Too often, in business, the focus is on maximizing revenues. How much sales did we do last month?
How does a business owner or manager keep a finger on the pulse of the business? By looking at monthly financial reports.
What are the reports that you must (not should, but must) look at every month?
- Balance sheet
- Profit and loss account
- Debtors aging list
- Creditors aging list
- Bank reconciliation statements
Each of these reports provide valuable insight into the well being of your business, and should faithfully be presented to you every month.
The balance sheet provides you with an insight into the current state of affairs of your business. One of the important points that a balance sheet can provide is whether your business has sufficient liquidity to meet it’s short term obligations, or in accounting terms, whether it has sufficient working capital.
Profit and loss accounts
With profit and loss accounts, we generally look at turnover or sales and move down to the net profit or loss shown at the bottom, not paying much attention to everything else in between. Paying close attention to the expenses is critical.
Expenses are a necessary part of the business, but should be monitored, as it can have an adverse impact on the health of your business.
Debtors aging list
Cash flow is the lifeblood of all businesses. While your sales may be hitting record highs, if your collection lags, then your business suffers.
A debtors aging list shows if your customers are paying you on a timely basis. Keeping collections within the 30 to 60 day timeframe helps your business meet commitments in a timely manner.
A debtors aging list also helps you to project cash inflows against which you can plan your business strategies.
Creditors aging list
Maintaining a good working relationship with your suppliers is vital from several points of view. Suppliers who are happy with your account are more open to negotiating for higher credit limits or better margins.
That happens when you ensure your account with them is current.
Bank reconciliation statements
While payments made and received can appear to be correctly stated in the accounts, a bank reconciliation statement can indicate if something is amiss.
For example, if a payment made to a supplier two months ago still appears as uncleared, then there is a possibility that the cheque has gone astray.
While these are the standard reports most business owners or managers should look at, additional reports may prove useful depending on the type of business that is carried out.
Do you need to be an Accountant?
You have to understand accounting and you have to understand the nuances of accounting. It’s the language of business….
– Warren Buffett
While business owners generally have to wear many hats, it’s not necessary to be an accountant to read and understand the reports mentioned above, or how to prepare them.
MYOB generates these reports for you, more or less “at the press of a button”.
But, it would help if you had a cursory understanding of what each report means and what to look out for.
Did you know?
Over 100 reports in MYOB provide you with comprehensive information about your business.
Using reports, you can view and print detailed or summary lists of your information and examine related information about your business activity.
With the release of Accounting v28.3 and Premier v23.3, ABSS have added a Financial Analysis report which provides financial ratios to give you a better insight into how your business is performing.