Efficient reporting provides a clear picture of your financial position and helps guide sound business decisions. Financial reports are the first point of reference for managers and stakeholders to determine the financial health of their business and the likelihood of long-term success. This is achieved by a simultaneous evaluation of profit and loss, cash flow, and overall risk assessment.

Three Basic Financial Statements

Accurate bookkeeping is the starting point of any good financial system. Without proper records, business owners and their stakeholders are unable to judge their success or failures. The general ledger affects many aspects of your business including these few examples:

Income Statement/Profit and Loss Statement - The income statement compares revenues and expenses over a given period of time. It other words, it determines business profit or loss and not surprisingly, is the most commonly requested financial document. The income statement is an invaluable resource to determine bottom line results and areas where a company might be overspending, but it does not provide a complete picture of a company’s financial position. Several categories of gains and losses in the income statement do not reflect actual cash transference or level of risk. This is especially dangerous for businesses with long-term assets and/or credit accounts. Additional documents are needed to judge a company’s ability to meet its current cash requirements and future long-term profitability.

Statement of Cash Flows – Cash is considered the life blood of most businesses and the statement of cash flows provides an assessment of this vital asset. It explains how cash is received and spent in three major categories: operations, investments, and financing. This document often guides internal decision-making, giving managers a practical view of how much cash is available for use. Generally speaking, an inflow of cash is desired, but this does not always guarantee profits when compared to current and future expenses from the income statement. An assessment of risk is also needed to determine the ability of a firm to generate cash inflows and profits in the long-run. This is where the balance sheet comes into play.

Balance Sheet – The balance sheet addresses the overall value of a business at a point in time, comparing company assets to liabilities and equity (assets=liabilities+equity). Assets and liabilities are subdivided into long and short-term categories, a distinction which addresses important risk factors such as liquidity. For example, the more short-term assets (relative to long-term) and long-term liabilities (relative to short-term) a company has, the easier it is to meet expenses and cover losses in tough economic times. The amount of liabilities relative to assets is another important factor that banks and other investors will consider when evaluating risk. Although it does not address current profitability, the balance sheet is an important predictor of future stability and is often referred to by external sources of potential financing.

Financial statements answer the question “Where am I?”, but in order to determine “Where do I go from here?” there remains considerable work to be done.  Our advisory services can assist with budget forecasting, growth projections, and an overall analysis of additional cost savings


Peter Doyle, CPA
Managing Partner

1 (888) 433-2202
(ext) 151

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