I am really ancient. I joined the banking industry way back in 1983 and that too on the 28th of December, just three days prior to annual financial closing. Yes, you have read right. Those were the days when the banks used to close their books on 31sr December and the financial year end coincided with the calendar year end. This continued for sometime – if my memory serves me right, I think the closing was shifted to March during 1988-89.
It was a big event and bankers never enjoyed the year end variety programme telecast on Doordarshan. The interest had to be manually computed and applied on all deposit and loan accounts, ledgers had to be balanced and all the provision entries to be put through manually before one could think of going home. It usually meant late night hours or early morning hours for some of the larger branches. In any case, the following day was a non customer working day ( it still is) that meant coming to office leisurely , having team lunch, completing the remaining year end activities and preparing for the new financial year.
Thanks to the end to end automation, all the aforesaid activities – interest computation and application, ledger balancing and provision entries now happen automatically at the touch of the button. Even preparation of large returns manually for loan accounts are now system generated. Year end activities nowadays are mostly around business accretion to the extent possible to achieve the maximum possible growth.
However, for a banker, the activities may have changed, but the importance and criticality of the annual financial closing haven’t changed. it continues to be an important milestone and a satisfying closing paves way for several opportunities regarding personal benefits by way of good rating, increment, year end benefits and promotion, if eligible.
For me, this FY 2021-22 closing assumes similar significance as 1983 closing. That was my first closing and this is going to be my swan song. While on one hand, I am happy that I will not have to worry about all the closing related activities and responsibilities, there’s a tinge of sadness on activity or occasion no longer existent in life.
My best wishes to all members of the banking fraternity for a satisfying year end closing .