• Money and finance

Conducting Financial Reviews

Steps to regularly reviewing the financial performance of your business.

Conducting Financial Reviews

It is important to review the financial performance of the business on a regular basis. This is a fixed agenda item that is recommended as a topic in every monthly mentoring meeting.

When you discuss the financials, consider the changes from previous months and how the changes relate to the progress made on achieving the overall business goals and to projections.

  • What did you do differently this month that resulted in a surplus or shortfall in sales?
  • What did you do differently this month that resulted in more or less earnings than projected?
  • Are your targeted gross margins being achieved?
  • What sales trends are emerging? How can these trends be capitalized upon for increased revenue?
  • What other marketing efforts might be considered to boost revenue?
  • What actions are you considering to improve future financial performance?

Annual Financial Review

As part of your annual business plan review, you will also review your company’s finances. The Financial Review Template is a simple worksheet that will assist you in completing this task.

The Annual Financial Review Template has formulas built in to calculate key ratios and a section to enable easy planning for future years. This provides a good overview of the key areas to discuss when reviewing financial information and includes comparisons to projections and potential questions related to marketing, accounts receivable and inventory.

Using this template, enter the planned numbers and the actual numbers to automatically calculate the variance. In addition, the template will automatically calculate a number of useful financial ratios such as current ratio, inventory turnover, etc. These will help you to assess whether your business has enough liquidity, if turnover is too high or low, etc.

When completing a financial review, you should lead the discussion with your mentor. Make sure to do the following:

  • Begin with an overview of the business’ performance relative your goals or projections;
  • Identify 3-5 areas of interest – where the business either outperformed objectives or under performed;
  • Discuss the underlying reasons for the performance so it can be repeated or enhanced for stronger results or problem solved for disappointing results;
  • Revise expectations or projections for the next review. Focus primarily on short-term results in the early days of your business; and
  • Invite questions or input from your mentor throughout the discussion.