month end closing process

Month-end close requires accurate and organized financial statements, including your general ledger, balance sheet, and profit/loss statement. You’ll use these documents to establish your listing of final balances for all accounts, known as your trial balance. The purpose of the trial balance is to show that your financial records are properly balanced, with a net balance of zero for all credits and debits. So, a final review is always done before the closing process is completed. This review is done by the top management or someone who wasn’t involved in the closing process to get a fresh view of all the data once again. It ensures that there aren’t any mistakes in the monthly financial statements.

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What is Month End Close? Steps, Checklist, and Best Practices

While this accounting activity is a staple principle for finance teams, it also tends to be a tedious and time-consuming one. The month-end close is essential in the monthly accounting cycle, where reports are kept and created. These month-end closing books reflect how the business performed during that month. The month-end close process consists of a thorough review of financial activities and performance for the entire month and the creation of monthly financial statements. It enhances your capacity to complete accurate and efficient quarterly and year-end financial closures.

Capturing and extracting data intelligently from invoices, receipts, bills, and other financial documents. Accrued Payroll TaxLocate the payroll tax returns arranged for the coming month and tax payments made the following month for an existing month payroll. Accrued Property TaxCheck if monthly accrual is 1/12 of the previous year’s expense. Make necessary preparations and adjustments.Find out if there are any obsolete inventory that you need to write off. There is so much work to get done, but with advanced technology, accountants may work faster by starting on some of the tasks before the period concludes. Doing so will lessen the work that you have to do once the period ends.

Prepare financial statements

Organizing the statements is just as important so that you aren’t scrambling to find them in the last few days of the month. Most forms of accounting software have features built-in for this purpose. For accounts receivable entries, look at all the sources of revenue from loans to invoice construction bookkeeping payments. Has a customer not finished a payment yet, or have you forgotten to send an invoice? Journal entries for depreciation and amortization need to be calculated and posted. Depending on your organization, you may have additional adjustments, allocations, and accruals to make.

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So the sooner they get final numbers, the sooner they can see what worked last month and what didn’t work so they can start making changes for the current month. But as we’ll see below, there’s a lot more to closing the books than making just a few journal entries. Understanding deadlines and schedules is critical so you can work toward an ideal close date. In addition, accountants must begin to cultivate strong written communication skills with the ability to think critically.

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So, set aside enough time each day to complete the necessary tasks. Month end closing, otherwise known as “financial close,” is the accounting process that results in closing the books on the previous month. The month end close is one of the most important accounting processes for businesses of all sizes.

month end closing process

Cash receipts can be applied against outstanding customer invoices on a timely basis to determine outstanding receivables at month-end. In the accrual adjustment phase, all major expenses will be taken care of. Accounting for employee wages, expenses, and commissions should be handled with precision.

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