Month End Close – A Day In The Life of an Accountant

By PRETTY BOOKS ON August 8, 2022
DAY IN THE LIFE is a snapshot of the life of an accountant, taken one day at a time. If you ask an accountant what they do, they will probably tell you “it depends on the day.” Because an accountant’s scope of responsibilities is vast and integrated into the decision making and operations of a business, it frequently shifts depending on the time of month, day of the year, and the needs of their clients. While you can’t pinpoint a typical day for an accountant, there are some days that pay out similarly throughout the year.

It’s Month End Close day. That means it’s go time for accountants. At our firm, month end close starts on the first day of the month. With only two weeks to close last month’s books and get client financials sent out, we have to push our work to the limits. We turn into action stars- constantly in motion, no downtime, and ready to jump in the ring at any moment to knock out anything standing in our way.

7:00 AM: I can’t believe the start of the month is here already! I leap out of bed. I do some squats and put on my war paint. Today’s the day. The first day of Month End Close. I grab a protein shake and go through a Rocky-esque montage of all the prep I did over the past two weeks. There were meetings, scheduling, breaking things into tasks, and planning out days down to the second. I feel ready. I AM READY. Laptop in hand, I walk out the door and hop in my car.

9:00 AM: I kick open the office door blasting Eye of the Tiger in my headphones. I make an extra large coffee and nod to my teammates. We are all Rocky today.

9:05 AM: I get to my desk and boot up my computer, ready to get work done. I pull up my schedule. I have approximately five minutes to look at my emails. I pull those up, too, to make sure nothing urgent is waiting. So far, so good. I am right on schedule.

9:10 PM: My first meeting with my teammate starts. She’s in charge of the general data entry and bookkeeping, and I’m in charge of the revenue and balance sheet reconciliations. Together we’re an unstoppable team. Nothing gets in our way. We dive into our clients’ books and talk to-dos and timelines.

9:45 AM: Back at my desk, I pull up the books of my first client. I like to warm up by closing the easiest books first. This client has a small number of transactions, so it’s easy to review and doublecheck the bookkeeping. Basically all of the work for this client is double checking, reviewing, and looking for anything that stands out against the previous months’ trends.

10:10 AM: Consistency? ****✔️ Categorization? ✔️ Unclear transactions? ✔️ **** Average income and expense trends? ✔️ Bank balances? ✔️ Credit card balances? ✔️ Bookkeeping ready to go? ✔️✔️✔️

10:20 AM: Finished! Looks like they paid around the same amount on utilities, inventory, and rent as last month. Nothing out of the ordinary. My work here is done. I check the client off of my to do list and let my senior accountant know it’s ready for review.

10:20 AM: Easy peasy. Time for my next client. Let’s see what’s in store. This client is an eCommerce business and uses a few different platforms to manage their sales. There’s a bit of cleanup I have to do, but I’m not worried. I chug some coffee and get to work. We’ve got deadlines to meet.

10:11 AM: I open up a sales report from Shopify on one screen and the client’s bank statement on the other. Then I start going through and making sure all the numbers match.

10:36 AM: Wait a minute… These numbers stopped matching up. Did I make a mistake? Am I running the report correctly? Did I miss categorize something in QuickBooks? Hmmmm… I start looking through all my work on this client.

11:45 AM: Interesting. Everything looks good, except for the missing money. I reach out to my team to see if they got a chance to look up this client’s books. Somehow the report is showing more money than what’s in the bank…

11:54 AM: My teammate reminded me that this platform lets customers pay through Paypal. That seems like a good avenue to explore. I log into Paypal and start searching for the missing money.

12:27 PM: Ah, there it is. It’s in Paypal! I guess since this is a new account it just hasn’t been added to the bookkeeping yet so the money and fees haven’t been transferred over.

12:29 PM: I crack my knuckles and get back to business- comparing the Paypal transactions to the bank statement.

1:38 PM: Finally done. I am so relieved! I make a note in this client’s folder to check Paypal for any missing money so I’ll know where it is next month.

1:47 PM: Meeting with another teammate. There’s nothing major, but it looks like one of our clients might have bought a new truck this past month??? They didn’t mention it to me, so I’m checking in with my teammate to see if they know anything about it. If not, I’ll give the client a call later today to to check on it.

Sometime around here: Oh yeah, lunch. I think I can take a quick walk over to the sandwich shop next door.

2??? Something PM: Here it comes. The big one. ****This client has a couple of thousands of transactions, and that’s just for their revenue each month. I open my trusty Excel and start doing some data cleaning.

2:10 PM: This client has so many transactions from so many revenue streams that we created a pretty comprehensive workbook to clean and reconcile their data. We have over 10 tabs that are formulated and interlink with each other and has thousands upon thousands of transactions each month. I’m gonna need at least a hundred tabs open to double check this beast. ****

3:45 PM: You know, if this client keeps growing at this pace we will probably need to get out of Excel. I can already hear it crying in the background while running pivot tables on these transactions.

4:15 PM: I hear a quiet buzz sound that quickly gets louder…

4:15:37 PM: Oh no… oh no, oh no, oh no… my computer fan starts speeding up…

4:16 PM: OH NO! It sounds like my computer is going to explode! I feel like jumping under the desk to make sure I’m out of the way of the shrapnel.

4:16:45 PM: Please don’t blow up, please don’t blow up! I close my eyes, fearing the worst.

4:18 PM: Silence.

4:20 PM: I open one eye, then the other. I don’t see any remnants of my computer spread anywhere, so I let out a sign of relief. Then I let out an anguished sigh. My computer didn’t explode, but it did shut down. I turned it on to find that Excel had crashed… right in the middle of reconciling the 100 line revenue in the balance sheet…

4:20:30 PM: I sit in silence for a minute with my head in my hands. I hope Excel saved all of my work. If it didn’t I’ll have to start over to input all of this data… I might scream…

4:21:30 PM: I take a deep breath and open up my Excel document. It looks like it saved MOST of the information. Thank goodness. There is only a little bit that I have to redo. This really threw off my Rocky mood. Now I feel more like Milton from Office Space. I carefully start matching this client’s numbers (making sure to save my work every couple of minutes).

6:27 PM: I finally finish the big one. I let out a deep sigh of relief and rest my head on my computer for a minute. I’m not sure how Rocky had the stamina to last 8 movies. I’m exhausted, and it’s only day one.

6:29PM: I pick my head up and shut down my computer. If today wasn’t so exhausting, I’d raise both my fists in the air and cheer. I’ll save that for the end of month end close. One day down, nine more to go!

Share this article

The information provided in this post is for general informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Consult your financial, business, or tax advisor with respect to matters referenced in this post. Pretty Books assumes no liability for actions taken in reliance upon this information.
Sign up for our newsletter.