I caught up with an entrepreneur who’s frustrated with a service provider. The firm handling his bookkeeping hasn’t provided him with financial statements for his multiple businesses in a few months.
I was curious how he makes decisions, knows the companies aren’t in financial trouble, and knows whether they’re making or losing money. He told me that he’s been keeping close tabs on each business’s bank accounts to get some level of comfort.
Financial statements, such as profit-and-loss statements and balance sheets, are important tools for entrepreneurs. They help you understand the financial health of your company and alert you to situations that could harm the company (e.g., a cash shortfall). Running a company without financial statements is like driving with your eyes closed. It’s dangerous. Bad things can happen if it goes on too long.
If you’re an entrepreneur, you should make sure you have relevant financial statements prepared monthly, and you should review them every month. If something doesn’t make sense, ask questions until it makes sense or is corrected. If a firm can’t consistently meet that expectation, it may be time to find one that can. Otherwise, you’re driving blind and could end up driving your company into a brick wall.