Accountants Come under Stress at Period Close

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Unrealistic deadlines, ineffective processes, an over-reliance on spreadsheets, and inaccurate reporting are major contributors to accountants’ stress level during a period close, according to a new survey.

The survey, conducted by financial software provider Unit4 Coda, found that over 66 percent of the respondents said an average period closing takes them over five days to complete. More than 55 percent of the respondents said they are expected to complete a close in a maximum of five days.

In addition, 53 percent of the respondents do more than 20 percent of their close period activity manually via spreadsheets, and 70 percent of the respondents indicated that inadequate reporting from their financial systems was a source of stress.

The survey also found that 58 percent of the respondents spent more than four hours reconciling subsystems to the general ledger with 25 percent of respondents taking two days or more. In addition, 53 percent of the accountants surveyed reported clocking in overtime hours during a period close.

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