Here’s a simple way to take the pulse of your company by reviewing a one page report:

ExcelThe Financial Quick Check (right click and save as…)

This powerful report is a weekly summary of the few numbers that make all the difference to the success of your business. Feel free to download and edit this file. Enjoy the benefits of knowing the score!

Jack Stack has had a huge influence on my business philosophy. He is one of the pioneers of open book management-sharing real financial information with team members. Click the link below to listen to our BlogTalkRadio show with Jack!

Jack Stack

Read on for directions and inspiration for using the Financial Quick Check.

Financial Statements – The “Reader’s Digest” version

When I first learned how to read and use financial reports, I would assemble the information to show my partner and husband, Hot Rod, how we were doing.  I’d cover his desk with pages and pages of financial reports.  His eyes would glaze over.

One day he sighed and said, “I really hate this.  I’m glad you know what this means, but I can’t take all this information.  Can you just show me the few numbers that make all the difference in our company?  Can you give me the “Reader’s Digest” version?”  Hmmmm.  Hot Rod was on to something

When it comes right down to it, there are only a few numbers that make all the difference.  If there is a problem with one of the critical numbers, you can dig deeper and get more information.  If you were to watch the critical numbers at your company, you would have a pretty good idea of what is going on.  You would know for certain whether or not you are making money.  You would know if you are going to have enough money to cover payroll.

Gail Gudell is a professional organizer and bookkeeper, par excellence! She is also my sister and in charge of Making Money at Bare Bones Biz.  Gail started working with us many years ago, and is one of the reasons Hot Rod and I didn’t kill each other in our early years of working together.  Gail and I sat down, determined to put the few numbers that make all the difference on a single sheet of paper.  This is what we came up with.  (Thanks, Gail!)

Financial Quick Check.

If your accounting program allows you to assemble a neat, consolidated report like this, that’s cool.  However, we still recommend that you or your bookkeeper manually enter your financial information into the Financial Quick Check Form.  That “manual moment” causes you to confront the data.  It will help you stay at a KFP…a KNOWN Financial Position.  You’ll be able to find and fix mistakes so much easier when you are checking the financial information on a weekly basis.  And, the Quick Check will help you break out of denial, if denial is keeping you from charging the proper selling price.

We recommend filling out this form every week.  Have it on your desk by noon on Monday for the previous week.

To complete the form, print your current balance sheet and income statement reports.  Summarize the key numbers from