Monthly Financial Reports

When do you have all your source documents available for processing?

When do you have all your source documents available for processing?

We require monthly financial reports. What is a reasonable date to expect this?

We currently deliver by the 20th of the following month; this seems late to me. I am very new to bookkeeping and I don't know what is reasonable.

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Hmmm ... I'm assuming you are a small business owner who has hired a freelance bookkeeper to do your books. I'm also assuming that you would put a monthly processing package together and:

1. drop it off at your bookkeeper's to process;
2. have your bookkeeper pick it up to process; or
3. deliver it to your bookkeeper virtually to process.

The sooner you can gather and package all your bookkeeping source documents together and make them available to your bookkeeper, the sooner you can receive your monthly financial reporting package.

Once your bookkeeper receives your monthly processing package, I would expect a 5 day turnaround unless s/he has a system where your package is received at the same time each month and s/he can "book an appointment" to process your data on that day.

If you vary the date you deliver your bookkeeping data, the bookkeeper usually has to put your package into a "queue". For example, I operate on a first in, first out basis ... unless as I've said other arrangements have been made.

Based on the information you've provided, the 20th is reasonable for many small business owners. If you want to receive your reporting package more quickly you could:

1. submit your COMPLETE monthly package earlier;
2. have your data processed weekly or biweekly to facilitate faster turn around of your data. With this option, you could probably have your month-end reporting within 6-10 days after the month ends.

Does this make sense you? A bookkeeper can work with to you to meet your expectations ... but it won't happen without your assistance and commitment to meet the dates arranged.

Some small business owners like to submit data using the "trickle" method .. a bit here one day and a bit there a few days or weeks later. This method of submitting data makes it very hard for your bookkeeper to provide timely and accurate financial reports. Actually, it's VERY frustrating as it increases processing time .. and therefore your processing bill goes up.

In my experience, many small business owners don't like doing the paperwork side of their business so put it off or give it a low priority. I personally think this is a mistake. I recommend that small business owners take an "administration" day where they book a day (or half-day) each week to handle the paperwork. It helps the business owner to feel more in control of their time, their life and their business. Once this habit is put into practice, the business owner begins running the business instead of having the business run them.

P.S. I would like to remind you there is a difference between information and advice. The general information provided in this post or on my site should not be construed as advice. You should not act or rely on this information without engaging professional advice specific to your situation prior to using this site content for any reason whatsoever.

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