Accounting Month-End Close Nightmares

Accounting Month-End Close Nightmares - Episode #1: Grueling Accruals

As a former senior accountant for a high-velocity tech company, I’ve experienced my fair share of accounting nightmares. I know my experiences aren’t unique — after all, there are things that keep all accountants up at night, especially when we approach the month-end close.

Did I even do this right? whispers an insidious voice that only gets louder as the deadlines rush at you. After all, it’s your sole responsibility to aggregate accurate, timely, and complete accruals. Pinning down vendor expense information is like herding cats. Your bosses don’t have time for hand holding, and the stakes can feel astronomical.

My Nightmare: The Longest Weekend in the World

Accountants don’t get into accounting to provide work that’s “good enough.” If you’re anything like me, you take pride in precision; that’s what can make manual accrual collection so tortuous.

During month-end collection, you’re managing a complex process that not only affects your job, but the decision-making of the entire management team. Your process is critical to closing the account books. And if you miss a large expense or deadline? If you accidentally double up on current expenses? Nightmare fodder.

Nightmare #1:
I’m going to miss an expense.

Nightmare #2:
I’m not going to finish on time.

Nightmare #3:
I’m going to have to work from incomplete information, therefore misreporting this month, leading to audits, SOX penalties for noncompliance, jail time…death!?

At my former job, I remember multiple months where I was in charge of booking accruals and I was up against the wall trying to get them in. I was working 10-12 hours days, running myself ragged because I had to manually reach out to 50+ vendors and business partners for their expense information.

I would often have three days to reach out to dozens of sources. And if only five of them responded, I was scrambling up a certain creek without a paddle, trying to figure it out on my own.

I would finally get my numbers to finance on a Friday morning, and by the afternoon they’d be picking it apart because it wasn’t even close to what they were anticipating. And where did that leave me? Working a 20-hour weekend to adjust the numbers so that they aligned with expectations.

The Problem with the Current Process

The problem was that I was not only trying to gather information from unresponsive vendors, but the information wasn’t centralized. I was frantically trying to pull data from paper invoices and emails to fill in the blanks from vendors who simply wouldn’t respond

Not only was this process extremely inefficient and prone to human error, but it left me as the punching bag between accounting and finance.

High-stakes business accounting can’t run on hope and guesses. My previous workflow relied on bad info and bad processes, and the potential for mistakes and expensive restatements was always hanging over our heads.

The Automation Revolution

I know past Todd was doing his best, but I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, especially since automation technology is here to solve so many of our problems.

Without automation, us accountants are left with a manual, spreadsheet driven accrual process that can be error prone and may result in missed expenses, lengthy close periods and avoidable compliance exposure.

But Gappify is a company of accountants — and we’re building technology to help accountants. That’s why our cloud-based tool automates request estimates, journal entries, and analytics. It’s technology that’s here to eliminate errors, increase accuracy, and shave entire days off the close cycle.

I know in my heart that if I’d been able to use Gappify’s Accrual Cloud back then, those 10-hour days could have been cut down to 2-hour days.

Ready to wake up from the nightmare? Schedule a personalized demo of Gappify’s game-changing automation solutions today.

Todd Cary
Product Expert
Gappify, Inc.

ABOUT GAPPIFY

Gappify, founded in 2016, is a cloud-based provider of accrual automation solutions for mid-market and enterprise accounting teams. The company is headquartered in Oakland, California, with offices in New York City, and Manila, Philippines.

Its team consists of accountants and CPA’s from Big Four accounting firms and software innovators. Gappify is also supported by strategic advisors from some of the world’s most recognized technology companies and is affiliated with the top companies & accounting organizations.

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