It’s month end so here are the questions that you need to ask…

It’s month end so here are my tips as to what questions you should be asking your bookkeeper / accounts team.
1. Are the accounts finalised ?
You need to make sure that your accounts have been reconciled and everything entered before you start using the numbers to make decisions. Ideally your accounts should be finalised within the first week of the month so your information is current and relevant.
2. Did I make a profit or a loss?
This is the key question to know if your business covered its cost during the month
3. How did my sales compare to last month, last year, expected budget?
This will tell you how you fared during the month. Even if you felt busy is is important to see that the numbers tell the same story. Has everything for the month been invoiced?
4. What did it cost me to make the sales ,  what was my margin?
Ideally your profit and loss report in your accounting system has been set up to separate those costs that are directly related to making a sale , from those costs that are necessary to run your business. Your cost of sales should include things like inventory costs, sales commissions and freight etc.
5. Are my fixed expenses under control?
How do the expenses that have been incurred to keep the business running compare to last month, last year and budget. These should be reasonably stable month to month and include things like electricity, office expenses, office wages, advertising etc.
6. Who owes me money and why haven’t they paid yet?
It is very important to keep on top of your debtors and month end is a perfect time to review.
7. Who do I need to pay and when? 
Review your list of supplier invoices to be paid and plan your cash flow to ensure you can pay them. It is a legal requirement that, as a director, you are able to pay your bills when they are due so this is an important step to under take each month.
If you can establish a regular habit of reviewing your financials each month you will be able to celebrate the wins and identify any issues that need addressing.
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