I’m sure you’ve heard of the Income Statement and the Balance Sheet, and they’re great, but they are NOT the guest of honor at this party!
There is another financial statement that adds tremendous value when it comes to month end review!
I know. I know. ANOTHER financial statement to review?
You’re not even sure you fully get the ones you have now. I get it, and I know you’re busy, but this financial statement is actually really straightforward.
In fact, I think it’s easier to use in a review than the others!
It is the Trailing 12 (or T12 or Trailing Income Statement). It lists all your Income and Expense accounts, just like your traditional Income Statement, but it has 12 columns across the page. One for each of the last 12 months.
Displaying your data with each month lined up next to each other makes it easy to spot trends. And if something is missing, it will stand out like a sore thumb.
I am all about simple. And this report is simple! Simple to use and simple to explain.
If you see $16,000 in rent every month, and then a huge blank spot this month. It is an obvious beacon that you need to go see what happened to the rent payment. Maybe it was coded to prepaid and needs to be expensed.
And if you see electricity was around $4,000 each month and all the sudden it is $20,000? You guessed it! You’re going to need to research that. Perhaps equipment was purchased that needs to be capitalized.
The point is, with the months laid out side by side, it is visually very easy to spot potential problems!
On our team, we always give a final once over to the Trailing 12 before sending out a financial package.
It is the easiest way to spot trends and check for anything that may have slipped through the cracks or been recorded in error.
And like my mamma says, “Check. Double check. Triple check your work.”
An added bonus, the Trailing 12 is super simple to create!
If it isn’t already in your financial package, it will be a breeze for your accountant to make.
You simply copy the Income Statement, remove the columns, and add repeat/variable/monthly columns (the wording will differ by software).
So now you know!
The Trailing 12 Income Statement is absolutely the most underutilized financial statement for month end reviews.
Take the steps now to make sure it is in your monthly financial package. I guarantee it will make reviewing so much easier for you and your team!