In Focus Resource Center > Insights

Common Challenges in Month-End Close for Small and Mid-Market Companies

For many small and middle market businesses, the month-end close process often feels like navigating a complex maze. From reconciling accounts to ensuring compliance, numerous challenges can impede the smooth execution of this crucial financial task. Understanding and addressing these challenges directly is essential for ensuring accuracy, efficiency, and ultimately creating a foundation for decision support tools like budgeting, cash forecasting/projection, and other types of financial analysis. In this article, we will explore some of the most prevalent hurdles faced by companies during the month-end close.

Timing pressures

One of the core challenges during the month-end close is the relentless ticking clock. Small and middle market companies often have limited resources and personnel dedicated to financial operations yet getting timely and accurate information in a short timeframe (within 15 days) after the month-end close is crucial for management. As a result, completing all necessary tasks within the tight timeframe of the month-end close can be daunting. Delays in data collection, processing, or review can lead to missed deadlines and potential disruptions to business operations.

Data accuracy and integrity

Another common stumbling block is ensuring the accuracy and integrity of financial data. With multiple systems, spreadsheets, and manual inputs involved, errors are bound to occur. Reconciling discrepancies, identifying misclassifications, and validating transactions require meticulous attention to detail. Failure to detect and rectify inaccuracies can undermine the reliability of the financial reports, which in turn can result in bad information being used for financial planning and analysis.

Manual processes and inefficiencies

Many small and middle market companies still depend on manual processes for their month-end close. While spreadsheets and email chains are useful tools, they can also foster inefficiencies and errors. Tedious manual reconciliations, data entry tasks, and approvals not only consume valuable time but also heighten the risk of human error and duplication of effort.

Communication breakdown

Effective communication is paramount during the month-end close and it often falls short. Siloed departments, fragmented systems, and unclear responsibilities can lead to miscommunication and misunderstandings. Finance teams may struggle to obtain necessary information from other departments, delaying the reconciliation process and hindering collaboration.

Regulatory compliance

Regulatory requirements add another layer of complexity to the month-end close process. Small and middle market companies must navigate a complex web of accounting standards, tax regulations, and industry-specific guidelines. Ensuring compliance demands expertise, vigilance, and ongoing monitoring to avoid penalties and legal ramifications.

Addressing the challenges

While many of these hurdles appear daunting, they are not insurmountable. Small and middle market companies have the opportunity to proactively tackle these challenges and enhance the effectiveness of their month-end close processes. Implementing automation tools, standardizing procedures, and investing in employee training are vital steps to streamline operations and improve accuracy. Outsourcing certain tasks can alleviate the burden on internal resources and can bring specialized skills to the table.

The month-end close process for small and middle market companies is filled with challenges, but with diligence and strategic planning, success is within reach. By identifying and addressing these obstacles head-on, businesses can navigate the month-end close process with confidence and clarity, paving the way for financial stability and growth.

If you are interested in improving your month-end close or want to make your finance function more efficient, contact Brian Greenberg or Business Process Outsourcing Practice Managing Partner Mike Zyborowicz.

Our specialists are here to help.

Get in touch with a specialist in your industry today. 

* Required

* I understand and agree to Citrin Cooperman’s Privacy Notice, which governs how Citrin Cooperman collects, uses, and shares my personal information. This includes my right to unsubscribe from marketing emails and further manage my Privacy Choices at any time. If you are a California Resident, please refer to our California Notice at Collection. If you have questions regarding our use of your personal data/information, please send an e-mail to