Financial Reports: What and how often?

Carol,
Thank you for your wonderful words of wisdom. 
I am looking for a simplified report to publish every month in our newsletter.
Would QuickBooks give a report that fit the needs of what is required for non-profit? 
It seemed like we were not able to do the Profit and Loss statement (P&L) unless we did the Balance Sheet.  Am I wrong in this thinking?
I read that these reports can be done monthly, quarterly or fiscal year end.  What is your opinion?

Fondly,
Hilary

Hilary,

A Profit and Loss statement (P&L) shows your income and  your expenses for a time period (usually a month). It would be a great report to share in your monthly newsletter.

The financial reports from Quickbook are typical of  business financial statements. What the IRS requires of nonprofit, tax exempt organizations is somewhat different, but not much.  I prepare the IRS annual information returns  (Form 990) for several nonprofits and the QuickBooks statements are where I start.

It seemed like we were not able to do the P&L unless we did the Balance Sheet.  Am I wrong in this thinking?

The Balance Sheet and P&L are linked. One affects the other. In QuickBooks, it’s easy to generate both these reports after you enter all the transactions.

I think monthly reports are appropriate.  Some organizations only do quarterly reports if they are small or not very active financially.  Annual reporting is not frequent enough for your board to monitor the finances properly.

I hope that helps,

Carol Topp, CPA

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