LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS
12 Financial Reports You Should Be Creating
MICHAEL PERRY, CLIENT ACCOUNTING SERVICES MANAGER
How do you decide what accounting tasks need to be done every day? Do you look at a calendar? Dig through that stack of invoices and bills on your desk? Glance at your to-do list?
If you’re using accounting software, it’s less of a challenge. You can choose report templates and run them using your own data – in seconds. There are some reports you should be looking at on a daily or weekly basis, depending on the volume of your sales and debts. These deal with the payment status of your customer invoices and your vendor bills.
In QuickBooks, these pre-formatted reports are called A/R Aging Summary (or Detail) and A/P Aging Summary (or Detail). They display tables that identify the customer or vendor and provide related details like Type, Date (of the original bill or invoice), Terms, and Due Date. Most important, you can tell at a glance which are current and which are 31-60, 61-90, and 90+ days overdue. When you double-click on one, the original form appears in a window.
If you just want to see a complete list of invoices for which you haven’t received payment, you can run the Open Invoices report.
Do you sell products? Do you track your inventory status in QuickBooks? If so, you need to keep a close eye on your stock levels. You should periodically run the Inventory Stock Status by Item report. You can customize this report to display different columns and use different filters, but the default layout gives you a great deal of information about each item, including:
- Its reorder point,
- The number on hand,
- The number on sales orders and purchase orders,
- The number available, and,
- The next delivery date.
Who are your best customers? Which items are selling well? Who are your most successful sales reps? You can easily get the answers to those questions by running the Sales by… (Customer, Item, and Rep) reports.
On the flip side, which vendors are you patronizing the most? The Vendor Balance Summary will tell you what your current balance is with each. Run the Vendor Balance Detail report to see all the transactions that contribute to each individual balance. And you should, of course, look at Unpaid Bills Detail regularly to avoid late fees and hits to your credit standing.
You should be able to generate and understand all these reports. But there’s a group of reports in QuickBooks categorized as Company & Financial. This includes more sophisticated output that may be hard for you to analyze, like Profit & Loss (many versions), Balance Sheet, and Statement of Cash Flows. You’ll need reports like these when you want to, for example, apply for a loan or attract investors.
Lutz can run and interpret these for you on a monthly or quarterly basis as you’re looking over previous periods and preparing for upcoming ones. We can also get you started on QuickBooks if you’re still doing your accounting manually. The information and insight it can give you will help you make wiser decisions about the future of your business.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
MIKE PERRY + CLIENT ACCOUNTING SERVICES DIRECTOR
Mike Perry is a Client Accounting Services Director at Lutz with over 15 years of accounting experience. He focuses on providing business consulting, software implementation and training, accounting procedure assistance and outsourced accounting replacement consulting for closely held companies.
AREAS OF FOCUS
AFFILIATIONS AND CREDENTIALS
- American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Member
- Nebraska Society of Certified Public Accountants, Member
- Intuit Certified ProAdvisor, QuickBooks Advanced
- Certified Public Accountant
- BSBA in Accounting, University of Nebraska, Kearney, NE
- Community Bike Project Omaha, Past Treasurer
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