Financial Reporting

Building the Financial Reservoir

People with a stake in the outcome of any activity usually like to be kept in the loop. This is particularly true when the stake involves a financial investment. For public companies, the SEC mandates periodic reporting. For private companies, investors may hear very little until there’s a need for more cash, and then the resulting reporting blitz often strains credibility. It’s far more effective with all funding sources to produce a steady flow of information in order to build a reservoir of goodwill.

It’s Hard to Spot Trends in a Single Data Point

The results were pretty obvious once you got beyond the sports memorabilia lining the other three walls. They were arrayed in multiple sheets of graph paper, all along the far wall: five years’ worth of unit sales, updated in #2 pencil each week, in a line graph overlaid with a bar graph showing weekly revenues. […]

Passing The Collection Plate

The biggest winter storm in Massachusetts during our otherwise mild January was the one that the Legislature kicked up when it attempted to pass S1074, known as the Church Financial Scrutiny Bill. Ultimately voted down by a wide margin after intense pressure by religious groups of all persuasions, the bill would have required religious communities to disclose their finances and property to the Attorney General and pay for CPA reviews and audits. Aside from being a full-employment bill for any CPA still looking for work after Sarbanes-Oxley, the initiative raised some useful questions about transparency, disclosure, and accounting and controls in churches and in charities generally. Consider: what accountability can you expect when you contribute to any charitable organization?