It’s Not That Painful!
By Frank Lieshout | 5 min read
In our previous articles, we mentioned some helpful advice regarding the preparation, audit and review of your financial statements.
- Money-saving tips in terms of complying with financial reporting regulations.
- How to get the most out of your time and money spent on the reviewing and preparing of your financial statements
Today we are going to look at why it’s actually not that painful preparing your financial statements and getting them reviewed.
What is painful?
Most people can agree that having a COVID Nasal Swab or having to watch endless reruns/recordings of children’s tv programmes with your kids both come with varying degrees of pain – Dora the Explorer anyone?
It is a different sort of pain that people perceive (or actually experience) with reviewing and preparing financial statements.
Let’s bust some of the myths on that pain, shall we?
‘I don’t know where to start!?’
Software is your friend here. There are numerous accounting software products that can help with producing your financial statements.
Most of it is easier to use than you think. There are plenty of online videos available to help you get started and answer anything you might get stuck on during the process.
‘There will be HEEEEAPS of transactions to process.’
Many accounting software packages include automatic bank feeds. This means that you don’t need to manually enter all the details of every transaction into the system. The software will update the actual transactions from the bank automatically on a daily basis.
This could save you hours.
‘I won’t be able to get it into the right format.’
By using accounting software which prepares the financial statements in the correct reporting format for your level of financial reporting, the formatting will be done automatically.
Furthermore, if the software is ‘in the cloud’ or online it will be ‘live’ and so any changes to the required formatting will be automatically done in the background. So, the formatting will always be up to date.
‘I’ve never used accounting software and don’t want to!’ (I hope you read that in a stubborn tone of voice!)
If you are adamant that you don’t have the ability to use accounting software, you can use the XRB Tier 3 and Tier 4 Templates available on the Charities Services website to prepare your financial statements
However, you will have to manually put the figures in, creating extra work and increasing the risk of mistakes.
And be warned the templates are full of a lot of pesky red dots that are irrelevant to what the final product looks like.
‘The Statement of Service Performance (SSP) is too hard.’
Yes, the SSP is the bane of the preparation and it doesn’t have many (if any) financial numbers on it.
However, there are a number of resources available to guide and help you compile it. The Charites Services website is a good starting point.
Or – OLD SCHOOL – you could actually give them a ring if you get stuck.
‘I have lots of papers everywhere.’
I have so many bits of paper for paid invoices. It’s a mess! Where do I begin?
You can use technology to store all your paid invoices in an electronic storage system. This works like an electronic shoebox.
Some systems like Dext (used to be called Receipt Bank) have the ability to link with your online accounting software so the invoice is attached to the transaction and can be read by the software.
This will cut down the pain of having to code the transaction, as it automatically knows the code.
‘The review will be painful.’
If you follow the above to alleviate the pain of preparing your financial statements, it will flow onto getting the review done with less pain. The review will go a lot smoother for both you and the reviewer.
So, preparing your financial statements and having them reviewed doesn’t need to be a painful experience. (Unlike the COVID nasal swab and Dora!)
If you’d like to know more about the variety of ways we can support your team, get in touch with us for more information.