While the business world spins faster and faster, the pace at which companies close their books at the end of the month or quarter has slowed, according to a recent survey by Ventana Research.

Just 49% of companies say they manage to close their books within five to six business days after the end of the month, down from 58% that closed in that time frame according to a 2007 Ventana survey. And only 38% of the companies close their books within five to six days at the end of the quarter, down from 47% in 2007.

"There's just an awful lot of companies that are taking more than five or six business days to close their books," says Robert Kugel, head of CFO and business research at San Ramon, Calif.-based Ventana.

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