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How Often Do You Need to Create Financial Reports? Month vs. Quarter vs. Annual Report

Reliable information is the key to smart decision making. As a small business owner, you need financial information to measure your business’s performance and properly plan for the upcoming period. Running certain financial statements monthly, quarterly, and annually helps you conduct a proper financial analysis of your company.

Month-End Financial Statements

It’s a good idea to run a bank reconciliation report monthly to ensure your records match those the bank sends you every month. This process should match your cash balance to the bank statement. By performing bank reconciliations monthly, you can uncover bank errors and potential fraud quickly. You may find it beneficial to analyze inventory on a monthly basis to make sure you are holding the right level of goods on hand, whether you run a manufacturer, retail business, or a restaurant. Depending on the needs of your business, you can also prepare a trial balance monthly to confirm that your credits and debits are where they should be.

Quarterly Reports

Financial statements, such as your income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement, generally occur on a quarterly basis. Certain external parties, such as investors, suppliers, and government agencies, may even request copies of quarterly financial statements. These reports allow you to compare your revenue and expenses against your budget. You can also make any necessary adjustments such as cost reductions. The balance sheet allows you to check your financial health, while you can see your sources and uses of cash from your cash flow statement.

Comprehensive Annual Reports

It’s important to review your financial statements at the end of the year to aid in future decision making. The easiest way to do this is to make a quarterly report for the fourth quarter and add in the other three quarters. An annual analysis at the end of the year also represents a good time to consider taxes. Start gathering information at the end of the year and take tax planning steps. Annual reports also offer a way to help create a master budget for the following year.

The more information you have on hand, the more accurate your monthly, quarterly and annual reports become. You can create a QuickBooks annual report using the software’s customized report generator. Simply choose which fields you want to see and the time frame to get a long-term, accurate view of your company’s metrics. Keep your books accurate and up to date automatically. Change the way you manage your finances now.

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