If you plan to raise or borrow money or sell your business, forget annual statements. When undertaking such transactions, you will undoubtedly be asked for more detailed information. So, before you get started, make sure that your financial accounting software will allow you to extract month-to-month financial information easily. Month-to-month financials allow investors, lenders, and buyers to see and understand the trends in your business.
But don’t forget that all financials begin with now. Therefore, you also need to provide forward-looking financials. You should give investors and lenders month-to-month financials historically for three years in the past, and forward-looking or "pro forma" financials three years into the future. When you’re doing five-year historical financials or five-year forecasts, the fourth and fifth years from where you are now can be done annually.
Marilyn Holt, CMC
Want to improve the way you run your business? Entrepreneurs, academics, and consultants from diverse industries offer practical advice on a variety of topics each business day.
To submit a tip for consideration, first check our archive of previous tips to make sure you're not repeating a tip someone has already contributed. Then send the tip to Small Business channel contributor Michelle Dammon Loyalka. Because of the volume of material she receives, she may not respond to each individual.