12–13. Assign Closing Responsibilities

The typical financial statement preparation process can be a jumbled affair. It is not clear who is completing which task or when anything needs to be completed. This leads to disarray in the accounting department whenever the financial statements are to be produced.

The solution is to produce a document that clearly states exactly who is responsible for each task required to produce financial statements. As noted in Exhibit 12.2, it states the job position that must complete each task. In order to fully utilize this document, it is necessary to have a staff meeting prior to each closing period so the controller can go over the closing responsibilities. This reinforces the need for each person to complete each task exactly on time, so the accounting team can reliably issue financial statements every period. When combined with a detailed closing schedule, as described later in this chapter under the “Create a Closing Schedule” section, a controller has a complete set of documentation on hand for producing the financial statements.

Exhibit 12.2. Statement of Responsibilities for the Production of Financials
TaskControllerAssistant ControllerGeneral Ledger Accountant
Calculate Depreciation 

Calculate Interest Accrual 

Compare to A/P Detail

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