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What is the difference between annual accounts & management accounts?




The annual accounts for your business are produced after your financial year end. These accounts are in a set format that will provide your official accounts signed off by yourself if you are a sole trader or in a partnership.


If however, your business is a limited company then the annual accounts should be in a format determined by the financial reporting standards. These must be submitted to Companies House no later than 9 months after your financial year end. If they are not laid out in the correct format they will be rejected.


Financial accounts provide data for the year and broken down into sales, direct costs and overheads.


Management Accounts, on the other hand, are far more exciting, giving important and regular insights into the performance of your business!! There are no official formats and these accounts can be arranged and put together in a way that makes it easy for you and your management teams to see good financial data, normally on a monthly basis, and enabling you to make key business decisions.


The reporting would usually include a detailed breakdown of sales, direct costs and overheads. These can be further broken down by department or activity centre yielding important insights. Margins are analysed, sales by customer and/or by product are reviewed, debtor and creditor days calculated and would also include a breakdown of the balance sheet and cash flow.


Using management accounts can help you to see where you can upsell, improve the flows of cash both in and out by reviewing customer and supplier terms, and can reliably inform you what your cash flow is doing and provide forecasts to support key investment decisions.


Are you on board with management accounts for your business? If not get in touch and talk to us about how we can provide you with financials for the here and now.



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