month-end closing, monthly reporting, closing process, ACCA, Professional life at PS
Katka Benesova, Head of ACCA Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and her colleague Aneta Kudakova, Business Development Manager, Slovakia & Hungary invited PS to present and facilitate an interactive session for their ACCA members on the topic of “Early month-end closing – necessarily a headache?”
Andrew Majlath, ACA, Partner of PS Group and Andrej Bajusz, MD and Head of PS Slovakia shared their thoughts and experiences on this issue with the Slovak ACCA membership on 24th May, and on the following day Andrew Majlath joined Balázs Urbán, FCCA, Senior Manager at PS Hungary to present the same topic to the Budapest based members.
Around thirty members participated in each location to discuss with their peers how monthly close effects them and within their own organizations. Attendees agreed that monthly closing is one of the most significant activities they have to deal with and it’s not easy to ensure that every close can be managed without a headache. It was said that a ‘meaningful’ monthly report (which is the result of the close) shall be relevant, accurate and timely, and to achieve that it was necessary to manage and coordinate a number of key elements including input data, the finance team as well as the closing process.
One of the members added that having good IT systems was also critical. PS’ presenters pointed out that continuously processing the accounting documents, making reconciliations during the month, and using estimates at the close will all contribute to a smoother process that reduces workload at month-end. Some audience members mentioned that they faced difficulties in convincing their HQ’s to accept estimates, so then arguments and debate went on to explore interesting issues surrounding the concept of ‘materiality’ on estimates and the need for the local finance team to build ‘trust’ with HQ.
Members debated some of the difficulties and obstacles they would face in case they would suddenly need to significantly shorten their closing deadlines, whilst PS colleagues proposed some practical solutions on how the shorter closing might be achieved without a head-ache. The discussion also touched the importance of the need for ‘rotation of personnel’ between various activities of the closing process within the finance team to ensure retention of knowledge and continuity of process.