The Power of Continuous Close

The following content is sponsored by Briq.

Starting as early as August, construction companies begin their ‘planning seasons.’ It’s that time of the year when companies draw up the projections and plans for all the next big steps coming up. There’s a lot to be excited about in this process, but it’s also a demanding season on your finance team. Significant time and effort go into closing the books for decisions to be made. This makes planning season equal parts an opportunity and a challenge.

Closing the books is one of the hardest parts of construction finance. Over the years, I’ve seen everyone from clerks to CFOs putting in hours of overtime just trying to get the numbers straight. The worst part is that the return on all that effort isn’t what it could be. Repetitive data entry creates room for error, and a few misplaced digits on a spreadsheet can invalidate a whole chain of documents. It’s time for a change. It’s time for continuous close.

Continuous close is the process of using automation tools and digital processes to ensure all entries are made immediately. These automated processes keep your books updated in real time, rather than following a rigid monthly calendar. It’s becoming increasingly common across accounting in other industries and the benefits can’t be understated.

Why your monthly close is holding you back

Monthly close outs mean a lot of hours are spent on manual data entry and the finance team is unable to work on analysis and strategy until this time-consuming task is complete. The issue with monthly close isn’t the cadence, it’s the fact that a lot of energy is put into tasks that should be automated. People doing mundane tasks that can — in this day and age — be completed by automation bots.

The power of real-time data

Having access to up-to-date accurate data is a game changer in construction. It means you can see how any project is doing against its budget when you need to know. Not at the end of the month — or quarter. This speed allows you to pivot and make crucial decisions when circumstances change.

A path to continuous close

The process of continuous close is a faster, more accurate way to work. Ask yourself which of these is a better process: unfolding dozens of crumpled receipts and typing in what you see into a spreadsheet or setting up an AI that reads the digital transaction, categorizes the allocation, syncs it to the ledger, and alerts the relevant employee for approval in the same instant the card is swiped? The answer is obvious.

The hours that are saved and reassigned to more high-value tasks thanks to smarter, automated ways of working are priceless here. On top of that, less manual data entry means less opportunity for human error. The result being more accurate data and faster access to a higher grade of information to make and guide decisions. Continuous close gives your business the ability to make more informed decisions and gives greater insights when bidding on future jobs.

About the Author

Bassem Hamdy

Bassem Hamdy has been at the forefront of the drive to disrupt and modernize the construction industry. In 2018, Hamdy co-founded Briq, a financial automation platform to help construction businesses better predict their profitability. Before Briq, Hamdy led strategy and marketing efforts at Procore during its expansion and was for many years CMO at CMiC.

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