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annual report

5 Tools to Help With Your Small Business’ Annual Report

The end of the year is nigh, and the task of compiling your small business’ annual report is just over the horizon.

Publicly traded companies are required to put together full-fledged annual reports that include information such as income and cash flow statements, as well as balance sheets. They’ll also include things such as officer statements, executive compensation and even a short company history. It’s no quick task.

The upside for small businesses is that, for the most part, the annual report required for most small businesses is more like a statement of basic information that includes things such as your business’ address and who its officers are. But if you have investors, chance are they’ll want something a little more fleshed-out.

The truth is, more thorough annual reports can benefit companies of all sizes. Even if you’re doing your own bookkeeping throughout the year, you likely don’t have the time to really dig into what those numbers mean for your overall strategy. An annual report gives you the opportunity to refocus on the big picture – as well as determine whether you’ve been meeting goals, how you shape up versus the competition and what you should plan to do in the year ahead.

But how do you start? By not going it alone. Several services can help you with various aspects of putting together your small or midsize business’ annual report.

5 Tools to Help You With Annual Reports

  1. QuickBooks: If you’re already a QuickBooks customer, then you’re likely feeding the software much of the data you might use in an annual report. QuickBooks allows you to take the next step with its customized report generator, which helps you to put together reports such as a company snapshot with charts and tables, a profit-and-loss (P&L) report and a balance sheet. Here, QuickBooks walks users through how to put together a P&L report.
  2. Adaptive Insights: If you’re looking for a full-service reporting solution that you can use for more than just the turn-of-the-year report, Adaptive Insights’ cloud-based solution is a suite of management, financial and sales reporting tools. In addition to reports such as balance sheets and cash flow, Adaptive Insights’ tools also provide profitability analyses, capital management and headcount planning – and it even tailors solutions for a host of industries. The downside? The software (and its cost) is more geared toward mid- and large businesses, and might not be financially appropriate for your small business.
  3. PlanGuru: PlanGuru is another reporting solution that includes budgeting and forecasting software, analytics, an advanced reporting add-in for Excel, as well as training and help-center access. In addition to being able to create reports such as income and cash flow statements, you can produce budgets/forecasts out to 10 years, import up to five years of actual results and even determine your business’ valuation.
  4. LucidPress: Another aspect of financial reports, especially once you’re creating annual reports for investors, is the design. LucidPress makes it easy for even novices to put together visually appealing reports, starting with a blank canvas or one of more than 570 professionally designed templates, that you can then customize and share. Better still, LucidPress also helps you to create other materials, such as brochures and business cards.
  5. Foleon: This is another design-focused annual report tool that touts ease of use. Foleon allows you to select from a set of templates, then use its media library to augment with photos and even videos. Foleon’s solution also features a few flashier benefits, such as mobile-friendly reports that are responsive, which means they’ll look right regardless of whether users are viewing your report through a PC, tablet or phone.

The more your small business wants to include in its annual report, the more of an uphill climb it’s going to be – especially for entrepreneurs who know their way around their product but aren’t as familiar with a balance sheet. If you want to ensure the job is professionally done, talk to McManamon & Co. Our outsourced CFO, accounting and bill pay features include not just financial reporting such as annual reports, but also payroll services, cash flow management and even QuickBooks setup and training for those who want to become more personally involved.

An annual report is in many ways an opportunity – to paint a picture of your business, impress investors and even start the new year on the right foot. Take advantage of it! Call us at 440.892.9088 or contact us online today.


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