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Fast close [electronic resource] : a guide to closing the books quickly /
Steven M. Bragg.
edition
2nd ed.
imprint
Hoboken, NJ : Wiley, c2009.
description
xvi, 208 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0470465018 (cloth), 9780470465011 (cloth)
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
Hoboken, NJ : Wiley, c2009.
isbn
0470465018 (cloth)
9780470465011 (cloth)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
contents note
Your current closing process -- Conducting a review of the closing process -- Alter the timing of closing activities -- Revise the contents of the financial statements -- Optimize the use of journal entries and chart of accounts -- Standardization and centralization -- Closing the inventory function -- Closing the billing function -- Closing the payroll function -- Closing the payables function -- Closing the cash processing function -- Impact of automation on the closing process -- Closing the books of a public company -- Controls for financial reporting -- Ongoing improvements in the closing process.
catalogue key
11904696
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
Closing the month-end books followed by the issuing of financial statements as fast as possible is one of the most common-and time-consuming-challenges controllers face. Depending on the company, the process can take anywhere from four days to as long as five weeks. Finally, help is here! Now fully revised and updated, Fast Close: A Guide to Closing the Books Quickly , Second Edition shrinks the closing interval down to just one day. The new edition of this hands-on guide presents the successful, field-tested principles of accounting guru Steven Bragg-using the same techniques he has personally used for years to issue financial statements for multidivisional companies. Filled with flowcharts and checklists to help professionals avoid delays and bring accounting department closing procedures up to date, Fast Close , Second Edition straightforwardly illustrates how companies can close their financials quickly enough to issue statements within Sarbanes-Oxley's rigid time frame. The new edition features new coverage of: Closing Controls and Closing for the Public Company, with a new chapter for each How to close faster, with checklists Common areas of delay and how to overcome them Flowcharts for how to route closing tasks through the accounting department How to handle information roll-ups from subsidiaries Those closing steps that can wait and those that need to be accelerated into the pre-closing period Offering a compelling case for ending slavery to the month-long closing process, this invaluable resource shows accountants how to get it done efficiently, with authoritative discussion of shifting the timing of closing activities out of the core closing period; reducing the contents of the financial statements; standardizing the chart of accounts; centralizing accounting functions; streamlining the commission calculation process; and much more.
Flap Copy
Closing the month-end books followed by the issuing of financial statements as fast as possible is one of the most common-and time-consuming-challenges controllers face. Depending on the company, the process can take anywhere from four days to as long as five weeks. Finally, help is here! Now fully revised and updated, Fast Close: A Guide to Closing the Books Quickly, Second Edition shrinks the closing interval down to just one day.The new edition of this hands-on guide presents the successful, field-tested principles of accounting guru Steven Bragg-using the same techniques he has personally used for years to issue financial statements for multidivisional companies.Filled with flowcharts and checklists to help professionals avoid delays and bring accounting department closing procedures up to date, Fast Close, Second Edition straightforwardly illustrates how companies can close their financials quickly enough to issue statements within Sarbanes-Oxley's rigid time frame.The new edition features new coverage of:Closing Controls and Closing for the Public Company, with a new chapter for eachHow to close faster, with checklistsCommon areas of delay and how to overcome themFlowcharts for how to route closing tasks through the accounting departmentHow to handle information roll-ups from subsidiariesThose closing steps that can wait and those that need to be accelerated into the pre-closing periodOffering a compelling case for ending slavery to the month-long closing process, this invaluable resource shows accountants how to get it done efficiently, with authoritative discussion of shifting the timing of closing activities out of the core closing period; reducing the contents of the financial statements; standardizing the chart of accounts; centralizing accounting functions; streamlining the commission calculation process; and much more.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
'Fast Close' provides procedures, flowcharts, and checklists to help accounting departments process financial information quickly enough to issue financial statements for the new Sarbanes-Oxley 10-Q requirements.
