What accounting services do small and mid-sized businesses typically need?

Recently, I had the opportunity to work with a medium-sized non-profit organization that faced significant challenges in its financial reporting process. The prior director of finance, who functioned more like a senior accountant, handled payroll and expense billing in a highly technical manner.
 

The Problem

 

  • Delayed Reports: Reports to the board and the executive director were always late. The organization accrued on actuals every month, but relying on payroll and billing reports for technical accruals and deferred revenue entries caused delays.
  • Long Lead Times: Reports were consistently over six weeks behind. For instance, January’s reports were only available by March, making timely decision-making impossible and causing frustration for the executive director.
  • Inefficiency: From an outsider’s perspective, this was an inefficient use of time and resources. The over-engineered approach didn’t add value to the actual accounting of revenues and expenses or the decision-making process. It was an elegant solution to a problem that didn’t require it, with costs far outweighing the benefits.

 

The Solution

 
The focus should be on what is essential to improve the efficiency of the financial reporting process. Here are the basic reports that should be included in a monthly management package:

  1. Profit and Loss Statement
  2. Balance Sheet
  3. Statement of Cash Flow

Those are the Big Three. For bonus points to round out the package, consider adding aging reports for accounts receivables and payables for a comprehensive package.
 

Why These Reports?

 
These core reports provide the executive director with a clear understanding of the organization’s financial health. They should be succinct and formatted to tell the story of what happened, rather than overwhelming with a mass of numbers.With the right reports, decision-makers can understand what happened and take necessary actions to stay on course.

You need reports that make sense and tell the story of what happened during the reporting period. Your accounting staff must adhere to good accounting practices—recording cash expenditures accurately and ensuring everything is in order. You don’t need the elaborate systems and reports that large companies require for investors and the stock market.

Overcomplicating your reporting can confuse internal users and delay the availability of crucial information, making it difficult to make timely decisions.

If you’re tired of delayed reports, data overload, and numbers that don’t make sense, it’s time to rethink your financial reporting approach. Streamline your processes to ensure timely, accurate, and meaningful financial insights.

Ready to Improve Your Financial Reporting? Let’s discuss how we can help you achieve efficient and effective financial management.

Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash
 
 
 

Your CPA Shouldn’t Be Your CFO!

Put your name and best email address into the form below, and I'll send you “Why You Aren’t Growing Your Business: 5 Reasons Why Your CPA Shouldn’t Be Your CFO” absolutely free.

You have Successfully Subscribed!