The Complete Guide To Month-End Reporting [With Helpful Checklist]

Srividhya Gurumurthi
linkedln icon
Learn the nuts and bolts of month-end reporting and get a helpful checklist to boost your process.
February 8, 2024

Imagine you’re running a major retail chain. You figured that you have had inventory discrepancies for the past few months. Some products were vanishing into thin air, resulting in lost sales and cranky customers.

The finance team dug further with the help of month-end reports to understand that the disappearing products followed a pattern. They were under a specific category and some employees created fake purchase orders and shipped real inventory at discounted prices.

The above example highlights the importance of robust month-end reporting which solved the missing inventory problem fully. Through this blog post, we introduce the significance of month-end reporting, the challenges ingrained in the process, and how Bluecopa makes it simpler and more powerful.

Month-end reporting at a glance

Month-end reporting is the process of closing the books and generating financial reports at the end of each month. It ensures an organization’s monthly transactions are recorded without an iota of accounting errors.

If you could dissect month-end reporting into key components, here’s how it looks—

Step 1: Collect and organize all financial transactions from the month. This could include things like sales, expenses, invoices, and payments.

Step 2: Compare your bank statements and inventory levels to your internal records. Find whether they match or grab the floating discrepancy.

Step 3: Make necessary adjustments like accrual of expenses and depreciation of assets.

Step 4: Verify the data, make the adjustments, and close the books for the accounting period.

Step 5: Now, it's time to generate financial statements like income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements.

Why is month-end reporting crucial?

Frankly, month-end reporting acts as the financial compass for organizations. Whether it is helping finance leaders make strategic decisions or be on top of their financial health check, it helps in numerous ways. Today, we are going over four reasons why month-end reporting is significant.

Reason #1 Financial health monitoring

Imagine getting a fresh snapshot of your financial performance every month. You track revenue, expenses, profitability, and cash flow all at once and with ease. And what do finance leaders do with these reports? The answer is threefold - identify trends, gauge their progress, and find risks and opportunities.

Reason #2 Fetch areas for improvement

Month-end reports tell you where you lag and where your costs are increasing beyond the acceptable rate. Finance leaders take the help of these reports to execute cost-cutting measures.

Reason #3 Comply with regulations

Organizations are subjected to meeting financial regulations which need routine reporting. Month-end reports make it effective to comply with these regulations and enable transparency with stakeholders.

Reason #4 Benchmarking and performance comparison

Finance leaders can use month-end reports to see where they were at the same time one year back. It helps with historical data comparison and gauging an organization with peers in the industry.

Where do you stumble creating month-end reports?

Besides its value, month-end reporting comes with its own set of challenges. Firstly, finance leaders are time-constrained in generating their regular reports. The rushes ignite and pave the way for errors and employee burnout.

Secondly, there’s a need to collect and consolidate data from various sources. Maintaining data accuracy and consistency across platforms and departments becomes a nightmare for finance teams. Lastly, there are the manual tasks like reconciliation and adjustments, creating inefficiencies.

A handy checklist for month-end reporting

Here’s what you should be doing to prepare for month-end, during month-end, and after the month-end.

Before Month-End

👍🏽 Review and update budget: See whether your budget reflects current plans

👍🏽 Communicate deadlines: Inform your team of the deadlines to submit transactions and approvals.

👍🏽 Gather documentation: Prepare invoices, receipts, bank statements, and payroll records.

👍🏽 Reconcile key accounts: Review and reconcile bank accounts, inventory levels, accounts payable, and receivable.

👍🏽 Identify potential issues: Anticipate and address any recurring challenges or data quality concerns.

During Month-End

👍🏽 Record all transactions: Ensure all income, expenses, and financial activities are recorded accurately.

👍🏽 Finalize account reconciliations: Resolve any discrepancies identified during earlier reviews.

👍🏽 Review fixed assets and other adjustments: Update depreciation, amortization, and accruals.

👍🏽 Perform closing procedures: Follow your organization's specific closing procedures.

👍🏽 Review and analyze reports: Scrutinize reports for accuracy, completeness, and any unexpected trends.

After Month-End

👍🏽 Finalize and distribute reports: Share finalized reports with relevant stakeholders.

👍🏽 Archive records: Back up and store all supporting documentation securely.

👍🏽 Analyze trends and performance: Discuss insights gained from reports and identify areas for improvement.

👍🏽 Update internal controls: Evaluate and enhance internal controls to prevent future inconsistencies.

👍🏽 Prepare for next month: Start gathering information and addressing any lingering issues.

Month-end reporting vs Year-end close

Finance teams get into the efficiency zone by closing books monthly. By doing so, they increase the accuracy of the year-end close. Moreover, this exercise helps them avoid and catch errors before becoming big. Some benefits include:

- Getting timely reports

- Avoiding troubling reconciliations

Establishing a set of rules and having tight processes and tools help with faster monthly close. So, here we look at how these financial processes differ in the following themes —

Month-end reporting vs Year-end close

Improve your month-end reporting with Bluecopa

Bluecopa centralizes the month-end financial close process, improves data accuracy, and reduces time spent on reconciliation. It shrinks the month-end close to a matter of a few days. Precisely, it helps with—

✅ Eliminating manual data entry and error-prone reconciliations. Bluecopa auto-collects data, streamlines account matching, and generates standardized journal entries, freeing up your team's time.

✅ Standardizing workflows, tracking progress in real-time, and collaborating seamlessly across teams. Bluecopa ensures everyone's on the same page, identifies bottlenecks quickly, and fosters efficient month-end closing.

✅ Enhancing data integrity with built-in validation rules, anomaly detection, and secure audit trails. Bluecopa catches errors early, reduces discrepancies, and provides reliable financial data for confident decision-making.

✅ Getting faster close cycles, meeting deadlines consistently, and unlocking valuable insights. Bluecopa empowers your team to move beyond repetitive tasks, focus on strategic analysis, and drive growth.

See how you could boost your month-end process by getting a personalized demo.