Long Description
Praise for Fast Close A Guide to Closing the Books Quickly"Steve captures the essence of the problems affecting the financial close process within corporations of all sizes; from the period close of subledgers and general ledger through financial reporting, and the relationship and interdependencies of governance, people and technology. A must-read for the corporate controller." -David Taylor, ACMA, MBA, VP Strategy, Trintech Inc."Fast Close: A Guide to Closing the Books Quickly, Second Edition is a must-read for today's busy controllers. Steven Bragg points out everything that can be done outside the close that you just never realized didn't actually have to be part of the month-end close process! Very commonsensical approach!" -Kathleen Schneibel, mba, cpa, Controller/CFO for Hire, KMAS Consulting LLC"A well-executed 'fast close' can bring many valuable benefits to any company, from improving organizational performance to transforming accounting executives from financial historians to trusted advisors. In Fast Close, Second Edition, Steve systematically breaks down the steps required to achieve a fast close in both public and private companies, providing financial executives with tips, checklists, and a cost-effective road map to implement fast close procedures in virtually any company." -Matthew Posta, Esq., CPA, Vice President of Finance, Key Air, LLCFROM THE FIRST EDITION"This is an outstanding book in which Steve reveals his secrets to a fast close. Having personally experienced his (one-day) fast close for years and enjoyed the beneficial impact on my company, I highly recommend this book for all financial officers who desire to have a large, favorable impact on their company." -Richard V. Souders, President and CEO, Kaba Workforce Solutions
Long Description
Praise for Fast Close: A Guide to Closing the Books Quickly"Steve captures the essence of the problems affecting the financial close process within corporations of all sizes; from the period close of subledgers and general ledger through financial reporting, and the relationship and interdependencies of governance, people and technology. A must-read for the corporate controller." -David Taylor, ACMA, MBA, VP Strategy, Trintech Inc."Fast Close: A Guide to Closing the Books Quickly, Second Edition is a must-read for today's busy controllers. Steven Bragg points out everything that can be done outside the close that you just never realized didn't actually have to be part of the month-end close process! Very commonsensical approach!" -Kathleen Schneibel, mba, cpa, Controller/CFO for Hire, KMAS Consulting LLC"A well-executed 'fast close' can bring many valuable benefits to any company, from improving organizational performance to transforming accounting executives from financial historians to trusted advisors. In Fast Close, Second Edition, Steve systematically breaks down the steps required to achieve a fast close in both public and private companies, providing financial executives with tips, checklists, and a cost-effective road map to implement fast close procedures in virtually any company." -Matthew Posta, Esq., CPA, Vice President of Finance, Key Air, LLCFROM THE FIRST EDITION"This is an outstanding book in which Steve reveals his secrets to a fast close. Having personally experienced his (one-day) fast close for years and enjoyed the beneficial impact on my company, I highly recommend this book for all financial officers who desire to have a large, favorable impact on their company." -Richard V. Souders, President and CEO, Kaba Workforce Solutions
Main Description
Praise for Fast Close: A Guide to Closing the Books Quickly "Steve captures the essence of the problems affecting the financial close process within corporations of all sizes; from the period close of subledgers and general ledger through financial reporting, and the relationship and interdependencies of governance, people and technology. A must-read for the corporate controller." -David Taylor, ACMA, MBA, VP Strategy, Trintech Inc. " Fast Close: A Guide to Closing the Books Quickly , Second Edition is a must-read for today's busy controllers. Steven Bragg points out everything that can be done outside the close that you just never realized didn't actually have to be part of the month-end close process! Very commonsensical approach!" -Kathleen Schneibel, mba, cpa, Controller/CFO for Hire, KMAS Consulting LLC "A well-executed 'fast close' can bring many valuable benefits to any company, from improving organizational performance to transforming accounting executives from financial historians to trusted advisors. In Fast Close, Second Edition, Steve systematically breaks down the steps required to achieve a fast close in both public and private companies, providing financial executives with tips, checklists, and a cost-effective road map to implement fast close procedures in virtually any company." -Matthew Posta, Esq., CPA, Vice President of Finance, Key Air, LLC FROM THE FIRST EDITION "This is an outstanding book in which Steve reveals his secrets to a fast close. Having personally experienced his (one-day) fast close for years and enjoyed the beneficial impact on my company, I highly recommend this book for all financial officers who desire to have a large, favorable impact on their company." -Richard V. Souders, President and CEO, Kaba Workforce Solutions
Main Description
Sarbanes-Oxley requires a faster delivery of the 10-Q, so everyone is scrambling to find ways to release financial information and statements sooner. Also, this is a major efficiency issue for the accounting department, which can get bogged down in financials issuance for weeks. This book will provide flowcharts and checklists to help avoid delays and bring accounting department closing procedures current, so companies can close the financials quickly enough to issue statements for the new requirements.
