January means it’s time for year-end financials, and as business owners everywhere are looking at revenues and profit numbers from the prior year, there is an abundance of insight hidden in the financial statements that many business owners are missing.
What if you offered a unique conversation with the business owner that illustrates how the year end financial statements are actually loaded with information that can help with better planning for the coming year and driving better results?
Comparing annual trends, rather than looking at a single year, and comparing percentages rather than dollars is the “secret” that many business owners are missing. When a business owner has the right tools, they are no longer looking at one year of revenues and profits in isolation and can gain insights from the historical trends to understand how to actively manage their business as an investment for the future.
Three tips for looking at the financial statements differently this year:
1. Look at 3-5 years worth of data versus a single year. The trends tell what’s changing, for better or worse, over time that one year doesn’t disclose.
2. Focusing on dollars alone can be misleading. For example, a growing business would expect increased expenses, but when are the expenses out of proportion to sales growth? Comparing change by percentages gives the owner the ability to better manage expenses.
3. A company’s balance sheet is also loaded with insight about the company’s performance and outlook. For example, measuring year-over-year trends in “Days Accounts Receivable” gives the owner important information about managing their cash flow.
When done manually, trend analysis can be time consuming and complex. However, with our new Business Trend Analysis + Valuation online tool you can easily enter 3-5 years of financial statements, answer a few qualitative questions about the business and immediately get access to business trend analysis, charts and industry benchmarks. The BTA+Valuation tool also provides a reliable business valuation conclusion that can be used for financial planning.
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So stop that business owner from tossing the financial statements in a drawer and show them how to use the financial statements to better manage their business and increase value.
Elevate your business conversations.
Cathy is a Principal of Capital Valuation Group, Inc., headquartered in Madison, WI. Capital Valuation Group has been helping business owners across the country understand, increase and unlock the value of their businesses for over 45 years through keynote speaking, valuation analysis, determining damages and providing expert witness testimony. Cathy welcomes conference and event speaking inquiries and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.