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Accounting Best Practices, Fifth Edition by Steven M. Bragg Englewood, Colorado

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Summary

This chapter covered a variety of techniques for improving the speed with which financial statements can be distributed. These methods vary from shifting the work of the closing process to before the end of a reporting period to avoiding some of the closing work entirely. Most of the suggestions noted here will work in all companies, irrespective of the closing systems they already have in place. A few items require a careful appraisal of the current situation, however, such as avoiding the completion of the bank reconciliation and using an automated cutoff system—these require either special training or new computer systems and must be used with an eye to the risk of system or training failures and their impact on the accuracy of the financial statements. No matter which best practices are chosen from the list in this chapter, one overriding issue remains constant—this is a carefully choreographed dance of many people working together, requiring a good manager to control. For more information about financial statements best practices please refer to the author’s Fast Close (Wiley, 2005).

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