Main Description
Sarbanes-Oxley requires a faster delivery of the 10-Q, so everyone is scrambling to find ways to release financial information and statements sooner. Also, this is a major efficiency issue for the accounting department, which can get bogged down in financials issuance for weeks. This book will provide flowcharts and checklists to help avoid delays and bring accounting department closing procedures current, so companies can close the financials quickly enough to issue statements for the new requirements.Table of Contents:Chapter 1. Introduction.Chapter 2. Your Current Closing Process.Chapter 3. Conducting a Review of the Closing Process.Chapter 4. Alter the Timing of Closing Activities.Chapter 5. Revise the Contents of the Financial Statements.Chapter 6. Optimize the Use of Journal Entries and Chart of Accounts.Chapter 7. Standardization and Centralization.Chapter 8. Closing the Inventory FunctionChapter 9. Closing the Billing Function.Chapter 10. Closing the Payroll Function.Chapter 11. Closing the Payables Function.Chapter 12. Closing the Cash Processing Function.Chapter 13. Impact of Automation on the Closing Process.Chapter 14. Ongoing Improvements in the Closing Process.Chapter 15. Closing Controls.Chapter 16. Closing for the Public Company.Appendix A: Comprehensive Closing Checklist.Appendix B: Fast Close Policies and Procedures.Appendix C: Soft Close Checklist.Appendix D: Year-End Close Checklist.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. xv
Introductionp. 1
Different Types of Fast Closep. 1
Benefits of the Fast Closep. 2
Legal Issues Impacting the Fast Closep. 3
Steps to Achieve a Fast Closep. 4
Summaryp. 6
Your Current Closing Processp. 7
Traditional Closing Process: Basicp. 7
Additional Closing Tasks for the Multidivision Companyp. 11
Additional Closing Tasks for the Multinational Companyp. 12
Additional Closing Tasks for the Public Corporationp. 12
Problems with the Closing Processp. 13
Summaryp. 17
Endnotep. 17
Conducting a Review of the Closing Processp. 19
Steps in the Process Reviewp. 19
Payables Process Reviewp. 22
Billing Process Reviewp. 22
Inventory Process Reviewp. 24
Cash Process Reviewp. 26
Final Closing Process Reviewp. 26
Total Duration of the Closing Processp. 29
Summaryp. 29
Endnotep. 29
Alter the Timing of Closing Activitiesp. 31
Altering the Closing Mindsetp. 31
Review and Correct Subledger Transactions Throughout the Monthp. 32
Complete the Bank Reconciliation Every Dayp. 32
Review Uncashed Checksp. 33
Update the Inventory Obsolescence Reservep. 33
Determine the Lower of Cost or Marketp. 33
Calculate Overhead Allocation Basesp. 33
Bill Recurring Invoicesp. 34
Conduct a Preliminary Comparison of the Shipping Log to Invoices Issuedp. 35
Review Preliminary Rebillable Expensesp. 35
Update the Bad Debt Reservep. 35
Review Preliminary Billable Hoursp. 36
Accrue Interest Expensep. 36
Determine Pension Plan Fundingp. 36
Determine Flexible Spending Account Fundingp. 37
Accrue Unpaid Wagesp. 37
Accrue Unused Vacation Timep. 38
Accrue Travel Expensesp. 38
Reconcile Asset and Liability Accountsp. 39
Calculate Depreciationp. 39
Compile Preliminary Commissionsp. 40
Review Financial Statements for Errorsp. 40
Complete Selected Financial Reports in Advancep. 41
Deferred Closing Activitiesp. 42
Summaryp. 46
Revise the Contents of the Financial Statementsp. 47
Alter the Mode of Report Deliveryp. 47
Standardize Reportsp. 48
Eliminate Cost Reporting from the Reporting Packagep. 49
Separate Metrics from the Financial Reporting Packagep. 49
Summaryp. 50
Optimize the Use of Journal Entries and Chart of Accountsp. 51
Eliminate Immaterial Journal Entriesp. 51
Standardize Journal Entriesp. 52
Convert to Recurring Journal Entriesp. 53
Centralize Use of Journal Entriesp. 54
Use Journal Entries to Accrue Expenses Delaying the Closep. 54
Automate Journal Entry Postingsp. 55
Use Accruals Only for External Reportingp. 55
Define Accountsp. 55
Standardize the Chart of Accountsp. 56
