Interconnected dashboards for a more effective close

Finance departments are increasingly being asked to do more with less. With that, leadership’s priorities involve more than providing strategic direction—like communicating value and increasing productivity. Building additional analytic capabilities can help, giving you real-time insight into the KPIs affecting your close and what is needed to improve day-to-day decisioning.  

Ultimately, it’s a win-win for your business, helping to create a more efficient organization and increased focus on forward-looking insights, all while helping finance’s ability to be a strategic business partner. But let’s get to the tricky part—where do you start? Here’s what we recommend: 

  1. Identify the meaningful KPIs you want to track as a part of the close process 
  2. Find quick win use cases where analytics can generate high value with low effort 
  3. Design and develop a data-driven solution like a dashboard—deploying it to gain insight and tweaking where necessary 
  4. Establish governance around the selected metrics 

With that in mind, let’s explore some dashboards that have helped our clients drive accountability throughout the close.  

Foundational dashboards 

Status monitoring

Executive close status

Giving you an executive pulse on the status of the close, this dashboard highlights gaps against the overall close timeline.  

  • KPIs: Actual completion %, Planned completion %, Completion surplus (deficit)
  • Business dimensions: Actual vs. planned completion %, status by pillar, status by close timeline
Pillar close status

Provides a status update of the close, highlighting gaps by team and uncovering individual roles that are behind schedule.   

  • KPIs: Actual completion %, Planned completion %, Completion surplus (deficit)
  • Business dimensions: Actual vs. planned, status by team, status by preparer/reviewer

Performance monitoring

Task performance

Executive evaluation of task timeline by on-time and late, highlighting teams and individuals consistently behind.  

  • KPIs: Timeliness (hours late)
  • Business dimensions: Month-over-month timeliness (hours on-time vs. late), timeliness by team, timeliness by preparer/reviewer
Journal performance

Executive evaluation of period-end journals, highlighting large entries and slow teams/individuals.  

  • KPIs: Late close journal materiality, hours to complete
  • Business dimensions: Material late close entries, hours to complete by team, hours to complete by preparer/reviewer
Reconciliation performance

Executive evaluation of reconciliation risk and quality, highlighting manual and rejected reconciliations, item aging, and impact.  

  • KPIs: Completion/auto-certification % (quality), rejection rate (quality), item age and impact (risk)
  • Business dimensions: Quality metrics by pillar, item risk by age and impact
Matching performance

Executive evaluation of matching quality and efficiency, highlighting unmatched and manual match rates.   

  • KPIs: Match %, manual match %, manual match volume by person
  • Business dimensions: Quality metrics overall, efficiency metrics by match set, manual volume by person
Variance performance

Executive evaluation of variance quality and efficiency.   

  • KPIs: Variance % (quality), % unexplained (quality), completion % (efficiency)
  • Business dimensions: Efficiency metrics overall, quality metrics by period, manual volume by team and person

For more ways to level up in BlackLine, explore how we recommend setting up a financial governance council

Categories: Financial close, BlackLine
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