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If your financial reports could talk, I believe they would ask three key questions:

  1. What is your story?  Given that you are a public charity, if someone picks up your financial report, what story is being told?  Can the financial reports be presented in a way that speaks to your mission and purpose?  Do your financial reports reflect who you are and what you do.
  2. What have you accomplished so far this year?  You had a plan when you started the year.  Do your financial reports tell you how far you have come?  Do they speak to your accomplishments? Do they show the trend of outcomes?
  3. Where should we focus our energy?  Your financial reports should help you understand the gaps between your goals and where you are today.  They should show you where you have had great success and where you could spend more energy to multiply that success. 

 Your financial reports are talking – it’s a matter of whether you are listening and then helping them communicate to all of your donors and friends.

– Annette Cook