I love a checklist. Just ask my team. To do lists are my jamm. Processes and systems make me happy. Even my husband knows about this weird fascination with processes and checklists. This is an actual screenshot of an exchange we had while he was at a conference.
And yes I got a full debrief and we ordered the book.
At Envolta we have a Quality Checklist, a form we use to review our work for each of our clients every month. This is a crucial piece in our customer service and will likely be the subject of a future blog. Our QC is behind the scenes, internal, not a part of our client communication.
There are good reasons this checklist is not included in the monthly reports we deliver but I think anyone who receives financial reports should read them with their own checklist in hand.
Every business owner should expect and should receive accurate financial reports every month. You upload receipts, send out invoices, pay bills, pay your staff and receive payment for services and then you get an email with a balance sheet and a profit and loss statement dated the end of the previous month. What do you do with those reports? Do you know if they relate to the receipts you uploaded? Do you know what the reports are telling you? Do you have questions that you are not sure how to ask? May I suggest, wait for it…… a checklist?
Your very own checklist
So exciting! Ok, maybe that’s too much, let’s aim for Helpful. When you create your checklist, I suggest you start with what is most important to you and your business, what matters to you. What pops into your head when you look at your monthly reports and are you getting the answers you need.
Format your checklist as a list of questions that can be answered with yes or no. Go a step further and frame the questions so that yes is the answer that you need to complete the checklist. One last tip, don’t be afraid to revisit and revise your checklist until you get it to a point that gives you complete confidence in how you approach your financial reporting.
Your checklist might look something like this
|Financial Report Package – MM/YYYY||Y/N||Follow up in the answer is No|
|Were reports received in time to be useful for business decisions?|
|Are the reports at a level of detail I understand?|
|Were all deadlines met? (Payroll, HST, etc.)|
|Is the bank / cash balance as expected?|
|Do the assets on the balance sheet reflect what is owned by the business?|
|Does the amount of Accounts Payable reflect what was owed to suppliers at the end of the month?|
|Are all business loans on the balances sheet?|
|Do I understand the reported revenue?|
|Are all the monthly expenses represented on the profit & loss?|
|Is the bottom line of the profit & loss what I expected it to be?|
Your bookkeeper will appreciate your interest
If your first thought is I don’t want to bother my bookkeeper or I don’t want to seem dumb – get a new bookkeeper. I’m totally serious, I appreciate it when my client asks questions. I like to know that the reports I am sending are being looked at, not just filed away. I am happy to explain the reports to you in language you understand.
I will dive into the the details of the reports that you should receive and maybe a few more you should ask for in another blog. As you develop your understanding I am sure you will develop your checklist. Maybe you will even develop the crazy love for processes and checklists that I have. Anyway, my team wants to partner with you to see your business succeed. You should expect that from your bookkeeper.
Looking for an accounting team? Contact Envolta for a free consultation. https://envolta.ca/
By Victoria Peters, COO
Victoria landed at Envolta Inc. with a resume of experiences in Canada, the UK and the US. A fan of hands on experience she got her start in accounting through a co-op program in high school. Being a military spouse involved many moves, joining and leaving a variety of employment and volunteer opportunities and fueled a passion for processes and procedures. Victoria always wanted to leave a legacy of a job well done. Mentoring and training has become a way for her to share that passion and continue to learn and grow. She was excited to extend this to presenting at QBConnect 2019 in Toronto.
Her experience was rounded out at B.C.I.T. in the Financial Management program and an Advanced Certificate in Accounting from I.C.A. of B.C.
In her spare time, you can find Victoria at the ball diamond, watching her son pursue his passion or relaxing around the campfire with her husband.