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Unlock Financial Success With Management Reporting

Management Reporting

How often do you step back from the day-to-day operations to look at your business’s financial performance? Some business owners do this every month and some every quarter. Many are too busy to do this and suffer from the disadvantage.

Management reporting interprets your business data to help you understand your business performance. Financial reports act as summaries of the company data. Each statement looks at a particular aspect of the business. By optimising each element, you can unlock financial success for the industry as a whole.

As a business owner, what key financial reports should you look at? And what insights should each of the reports be showing you?

By reviewing each financial report, a business owner can receive better strategic insight into managing the business. You can find significant growth opportunities for investors and creditors to help take your business to the next level.

The 4 Most Common Management Reports

1. Balance Sheet

A balance sheet is a financial statement that provides a snapshot of a company’s financial position and shows what the company owns, owes, and has invested in the business. This can also deliver the current value of a business for the period it covers.

The balance sheet outlines the following items:

  • Liquid assets – cash, certificates of deposit, short-term securities and treasury bills.
  • Current assets – accounts receivable, inventory, fixed assets and prepaid expenses.
  • Current liabilities – short-term and long-term debt, accounts payable, payable wages and dividends, tax expenses and prepayments from clients.
  • Shareholder and owner equity values – retained income, receivable dividends, capital gains and stock investments.

The balance sheet is essential because it shows whether a company has enough assets to cover its liabilities—a key indicator of financial stability.

2. Income Statement

An income statement, or a profit and loss (P & L) statement, is the most important financial report because it shows whether a company is making a profit or a loss. It provides insights into how much revenue is generated, the cost of goods sold, and the expense of running the business.

There are several key elements in this document:

  • Operating revenue which accounts for selling products or services.
  • Net and gross revenues, including total sales revenue and remaining revenue after subtracting costs.
  • Nonoperating income from accrued interest, investment returns, royalty payments, and capital gains.
  • Direct expenses, including the cost of goods sold (COGS), depreciation and selling, and general and administrative costs (SG&A).
  • Secondary expenses, like debt or loan interest, asset loss and capital loss.

3. Cash Flow Statement

A cash flow statement (CFS) shows a company’s cash inflows and outflows over a specific period. The CFS is important because it shows how much cash a company has to pay its bills.

A positive cash flow indicates that a company generates more cash than it spends. In contrast, a negative cash flow means a company pays more than it generates.

The CFS allows investors to understand how a company’s operations are running, where its money is coming from, and how money is being spent. The CFS also provides insight into whether a company is financially stable. A business could display a profit in the Income Statement but have a negative cash flow.

The cash flow statement typically comprises three key elements:

  • Operational activities – accounts receivable and payable, inventories, wages, income tax and cash receipts.
  • Investment activities – the generation and use of investment earnings, asset sales, issued loans or credit and payments from acquisitions or mergers.
  • Financing activities – stock repurchases, payable dividends, debt repayments and issuance, cash from investors and cash payments to shareholders.

4. Statement of Changes in Equity

A statement of changes in equity shows a company’s changes in equity over a specific period. This report shows how much money has been invested in the business and how profit has been retained. Retained earnings are often used to pay off the company’s debt obligations. It also shows dividends paid to shareholders and changes in share capital.

Why Are Financial Reports Important?

Financial reports are essential because they provide easily accessible information needed to run a business. Such as key insight into a company’s financial position and performance. They help business owners make informed decisions about allocating resources and planning for the future. Here are some reasons why it is important to have financial reports:

👉 Measure performance
Financial reports provide a benchmark for measuring a company’s performance over time. By comparing financial statements from different periods, business owners can identify trends and areas of improvement.

👉 Facilitate decision making
Financial reports provide insights into a company’s financial health, which can inform business decisions. For example, if a company generates much revenue but has high expenses, the business owner may reduce expenses to improve profitability.

👉 Evaluate financial stability
Financial reports show a company’s financial stability by providing information about assets, liabilities, and equity.

👉 Comply with regulations
By preparing financial reports, businesses can ensure they are meeting their regulatory obligations.

Utilising Different Financial Reports

If you are a small business owner, financial reporting is an essential tool that can help you improve your business’s financial health and make better decisions.

There are many reports and data sources you could be looking at, but focusing on these four main financial reports will help turn your small business into a growing powerhouse.

But sometimes, financial data can feel like a foreign language to some business owners.

If you would like some assistance with management reporting, reach out to us at (02) 4344 2460 or email us at office@liftaccounting.au

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