Closing the Books: Fifth Edition

Author: Steven Bragg


Book Description
Closing the books is one of the key functions of the accounting department. Closing the Books reveals how to do so promptly and accurately, so that financial statements can be issued shortly after the end of the reporting period. The book discusses the entire process of how information is summarized into the financial statements, as well as the many reporting formats that are available. It covers the full range of closing steps, and shows how to fine-tune the closing process to achieve a shorter close. In addition, the book addresses the controls and record keeping needed for the closing process.  [263 pages]

Table of Contents

Part I - Closing Concepts
Chapter 1. The General Ledger and Other Ledgers
Chapter 2. The Trial Balance
Chapter 3. Journal Entries
Chapter 4. The Closing Process
Chapter 5. Fine-Tune the Closing Process
Chapter 6. Closing Cash
Chapter 7. Closing Accounts Receivable
Chapter 8. Closing Inventory
Chapter 9. Closing Fixed Assets
Chapter 10. Closing Accounts Payable
Chapter 11. Closing Payroll

Part II - The Financial Statements
Chapter 12. The Income Statement
Chapter 13. The Balance Sheet
Chapter 14. The Statement of Cash Flows
Chapter 15. The Statement of Retained Earnings
Chapter 16. Financial Statement Disclosures
Chapter 17. Segment Reporting
Chapter 18. Interim Reporting
Chapter 19. Earnings per Share

Part III - Related Topics
Chapter 20. The Public Company Close
Chapter 21. Controls for Closing the Books
Chapter 22. Record Keeping
Chapter 23. Soft Close and Virtual Close


As an accountant involved in the monthly closing, Closing the Books has been indispensable in developing and implementing efficiencies in our closing process. From a procedure as simple as correcting errors early, to as complex as centralizing the accounting systems, this guide covers it all. Every accountant involved in the closing process should have this book in their reference library. - Matthew Beaven, CPA

A refreshing look at the closing process! The suggestions in Closing the Books are exactly what I need to meet the demands of a quicker close. Using tips outlined in the book, I've already experienced improvements to the process in my first month-end close since reading it. - David Johnson, Controller, Eleutian Technology

Closing the Books is a complete guide to the closing process. Tips, definitions, charts and notes improve the reader's understanding of one of the most important topics in accounting. Anyone who has a practical or academic interest in closing the books should strongly consider buying this book. - James O. Bailey, CPA.EA