It should go without saying that your financials are an important indicator of how your business is performing. But they are more than a record of where you’ve been. These reports should be a compass for where you’d like to go. At a glance, the numbers in the spreadsheets tell the financial story of your business. They contain actionable insights for everyone you employ. Essentially, your financial reports have useful information for every person on your team. So why aren’t you sharing them?
At my accounting firm, Nth Degree CPAs, we advocate for creating and sharing more than just financial reports. Specifically, we look for reporting that covers performance for employees, culture, and operations. As a whole, this collection gives a clear picture of how the business is performing.
Sharing Your Information
Like goals, reports don’t do anyone any good hidden on your computer. They need to be shared across your organization, in and out of every department. Also, they should span from your senior staff to your newest hire. Why? Knowledge is power, and a powerful business has powerful people. Therefore, with reporting in hand, management can make better decisions. Rank and file can see how their efforts impact the bottom line. Overall, everyone can feel the empowerment that comes from being a trusted part of the team.
Keep it Simple
Analysis isn’t for everyone, and the more your team supports the effort the better. So, consider distilling your financial reports into something a little more digestible. But be sure to preserve transparency with key information. To start, tailor a report for individual teams or departments. This will ground the numbers and make them relevant for the audience. Notice how the department impacts the numbers and offer insights on how to change it. This can have a lasting effect on performance. Reporting is more than a historical account of where your company has been. Ultimately, it can serve as a map to your goals and assess the performance of specific efforts.
Committing to widespread reporting communication and education can be daunting. It can tax your resources and make you feel uncomfortable. However, for the boots on the ground, knowing what’s going on can result in lasting improvements. You'll see upward growth in efficiency, decision making, and focus. The numbers tell a story. Thus, by understanding its beats, rhythms, and message, you can get everyone excited about staring at spreadsheets, and marching ahead.
+ First, clean up your financial reports — aim for clarity
+ Consider expanding your data collection to create reports on culture and operations
+ Next, boil ’em down and root out the important stories. Sharethem across the organization
+ Unify teams across departments with increased transparency
+ Finally, watch goals get attacked with new sophistication and vigor