2018 is getting uncomfortably close, and you probably have some items left on your accounting to-do list. Is there anything about year-end reports on there? If not, try to find some time to compile—or generate, if you’re using QuickBooks—the numbers from 2017 that will provide insight on your financial activity.
We’ll use the names that QuickBooks uses for these six critical reports. If you’re using another accounting method, you should still be able to assemble similar data.
- A/R Aging Detail – This report should contain a list of unpaid invoices with their due dates and open balances. You want to determine how long these transactions have been aging, so there should be a section for those that are current (within 1-30 days of the due date), and those that are 31-60, 61-90, and 90+ days old. It’s probably too late in the year to try to collect on delinquent accounts, so create a reminder to attend to them as soon as possible after January 1.
- A/P Aging Detail – If you’ve been keeping up with your bill-paying responsibilities, there will be nothing in the columns beyond Current. Don’t wait to attend to any that are past due. Process the payments now if you possibly can so they’ll get credited in early January.
- Income & Expense Graph – You’ve probably been tracking the difference between your company’s income and expenses throughout the year in some fashion, or you wouldn’t know whether you’re making or losing money. This report will provide a graphical representation of where your money comes from and where it goes, broken out by percentages.
- Sales by Item Detail – You already know why this is important. It’s a report that you should create frequently, but it’s especially important at the end of the year as you make your purchase plans for the coming months. What is selling well and what’s not? If you’re using QuickBooks, you can customize this report to isolate specific subsets of data that will provide even more insight.
- Inventory Stock Status by Item – Do you sell products? Can you do a physical count to see where your stock stands, or do you track this on paper or in Excel? Again, QuickBooks can do this in seconds if you’ve been recording your accounting data conscientiously all year. Now’s the time to order inventory if you hope to have it by mid-January.
- Budget vs Actual – There’s no point having a budget if you don’t create this report monthly, and especially at year’s end. Your 2018 budget will be more realistic and attainable if you have a clear understanding of the strengths and weaknesses in your 2017 numbers.
There are other reports that can provide more sophisticated analysis of your company’s financial health, including Profit & Loss, Balance Sheet, and Statement of Cash Flows. You can run them in QuickBooks, but you may need our help interpreting them. Consider meeting with us in January to learn what they can tell you. To schedule a time contact your MarksNelson professional at 816-743-7700.