Under a hard close (also known as a fast close), organizations audit and “close the books” after a set period of time. For most organizations, the time period coincides with the end of a month, quarter, and year. The term “hard close” is meant to describe the situation in which all of the transactions for the period (based on the transaction date) have been processed and there is no more financial activity allowed for that period.
The “hard close” process may have a number of steps and specific actions that vary depending on the business or organization, but the accounting team generally reviews the figures and checks all of the organization’s financial records for the time period. These can include revenue and expense accruals, overhead allocations, and updating reserve accounts.