So it is the first of the month and you are looking at the month past and the month/quarter ahead. How did you do and what do these numbers mean for your rolling forecast .  Let’s start with what happened.

What I like to do for month end is review my Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s)  This is going to give me some insight on how different aspects of my business performed relative to my goals.  For you these KPI’s may consist of: Sales volume which is then divided into smaller indicators such as how many clients, how many new clients, how many sales, value of the sales, how many sales per client, active clients, cost of acquisition of new clients etc.  Now this may look a little daunting, however, with the right systems these numbers pop out in a matter of minutes.  This then becomes part of your review and projecting strategy.

The next (or first) step is to get ready to produce your financial statements. I like to have my financials off by no later than 5 business day after the close of the period (or month end).

If you have an external bookkeeper you may have some additional steps such as writing what things are for or coding for simplicity.  A lot of this is a do as you go but I will give you a general process of gathering, transferring and recording.

I like the tick sheet approach. That way I know that I don’t miss anything.  So yours might look something like this:

1. Print off Bank Statement(s) (this might be imported into your bookkeeping program) code your Direct charges and misc charges you might have made with a debit card.
2. Code cheques and make sure they are properly accounted for. Special attention to GST and PST
3. Get deposit book out and ready.
4. Pull reports that show revenue by category including GST/PST
5. Summarize payroll including CRA remittance
6. Gather my Credit Card (s) receipts (empty my wallet) and statements.  (different methods of managing this) My preference is to code and categorize these rather than entering individually pulling personal from business
7. Gather my cash expenses and code/categorize them

Now I have all my information put in order I can send it off to my bookkeeper for easy understandable entry and quick turnaround or start the process to get it into my books so I can reconcile my bank, my accounts receivables, accounts payable, payroll, inventory and GST/PST and any other filings you might have to do.

On another note, KISS is a prerequisite for low accounting bills, quick turnaround  and easily understood financials.

I like one business credit card and one business bank account although I am not opposed to two of each for backup purposes.  Just weigh the cost vs benefit.

The next step after you have completed this or have sent it off to your bookkeeper is to look at your rolling forecast.  How did you do in projecting the past month vs what you actually did.  Do you adjust your revenue up or down.  Do you adjust your expenses up or down.   With these adjustments how does it affect your decision making process.  What trends appear in your numbers.

When you get your statements back do they look right.  Do you understand “Everything” that is stated on them.  Does your bank account look right.  Do your receivables and payables look right. Are your receivables going up and your payable down do you have enough cash on hand to pay your GST and Payroll remittances.

With technology and products that are designed to flow between each other your accounting, Banking, POS, Inventory, receivable, payable may all be synchronized and if so you might just be able to push the EASY button.