LedgersOnline has provided bookkeeping and accounting services for over 15 years. Our clients have ranged from solopreneurs to rapidly growing businesses in industries like technology, construction, professional services, manufacturing, retail, and more. Over this time, we have found that most small businesses lack the useful insight to help them understand and evaluate how well their businesses are performing.
Sure, the business owner can request an update on the company’s numbers from their bookkeeper. That usually produces a bunch of papers filled with rows of numbers, and ultimately the company’s present-day net balance. But still, it’s a complex document to try and figure out, especially if you are a time-pressed business owner.
The regular financial reports, such as the balance sheet and income statement, are only able to provide a superficial overview of the business. They usually require a lot of time from the business owner to read and comprehend. Furthermore, they rarely tell the full story behind the numbers and often fall short in providing important information that is critical to identifying weaknesses and issues that require attention.
In the second half of 2018, our team decided to try and experiment: could we produce a simple-to-understand short report that delivered a high-level strategic overview of the company’s balances, financial trends and forecasted outlook? Could we turn all those numbers into something that could be easy for a busy business owner to look at and instantly understand where their business was at?
Owner-managers do not have the time to examine every single number on the balance sheet and income statement on a regular basis. They want reports that are simple to understand and contain actionable insights. They also want to quickly focus on high-level strategic indicators into the performance of their businesses. That was the challenge. We set out to try and understand this issue, and our team believes that we’ve come a long way towards solving it. We’re calling it a Financial Commentary Report. We’ve been testing this report and using feedback from clients, we’ve made tweaks as we’ve gone along. Based on the positive feedback we’re received, we’re excited to introduce this service to a broader group of business owners.
How a Financial Commentary Helps the Business Owner
Every month a business owner (or their Chief Financial Officer) has to make dozens of important decisions that affect the business’ livelihood. The fallout from some of these decisions can’t be detected until months later when the after-effects finally manifest in emerging trends. In some cases, this can be increased expenses, a higher break-even point for operating costs, a downward slope in revenue, or other problems that could potentially threaten the health of the business.
Our financial commentary report is like a monthly infographic that simplifies and aims to reveal all of the data hiding in your books. This is critical information that is hidden behind the numbers! If a trend starts to emerge, like higher costs associated with production, the financial commentary is able to make it stand out much earlier than it would normally appear in the standard bookkeeping work.[Report]
Financial commentaries provide the decision makers for that business a new tool that they can use to better chart the course ahead. If the business is performing better than expected, the owner doesn’t need to be surprised at the end of the fiscal year by their bookkeeper. Many times a business owner isn’t celebrating when their business comes out with an unexpected profit because it means that they will be drawing a bonus, and thus paying at a higher tax rate. If the business owner had access to a financial commentary, they could have detected the extra surplus in revenue and better planned ahead so that their personal taxation rate wouldn’t be as high.
The Financial Commentary’s Cost: Bottom Line, How Much Does it Cost?
Once our team had proven that the new financial commentary service was something of value for our trial group of clients, the next step was in figuring out how much it would cost each month. We now had clients who liked the service, and were asking “How much is it?” going forward. As LedgersOnline has been working in the automation space, we were able to make software that automated a good chunk of the work our analysts would need to do every month. This drove down the cost of the financial commentary report, and allowed the LedgersOnline analyst more time working with the business owner answering their questions and collaborating on a strategy.[Report]
We’ve priced LedgersOnline’s new financial commentary service at an affordable monthly or quarterly cost. We strongly feel that this service benefits those business owners pressed for time, and who don’t need years of experience looking at a balance sheet to understand what’s going on inside their business. Instead, they need their books’ data turned into valuable insight so the owner can make critical command decisions early.[A swamped owner smiling while reading a financial commentary report]
Offer: Get Your First Financial Commentary Report for Free
We invite you to try LedgersOnline financial commentary report for yourself. Does your business match the following criteria for using a financial commentary? Are your books in order and up-to-date? (Businesses with solid bookkeeping will benefit the most from a financial commentary.) Can you set aside 30 minutes each month to review your report and speak with one of our accountants? Any kind of business can benefit from a financial commentary. Some business may only require quarterly or bi-annual commentaries, while more active business with lots of moving financial pieces would be better suited for monthly reporting.