The basics of business reporting: three templates that’ll save your life.

The best business reporting revolves around technology. You might use cloud accounting software like Xero to help with your bookkeeping, but may not have capitalised on everything it has to offer.

Most businesses know they need to be measuring their money to help them develop and grow – but knowing where to start can be overwhelming, and doing it properly can take longer than they can afford. 

Step forward, Xero report templates.

Once you decide to give your staff access to report templates in Xero, it will feel like the books are taking care of themselves – but only if you use them properly, with care and the guidance of an expert.

With report templates, you need accurate data entry for your report will to be generated in a preformatted design and template.

While that cuts an unbelievable amount of time and busy work from the usual process, we cannot understate the need to be careful with the data you enter. One mistake could produce a misleading report, so ideally, you should work with an accountant or financial adviser to make sure everything is correct.

With that in mind, here are three reports you absolutely must be using Xero templates to create.

Income statement

The income statement, also called the profit and loss or income and expenditure statement, records a business’s incoming revenue and outgoing expenditure, usually on a monthly basis.

Two kinds of profit are recorded: operating profit and regular profit.

Operating profit is the money made from the normal operation of the business, which will generally be the income from sales, minus the cost of goods, services and salaries.

Regular profits, on the other hand, take into account other forms of income (and losses), such as investments, and interest paid and interest owed.

For such a regular and important type of business report, getting access to an easy-to-use template on Xero is hugely beneficial.

Cashflow

Cash is the lifeblood of any business, so you need to have accurate, timely and meticulous cashflow reports. 

While the income statement describes the profitability of the business from an accountant’s or bookkeeper’s point of view, the cashflow reports show when those payments are actually made and received.

They are essential to get right, not just to make sure your business’s cashflow is secure for now, but will be in the future as you can use them to predict cashflow forecasts.

This will make sure all the figures from your cashflow report are accurate, which you can do with a Xero cashflow report template.

Balance sheet

The balance sheet shows the assets the business owns and the liabilities it owes, as well as its equity (how much profit has been retained in the business).

To be exact, it will demonstrate to management and investors the value of the business’s assets, what funds the business (debt or investment?) and how risky the business is.

To ‘balance’ a balance sheet, the assets should equal the sum of the business’s liabilities and equity.

Ideally, a business would have a higher ratio of current assets to current liabilities, as it is not so reliant on debt to fund itself.

Getting one of the most important documents for investors together doesn’t have to be a chore or challenge, so search for a balance sheet template.

Reports make life easier – but you still need an adviser

Automating frequent reports can make your life easier, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to do everything yourself.

Reports, even those generated by Xero, can be complex to read, analyse and truly understand.

If you misunderstand or miss something, you run the risk of making big decisions based on faulty data and assumptions – and that’s something most business owners simply cannot afford.

Therefore, we recommend you work with an accountant or financial adviser who will be able to interpret your reports and relay all the information you need to make a decision.

As experienced accountants, we would be happy to help you with your reports, offering sound advice on their contents so you can add value to your business.

Talk to us for an in-depth tutorial on how to use Xero to its fullest potential.

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