct

Kernutt Stokes has been a leading accounting and business consulting firm for more than 75 years. Our Sage-certified experts are ready to assist organizations of all sizes with software implementation, training, and support services, including help you manage and accelerate closes and other processes with confidence. Contact us for a free consultation.