Emerson College Finance

Monthly Closing Process Explained

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Finance conducts a two-step monthly closing process. Within the first 5 business days of the subsequent month, all charge backs are submitted, edited, and posted to the general ledger. At the same time, standard monthly journal entries, adjusting entries, and expense transfer requests received from department managers are reviewed and posted. On the 6th business day, the financial records of the closing month are archived, meaning that the information is available for departmental review. The month remains open for the next 5 business days. During this time, the accounting staff continues preparing account reconciliations. If adjusting or reconciling items are necessary to complete the reconciliation, these will be posted during this time. After the 10th day of the subsequent month, the month end close is complete and no further general ledger adjustments can be made.


To complete the month-end close, the Controller receives a variety of standard departmental charge backs from various service departments within the first five (5) business days of the following month. For example, to close September, charge backs would be processed within the first five business days of October. The purpose of these charge backs is to reallocate expenses incurred by the servicing department to the individual departments that requested the service or items.

The following is a list of the various service departments that generate these charge backs on a monthly basis:

  • Facility Management
  • Information Technology
  • Purchasing (Typewriter/Fax)
  • Mailroom
  • Telecommunications
  • Print and Copy Center

The monthly charge back activity is recorded as a lump sum; if a department wishes to obtain detail of these expenses they may contact the Department which initiated the charge back.

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