Creating an engaging financial report that spells out exactly where your company stands financially is as rare as a Bigfoot sighting. As a small business owner, you know how vital it is to keep your books updated. Unfortunately, up to date books do not automatically translate into understanding your financials. This paradox has created a problem for many businesses!
Reach Reporting may not help you find Bigfoot, but we can help you create an informative and engaging financial report. Reports that put your financials right at your fingertips, helping you make better financial decisions. Let’s get started with these five tips and tricks.
1. Balance Visuals with Data
In past blog articles, we have discussed how the human brain works, and its incredible ability to interpret so much information in just a few short seconds. Visuals are critical to the understanding of the data, BUT one cannot live on pictures alone. Adding in text with explanations and further details is equally important.
Finding the balance between the two will create easy to read and more comfortable to understand reports. Keep the following things in mind;
- Leave plenty of white space. Doing this develops balance and harmony. Also, it will lead a reader from one element to another.
- Keep your fonts complimentary and use the correct text hierarchy. This practice increases readability and helps our brains categorize the data.
- Use two columns to organize and make the data easier to read. It organizes the data and makes it easier for the reader to skim and find what they are looking to find.
2. Use Color to your Advantage
We all know adding a little color to a report is eye-catching and adds a little sparkle to your work. How you add color, though, makes ALL the difference! It would be best if you used it wisely and to your advantage.
In 2011, a study was conducted by Thomas Sanocki and Noah Sulman. They studied the relationship between color and the brain’s ability to remember and retain information. They learned that the more harmonious and pleasing the colors, the better the participants could remember patterns. When we apply that to financial reporting and our goal of understanding and retaining the data, using color wisely is vital.
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It is becoming less and less acceptable to be a reactive accountant who prepares taxes once a year, producing tedious and confusing financial reports. Your current and future clients want a forward-thinking approach to their financials.
Every business owner, CFO, CEO, or Company President knows the importance of cash flow when running a business. Regardless of the size of the company or the industry they work in, cash is king.
No matter if your business provides a service or produces and sells a product, you have a break-even point (BEP). Knowing your break-even point will be critical in your success and your ability to make your company’s best financial decision.
3. Incorporate Branding and Logos
As a small business owner, you may need to provide your reports to your bank, investors, and possible investors. When your reports include your logo, your colors, and your branding, they will be impressed and more willing to take a more in-depth look at your business.
By incorporating these things, you will up your game and your company. It instills confidence in your business from anyone who takes a quick look.
4. Correct Data
All the color schemes, font choices, logo adding, and chart making will mean nothing if your data is incorrect. You must have up to date books to create an engaging financial report. Regardless of what you use to keep track of your finances, QuickBooks, Xero, or Excel. Set aside time at least weekly to enter in your information. Implementing this practice will save you time in the long run and help your business be more successful.
Even if the data isn’t what you wish it were, correct is better than exaggerated high or mistakingly low data. Be sure you are caught up before creating even the most engaging financial report.
5. Use Reach Reporting
Is all of the above information overwhelming to you? Is your head spinning a bit? We understand completely. That is the precise reason we created Reach Reporting. We want to take the stress of financial reporting off your plate and on to ours. We do this by creating pre-built templates that have already taken into account color, formatting, columns, branding, and creating visual KPIs.
All you need to do is log in, sync your up-to-date data, and you are on your way to absorbing the complexity of your finances into a beautiful easy to read, engaging financial report.