The 3rd quarter ended this week. Us finance guys are hustling to get the month and the quarter financial statements closed, and get the financial reports issued. Business owners are chomping at the bit to see their results. Bankers want to see the numbers to see how things are going and hoping for no surprises. The sales guys are already into the 4th Quarter, digging to make their annual targets.
How is your business doing so far? I see a lot of companies that don’t know the answer to that questions. I hope you do.
We need to focus on getting the Q3 results in the books ASAP, and we need to start thinking about 2016 budgets and operating plans.
We need to start with a solid benchmark and a quarter is a great time to do that. Q3 especially.
So here’s your list:
- Ensure all balance sheet accounts are reconciled and clean.
- Know where your collectability issues are.
- Know that all A/P invoices are entered, the fixed asset register is up to date and reconciled to the GL, the debt schedules all tie out to the amortization schedules and bank statements, and the accrued liabilities are adequate.
- Scrub the income statement to make sure it’s as clean as possible. It’s paramount to have solid quarterly numbers.
- Update your historical graphs for all cash flow and key result drivers – receivable days, inventory turnover, accounts payable turns, average invoice value, number of new customers, etc.
- Document where you are with respect to your vital few objectives and your goals through 9/30.
A quick and solid Q3 close is essential for many reasons:
- You need to know exactly where you are vs. where you thought you’d be.
- Strategic planning and budgeting season is coming soon.
- There is still plenty of time to make some big goals with a Q4 push.
- Bankers, investors and supporters: all want to know.
Two things can really make a difference making the close process better:
- Solid numbers all the time
- A closing process and checklist
Sounds simple, but I see it all the time. The numbers are not updated daily and/or there is no closing checklist or documented close process. These are simple steps, but they make a huge difference for accurate financial reporting.
Push your Q3 close process now to get accurate numbers fast. Use a closing checklist and focus on getting each item done accurately and quickly. This will help you immensely with the overall results for your business.