You’ll be at a KFP when:
- You can generate Income Statement and Balance Sheet reports and trust that the information is current and accurate.
- You can go through the reports line by line, account by account, and understand what each dollar amount represents.
You need a good accountant. Most accountants just prepare tax returns. A good accountant will help you develop an accounting system that delivers the financial information you need to make good decisions. A good accountant will be excited when you tell him that you want to learn how to read and use financial reports. A good accountant won’’t feel threatened when you tell him you want to move the accounting system “in house” instead of shipping it out to him.
Schedule a meeting with your bookkeeper and accountant for sometime this week. Go through the Balance Sheet and Income Statement, line by line…account by account. Ask these questions:
- Where do the dollar amounts come from?
- What do they represent…what do they mean?
- How does the information get entered into the accounting system?
- How can we structure the Chart of Accounts to better reflect how we do business?
- How can we separate information so that we know how different divisions of the company are performing? Should we create divisions in the accounting system?
- Are we tracking information that we don’t really need?
- What will it take to generate current and accurate Balance Sheet and Income Statement reports at any time?
Finally, look over the Month End Checklist together.
The Month End Checklist makes sure that you stay in a KFP. Ideally, your bookkeeper completes the checklist. Your accountant can help by checking to make sure that your reports are accurate, and that all the legal and tax compliance requirements are handled. Commit to completing this checklist every month, starting right now.
Store copies of your most current Balance Sheet, Income statement and Month End Checklist in your Plan Binder in the Making Money section. Write “to do’s” and items that need follow up in your Master To Do List.