Navigating Month End in Sage Intacct
We used to think of the month-end close as an obligation facing every accounting department— but that’s changing.
As companies expect more from their accounting and finance departments and unpredictable forces require companies to stay on their toes, spending days or even weeks each month collecting, reviewing, and reconciling information doesn’t look like an obligation; it looks like a distraction at best and an obstacle at worst.
The typical accounting department spends 5-10 days on month-end close, often with the input of multiple accountants. Instead of doing things that add value and insights, they must spend all their time simply keeping things updated and organized. And if that effort goes awry for any reason, delaying the completion of the close or compromising the data, it distorts the picture of financial performance and leads to misinformed decision-making. This creates oppositional imperatives: the month-end close must proceed as quickly as possible yet prevent any errors or mistakes from happening.
How do you accelerate and perfect a process at the same time? With technology. Superior accounting software — something a step above the introductory, basic, small business solutions on the market — can make the month-end close run like clockwork. So not only do accountants get back days of time (potentially 1/3 of every month) to work on other things, but the month-end close also wraps up at record speed with perfect accuracy. What used to feel like a daunting obligation now feels like a simple box to check — but only with the right accounting software upgrade.
Sage Intacct — Smarter Accounting Made Simple
The first and only accounting solution endorsed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), Sage Intacct distinguishes itself in many ways, but one in particular: It makes sophisticated accounting easy, intuitive, and automatic.
Sage Intacct is a cloud-based financial management platform that brings all financial data (and operational data, too) together in one location, complemented by a complete toolkit for business accounting along with many features specific to certain industries or accounting needs. With these tools, Sage Intacct delivers everything that accounting requires — but that’s just the start.
Unlike so many alternatives that do a lot but actually improve very little, Sage Intacct raises the bar for accounting — immediately, significantly, and continually. How? By digitizing, integrating, and automating so many of the core processes. Things that used to require one or more accountants now run independently on autopilot, and workflows that used to take hours or days to complete now take a few minutes of clicking around.
The month-end close is a prime example of how Sage Intacct turns any accounting team into a world-class operation equipped for everything.
The Month-End Close in Sage Intacct
Sage Intacct improves upon the month-end close in countless ways — far too many to outline in one blog post — but a few are worth highlighting:
- Automated Revenue Recognition – Use pre-made (but customizable) recognition templates and rules to automatically recognize revenue. Sage Intacct can also automatically generate and apply amortization rules and do the same for recalculating deferred or recognized revenues. Relying on automated instead of manual revenue recognition improves compliance, accelerates the close, lowers audit costs, and improves visibility.
- Dynamic Allocations – With dynamic allocations, Sage Intacct can automatically locate source balances and allocate them across dimensions (project, department, location, etc.) using calculations defined by accountants. Once set up and scheduled, allocations are a done deal requiring little to no time or input from the accounting team and speeding up the month-end close significantly.
- Expedited Consolidations – Instead of spending hours consolidating entries (hoping to avoid errors), let Sage Intacct crunch the numbers instantly. Automating inter-entity eliminations and working across foreign currencies, consolidations in Sage Intacct shift the heavy lifting from the accountants to the software.
- Integrated Ecosystems – Sage Intacct has a vast assortment of APIs with other leading business management tools so that data moves seamlessly between systems. As a result, moving data between systems by hand becomes a thing of the past (good riddance). And with all the data already where it needs to be, the close is partially done before it even begins.
- Optimized Reporting – The same tools in Sage Intacct that optimize the month-end close by integrating data and automating analysis have a similar effect on reporting. Users (inside and outside accounting) can generate custom reports on demand, see the data updated in real-time, and drill into the document to view the data, down to the journal level, behind the metrics. As a result, reporting becomes a tool available to all, on-demand, and accountants have more time for something besides the month-end close.
Sage Intacct estimates it can reduce close time by 79%. Proactive companies can get this number even higher after experimenting with what Sage Intacct can do and what the partner ecosystem has to offer. Most exciting, Sage Intacct opens the door to a continuous close process: where the work that typically happens at the end of the month occurs as soon as new data enters the system instead. Without going too deep into the continuous close process, it eliminates the scramble to close and keeps the financial record complete and updated at all times. It’s the ideal. And while it’s not the standard yet, it will be eventually — giving an extra advantage to early adopters.
Readers should ask themselves a simple question: Do you dread the coming of the close each month? If so, it’s a bigger problem than it seems — but Paystand is here to help. Register here for our webinar next Thursday, June 23, at 10:00 AM PDT to learn how you can make month-end accounting stress-free with automation.