By: Karen Appleby, Senior Principal

Is your holiday happiness overshadowed by the dread of starting your year-end close in January?

Don’t worry: Salo has a list of things you can do now to get a jump on it!

  1. Review. Take a look at the steps in your close process. What are the major “chunks” of work and their order?
  1. Define your milestones. Gather a small group of close participants and identify the major milestones.  Draw them out and determine the approximate day when they should occur.
  1. Define your process. Walk through each milestone in order with the group. What is needed to start? To finish? Is the timing achievable? If not, can you move something forward?
  1. Identify resources and assess bandwidth. Who is responsible for each phase? Do you need to redistribute tasks? What can be done ahead of time?
  1. Evaluate your timeline. Ask whether each step is really needed to get to net income and a balance sheet. Some account reconciliations can be performed after more critical tasks are completed, allowing others to move forward.
  1. Plan ahead for change. Is there anything new or different about this year-end close that might make it more challenging? Are there any unusual staffing challenges? What can you do to prepare?
  1. Communicate the plan. Once you have a plan in place, share it with others so everyone knows their role.
  1. Name a project manager. This person can confirm that major milestones are happening as planned and that bottlenecks get immediate attention. This person should also record successes and challenges along the way.
  1. Celebrate when you’re done! Find ways to demonstrate your appreciation for all of the effort.
  1. Review and modify. Get the planning group back together for a post close discussion. What worked? What didn’t? What would you change next time? 


Connect with Salo to learn more about how others have improved their close process.

Karen Appleby_Chicago


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