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Financial Reporting for the Rest of Us Series: The Basics
Published on by Michelle Taylor in Blog Posts, CS3 Technology

 

Many employees find themselves full of skills to handle their duties well, and continue building those skills week after week. Some started off with very focused responsibilities, such as collecting payable invoices and entering these into the “accounting system.” They then become involved in budgeting and profit discussions, yet don’t have the background to truly understand the fundamentals. Though they’ve been building skills for many years, they are unfamiliar with what financial statements are and why they are important.

Financial Reports include the Balance Sheet, Profit & Loss Statement (a.k.a. Income Statement), Statement of Retained Earnings, and Statement of Cash Flows as the documents which organizations track and review records of to determine how much money is being made (or not). The main purpose for preparing the reports is to share information with stakeholders of the business, shareowners and lenders.

Certain basic financial questions must answerable in these documents:

Is there a profit for the business or it is suffering a loss, and how much?
Were all of the profits reinvested?
Does the organization have capital for future growth?
Where did the business get its capital, and is it making good use of the money?
What’s the cash flow from the project (or loss) for the period?

It should go without saying that financial reporting should be handled with both legal and ethical standards, without fraudulent activities.



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