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Business Management Reporting Guide


How Good Management Reporting Can Accelerate Your Business Growth

Management reporting is a form of business intelligence derived from company data. They assist business owners with strategic decision-making. These key financial reports help business owners formulate budgets and planning activities for a specific time period. The data extracted is used to formulate and substantiate decision making so that enabling best-case scenarios can be identified and developed. 

Financial data can be challenging to analyse without setting appropriate and regular reporting in place. Unless your management reports are presented in an easy to read and comprehend manner, they may ultimately be useless.

What is a business management report?

Good management reports provide up-to-date insights and key performance indicators (KPIs) about the functions of your business in a format that is simple, visual and effective.

When a business has solid management reports, the data from different areas of your business is appropriately tracked, collated, and presented. This enables effective planning strategies to be implemented that align with your company goals.

Management reporting best practices

Accurate and regular management reporting comes with benefits, including improved visibility and precision for decision making and maintaining your customer focus. Well produced reporting will help identify potential issues early on, saving time and money.  

Management reports are of little use if they are not based on accurate information. Business reports that lack true, relevant information, are presented inefficiently, or fail to record critical information are not only inadequate, but they can also be counter-productive and lead your business astray. To avoid critical mistakes, it’s vital to engage the services of an experienced professional like a qualified and experienced bookkeeper. To avoid costly mistakes, it’s essential to ensure all reporting elements and variables are addressed, results are monitored, and potential errors minimised.  

Why is reporting important for business continuity management?

Numble gives you five of the best practices on how to prepare management reports to get the most out of your business data and improve your business’ growth trajectory.

1. Start with the objectives

To begin with, make sure your reports are based on clearly defined objectives.

Your business objectives should be mentioned at the beginning of the report to keep them front and centre of readers’ minds. Data analysis and strategies contained in management reports have the specific purpose of achieving your business objectives.

Mentioning goals at the start of each report will not only benefit the stakeholders but will also serve as a great reminder to you, as the business owner, what KPIs you are tracking and the performance indicators which should be included:

2. Identify essential reports you need to be included

  • KPIs – These are central to management reporting as they provide a clear idea of what is and isn’t, working by measuring the goals and performance of all areas at all levels. It’s important not to overload your reports with unnecessary metrics as this will confuse the reader and could render the information ineffective and blur genuinely useful data.
  • Cash Flow – Creating a cash flow report will help you manage the flow of funds into and out of your business. Predicting when shortfalls may occur will ensure you don’t run out of money when you most need it. Conversely, identifying when you’ll have surplus funds available will allow you to take advantage of investment opportunities as they arise. These are two examples of how monitoring and managing your cash flow is fundamental for your business success. Knowing the difference between available cash in your bank and reported profit, is an essential business skill.
  • Balance Sheet – Is a summary of the company’s assets, liabilities and retained earnings. If accurate, this report delivers an evaluation of your company’s worth at a given time. Using a balance sheet lets you quickly discover which clients are behind on their payments, how much is owed to you, what debts are outstanding, and when they are due.
  • Profit and loss – This is a report stating your income from sales, less expenses generated in your business across a specific period of time. The report classifies your income type and expenses into spending categories.
  • Sales – One of the most important reports is the sales report as it generates information about the revenue you have earnt. It lists invoices that were raised for a given period. You can identify your largest, as well as smallest, clients as well as review client purchase levels across set periods.
  • Trade Creditor – A list of all the businesses you owe money to, how much is owed, and when they are due to be paid.
  • Trade Debtor – A record of clients with outstanding invoices, i.e. owe you money, how old the debt is and who you should be chasing for payment.
  • Budget Setting a budget and monitoring your performance against the budget will help you achieve your goals in a direct and successful way

3. Include all stakeholders in your business

There must be no disconnect between your managers and their team when it comes to reporting. Strong inter-company communication will improve reporting processes, keep staff accountable, and improve decision-making.

The practice of collaborating with teams will keep your employees engaged and informed. In turn, this helps them focus on the objectives at hand. It also enables managers to look at matters from different angles, allowing them to make sound and logical decisions.

4. Consider your audience

All management reports should satisfy their relevant audience, whether it be for the CEO, general manager, team leaders, finance department or any other key internal stakeholder. Again, communication is the key to best reporting outcomes. Always seek a clear understanding of what managers, staff and stakeholders require from the reports generated.

5. Strive to improve

Management reporting is not a set and forget process and must be continually evaluated and improved over time. Testing is crucial to ensure there’s no inaccuracy or inefficiency in your reporting. Continual review and reflection will make sure any reported KPIs or data which has become redundant is removed promptly.

Business goals and objectives are constantly evolving, and your management reports should always reflect these changes.

Monitoring and reporting over time is the key to running a successful business as it will not only highlight problems but also identify opportunities for growth and expansion. These reports work as a tool for recording previous activities and help you define future growth opportunities.

If you need help with your business management reporting, contact Numble today for a comprehensive assessment and plan for all your business reporting needs.