Automate Eliminations of Intercompany Transactionsp. 57
Summaryp. 57
Standardization and Centralizationp. 61
Impact of Standardization on the Closing Processp. 61
Impact of Centralization on a Multilocation Accounting Departmentp. 63
Impact of Centralization on a Single-Location Accounting Departmentp. 65
Incorporating Standardization and Centralization into Acquisition Activitiesp. 66
Summaryp. 68
Closing the Inventory Functionp. 69
Create an Inventory Tracking Systemp. 69
Implement Cycle Countingp. 73
Reduce the Amount of Inventoryp. 77
Properly Record the Lower of Cost or Market Rulep. 84
Reviewing Obsolete Inventoryp. 85
Preventing Obsolete Inventoryp. 87
Summaryp. 89
Endnotesp. 91
Closing the Billing Functionp. 93
Bill Recurring Invoices in the Preceding Monthp. 93
Computerize the Shipping Logp. 94
Eliminate Rebillable Expense Processing from the Core Closing Periodp. 95
Eliminate Month-End Statementsp. 96
Print Invoices Every Dayp. 96
Transmit Transactions via Electronic Data Interchangep. 97
Summaryp. 97
Endnotep. 99
Closing the Payroll Functionp. 101
Automatically Calculate Commissions in the Computer Systemp. 101
Simplify the Commission Structurep. 102
Install Incentive Compensation Management Softwarep. 103
Post Commission Payments on the Company Intranetp. 103
Avoid Adjusting Preliminary Commission Accrual Calculationsp. 104
Use a Bar-Coded Time Clockp. 105
Use a Web-Based Timekeeping Systemp. 106
Automate Vacation Accrualsp. 107
Merge Sick Time into Vacation Timep. 108
Cap the Amount of Vacation Time to Be Carried Forwardp. 108
Summaryp. 110
Endnotep. 110
Closing the Payables Functionp. 111
Automate the Month-End Cutoffp. 111
Pay Based on Receiving Approval Onlyp. 112
Automate Three-Way Matchingp. 114
Reduce Required Approvalsp. 115
Use Negative Assurance for Invoice Approvalsp. 117
Use Procurement Cardsp. 117
Have Suppliers Include Their Supplier Numbers on Invoicesp. 122
Receive Billings Through Electronic Data Interchangep. 123
Request That Suppliers Enter Invoices Through a Web Sitep. 124
Audit Expense Reportsp. 125
Automate Expense Reportingp. 127
Link Corporate Travel Policies to an Automated Expense Reporting Systemp. 128
Issue a Standard Account Code Listp. 129
Link Supplier Requests to the Accounts Payable Databasep. 130
Automate Payments for Repetitive Processingp. 131
Eliminate Manual Checksp. 132
Use a Signature Stampp. 133
Ignore Supplier Invoices and Pay from Statementsp. 134
Issue Standard Adjustment Letters to Suppliersp. 135
Summaryp. 135
Endnotep. 135
Closing the Cash Processing Functionp. 137
Access Bank Account Information on the Internetp. 137
Avoid Delays in Check Postingp. 138
Collect Receivables Throught Lockboxesp. 138
Install a Lockbox Truncation Systemp. 140
Access Online Check Images from a Lockboxp. 141
Consolidate Bank Accountsp. 141
Summaryp. 142
Endnotep. 142
Impact of Automation on the Closing Processp. 143
Principles of Fast Close Automationp. 143
Implement Minor Programming Changes on an Ongoing Basisp. 144
Automate General Ledger Interfacesp. 145
Install a Web-Based Timekeeping Systemp. 145
Install a Workflow Management Systemp. 147
Install Consolidation Softwarep. 148
Install a data Warehousep. 148
Install an Enterprise Resources Planning Systemp. 149
Summaryp. 151
Closing the Books of a Public Companyp. 153
Overviewp. 153
Constructing the SEC Filingp. 153
Quarterly Auditor Reviews and Auditsp. 157
Quarterly Legal Reviewp. 160
Officer Certificationp. 160
Audit Committee Approvalp. 161
EDGARizingp. 162
Summaryp. 162
Controls for Financial Reportingp. 165
Overviewp. 165
Controls for Financial Reportingp. 165
Summaryp. 176
Ongoing Improvements in the Closing Processp. 177
Ongoing Improvement Processp. 177
Improvement Measurementsp. 179
Summaryp. 180
Comprehensive Closing Checklistp. 181
Fast Close Policies and Proceduresp. 185
Soft Close Checklistp. 197
Year-End Close Checklistp. 201
Indexp. 205
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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