Replacing Worksheets in Your Business with Computerized Reports
If you use a computerized accounting system for your business, you don’t have to manually create a financial statement worksheet. Instead, the computer system gives you the option of generating many different types of reports to help you develop your income statement and balance sheet.
One of the advantages of a computerized system’s reports is that you can easily look at your numbers in many different ways. For example, the following figure shows the Company & Financial Report Navigator from QuickBooks.
Notice that you can generate so many different reports that the entire list doesn’t even fit on one computer screen! To get the report you want, all you need to do is click on the report title.
You can generate a number of different reports within the following categories:
Profit & Loss (income statement): Some key reports in this section include:
A standard report that shows how much the company made or lost during a specific period of time
A detail report that includes all the year-to-date transactions
A report that compares year-to-date figures with the previous year (provided you kept the accounts using the computerized system in the previous year)
Income & Expenses: Some key reports in this section include:
Income by customer (both a summary and a detailed report)
Expenses by vendor (both a summary and a detailed report)
Balance Sheet & Net Worth: Some key reports in this section include:
A standard balance sheet showing a summary of assets, liabilities, and equity
A detail report of assets, liabilities, and equity
A report that compares the assets, liabilities, and equity levels with those of the previous year
Cash Flow: Some key reports in this section include:
A statement of cash flows for the year
A forecast of cash flows during the next few weeks or months based on money due in accounts receivable and money to be paid out in accounts payable
Computerized accounting systems provide you with the tools to manipulate your company’s numbers in whatever way you find useful for analyzing your company’s results. And if a report isn’t quite right for your needs, you can customize it.
For example, if you want to see the profit and loss results for a particular week during an accounting period, you can set the dates for only that week and generate the report. You can also produce a report looking at data for just one day, one month, one quarter, or a combination of dates.
You can also take the time to custom design reports that meet your company’s unique financial information needs. Many companies customize reports to collect information by department or division. You’re only limited by your imagination!
As you work with your computerized system, you’ll be asked for information not easily found using standardized reports. The first few times you pull that information together, you may need to do so manually. As you get used to your computerized accounting system and its report functions, you’ll be able to design customized reports that pull together just the information you need.