Internal Reports

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Historical financial statement
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As your business grows, it will inherently become more complex. It will eventually outgrow your capacity to be involved in every single detail of the business. There are just too many customers, employees, products, projects, vendors, and suppliers to be involved with.

As you become more removed from the details, you may feel a loss of control and may likely struggle to know how your business’ cash flow and profitability are really performing. You have to rely on reports with lots of numbers and data to understand how your company has done and make the best decisions possible for future success. (1)

The transition from a startup to a booming company is often difficult for founders and entrepreneurs. You have to re-train your intuition to process reports and data rather than talking to your employees and customers and reviewing the bills from your vendors and suppliers. While you should still engage in getting information from these qualitative sources, quantitative data will become more and more important to you as your company grows. Generally, quantitative data measurements should cover both the past and future on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual basis.

Daily Reports

Find one to three measurable pieces of information that can be reported daily. The items included on the daily report need to adequately allow your management team to answer this simple question: “Did we win or lose today?” Examples include gross profit per day, daily units sold, billable hours worked, backlog, among others. In addition to reporting actual performance on a couple of critical ratios, thriving companies need to know what tomorrow will look like. Measuring performance is not the reason to be in business, but it is critical to running your business effectively.

Weekly Reports

Develop a weekly report that highlights between 12 to 20 data points, with at least one or two coming from each of the critical areas of your business: marketing, sales, operations, finance, etc. These might include number of leads, leads converted to sales, revenue, revenue per employee, number of employees, percentage of receivables past due, working capital, current ratio, and more.

Besides knowing how the business did last week, this report should also project the company’s performance on these key numbers for the week to come. Also look at an updated cash flow projection (at least 6 weeks into the future) each week so your company can adequately plan for and adjust to cash flow shortages and excesses.

Monthly and Quarterly Reports

It is also important to have monthly and quarterly financial and operational reports, which include monthly financial statements. The monthly financial statements should include comparisons to prior years and months in the business as well as to industry averages and benchmarks (if available). It’s also important to review key trends over the past 13 months. Performance relative to your company’s plans and budgets, as well as projections for the next month and year, should also be included and analyzed. It is prudent to pay particular attention to validating and invalidating assumptions, and then improving them from month to month. Similar reports need to be reviewed on a quarterly basis, but are typically more summarized and should include lots of charts and graphs for quick review and presentations.

Annual Reports

You should revisit your five-year financial model and plan on a yearly basis. This includes a careful assessment of all of the assumptions that went into the model and updating those assumptions based on the actual performance of your company. Many business owners/managers fight this activity because they feel it is too hard to project five years into the future. While it is certainly difficult (and I have yet to see anyone that has projected their business performance perfectly for five future years) the exercise always yields helpful information to build a more competitive and sustainable business.

Developing appropriate and timely periodic reports and procedures is essential for business prosperity. If you want know more about establishing processes for all of these critical past and future reports, or if you want to learn how a part-time, virtual CFO can help transform your business using the Bible as our guide, email me at or call Kirk at 402-658-7340.

(1) Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, And attend to your herds. Proverbs 27:23 (NKJV)

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Hiring Tips

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Having quality employees is essential for business prosperity. Here are 10 things to consider to improve the quality of your employees:

  1. Proper hiring creates a good team. A good team lowers turnover. Lower turnover equates to more profit. Consider both the cost of lost productivity and reduced team morale.
  2. Team members typically leave or are let go most often because they never should have been hired in the first place. This is really a character issue.
  3. Take your time when filling positions. It is better to find “the right” hire rather than “the best” hire.
  4. When you are posting a position, give enough information for candidates to rule you out without wasting your time.
  5. Word your posting in such a way as to attract the personality and character traits you want.
  6. Look for a team member with a combination of opportunistic motivation and philosophical motivation.
  7. Never sell a “Job”. Always have an “Opportunity” available – work that matters.
  8. Set short initial interviews that are no longer than 30 minutes. Listen for 20 minutes and talk for only 10. God gave us 2 ears and 1 mouth – keep the listening to speaking ratio the same. Determine if the candidate is only looking for a paycheck. At this point, you’re weeding out those that are not a fit for your culture. Future interviews should be longer and more involved.
  9. If the candidate is preoccupied by benefits and compensation, you will never be able to do enough to keep them happy.
  10. The person hired properly will perform better, will not cause problems, and will be more likely to stay.

If you would like to learn about 12 Steps to a Proper Hire – that will lead you consistently to “the right hire”, or how a part-time, virtual CFO can help transform your business using the Bible as our guide, email me at or call Kirk at 402-658-7340.

Quality Employees


Rick Boxx, with the Integrity Resource Center, recently provided the following “Integrity Moment”:

In their Report to the Nations 2010, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners discovered small businesses are victims of fraud more often than bigger organizations. They also suffer larger losses.

Companies with fewer than 100 employees lose about $150,000 per incident as compared to $84,000 for large organizations. This suggests that small businesses need diligence in selecting the right people.

King David taught in Psalm 101:6-7, “My eyes will be on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; he whose walk is blameless will minister to me. No one who practices deceit will dwell in my house; no one who speaks falsely will stand in my presence.”

If you desire to protect your organization from fraud, look for faithful people and avoid any hint of deceit.

Rick is spot on. In addition to quality, faithful employees, you need to ensure your company or organization has adequate internal controls in place (more on those in another post). In his book Outstanding! 47 Ways to Make Your Organization Exceptional, author John G. Miller puts it simply: Select the best person for the job – and start by hiring character over college degrees. A classic hiring mistake is valuing “book learning” over character. In my personal experience, when I have hired based on perceived skills, background and education, I have almost always fired on the basis of character – or should I say, the lack of it.

Having quality employees is essential for business prosperity. If you would like to learn more about 12 Steps to a Proper Hire or how a part-time, virtual CFO can help transform your business using the Bible as our guide, email me at or call Kirk at 402-658-7340.

Part-Time CFO Services

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Growing businesses often reach a point where they need professional financial advice, but can’t afford a full-time CFO or controller.  Most, but not all, businesses don’t need a full-time CFO or Human Resource director until they’ve reached $10 million in revenue or 100 employees. If you’re fortunate enough to be in this position, then I have the perfect solution for you!  As your part-time CFO, you’ll get a professional financial manager who works with you to help guide your business to success.

The cost of hiring a full-time CFO can range from $60,000 to over $100,000 per year plus bonuses and benefits.  CommonSenseCFO provides you with part-time CFO services at a fraction of that cost.  If you would like to learn more about how a part-time CFO can benefit your business or how I can help transform your business using the Bible as our guide, email me at or call Kirk at 402-658-7340.