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Minnesota Bookkeeper
Bookkeeper in St. Paul, MN
Google
I have greatly enjoyed using Sota Bookkeeping's services. They are helpful, affordable, professional, respond quickly and offer great prices/deals on Quickbooks Online. They have made running my small business much easier!

- Rachel H. (St. Paul, MN)

I’m sure you’ve seen financial reports for your business before. Your accountant or bookkeeper has probably produced them for you, or you might have had a go at producing them yourself.

But the question is, do you know what they mean? 

Well, if you’re like most business owners, you don’t. You might understand a bit about the profit and loss report, but that’s usually about it. Is this you?

I’m not surprised that business owners find it confusing. Accountancy has a language all of its own and rules that are hard to get your head around. I’ve seen enough accountants struggle to understand what the numbers mean, let alone business owners.

I wouldn’t expect a business owner to be an expert on this – you’ve got enough to be worried about. But it would be extremely useful to know a few basic concepts and terms so you can start to understand what your numbers mean.

The main financial reports are the:

  • Profit and Loss Account,

  • Balance Sheet, and

  • Cash Flow Report.

But what do they mean? Well, a good analogy to use to explain the different reports and what they’re telling you is to compare them to the instruments on the dashboard of your car.

Just like your dashboard gives you feedback on how your car is performing, your financial reports tell you how your business is performing.

SPEEDOMETER

The speedometer in a car shows you how fast you’re going. This is similar to your profit and loss account which shows you how fast your business is moving over a given period of time, usually over a month, quarter or year.

Your profit and loss account includes your sales, costs and profits over a given period.

It’s got nothing to do with the health or financial strength of the business, just simple how many sales and hoe much profit the business has made over a given time period – so how fast your business is travelling.

TEMPERATURE GAUGE

The temperature gauge shows how hot your engine is, a bit similar to your balance sheet. Your balance sheet gives you a gauge of the financial temperature of your business at a given point in time.

This includes your assets, liabilities and investments. The first place you should start when looking at a business is actually your balance sheet.

You can’t tell how good a business is by just looking at the profit and loss account, just like you can’t tell the health of a car by how fast it’s going.

FUEL GAUGE

The fuel gauge shows you how much fuel is left in the car. Cash is the fuel of a business. If you run out of cash, your business will stop running, just like a car when it runs out of fuel.

Cash flow reports show you how much cash you’ve got in the business and help you avoid running out.

Cash flow is focused on payments and receipts when they affect your bank account. There’s a big difference between profit and cash.

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Kayla Trettel
Marketing & Account Services

Kayla is head of marketing and account services. With a background in account management and client relations, she understands the importance of building genuine relationships.  Although a self-proclaimed introvert, she enjoys meeting and getting to know new people.

 

Her passion for helping people doesn’t end with Sota - she also works full-time in the non-profit sector working in mental health.

 

Kayla enjoys spending time with Eric and Petey, long walks with a good podcast (currently taking recommendations!) and traveling when time allows.

Other important things to know:

  • Homecoming Queen Runner-up

  • Starred as the Little Red Hen in 3rd Grade

Minnesota Bookkeeper
Bookkeeper in St. Paul, MN
Google Logo
I have greatly enjoyed using Sota Bookkeeping's services. They are helpful, affordable, professional, respond quickly and offer great prices/deals on Quickbooks Online. They have made running my small business much easier!

- Rachel