What are the 4 Financial Reporting Ratios?

Understanding your numbers

To interpret and understand the numbers contained in your financial statements, you can use financial ratios. The numbers for ratios are taken from the Profit and Loss Account and the Balance Sheet, but not the Cash Flow Statement. 

They measure performance in percentage terms rather than raw numbers. This means you can compare your company’s performance with other businesses in your industry, with your previous results and with your projections. They can help you to answer questions such as – are your operating expenses too high, is the business carrying excess debt or inventory/stock, and are your customers paying according to terms? Banks and other lenders will want to see your ratios to see how your business performs in comparison with other businesses they’re lending to and with the standards they’ve set for lending. 

The four categories of ratios

  1. Liquidity ratios (which reveal your company’s ability to meet its financial obligations including debt, payroll, taxes, payments to vendors/suppliers)
  2. Profitability ratios (which help you evaluate your company’s ability to generate profits)
  3. Leverage ratios (which shows you how – and how extensively—your business is using debt)
  4. Efficiency ratios (which reveal how efficiently your company is managing certain key balance sheet assets and liabilities).

Which financial ratios should you track?

Some ratios will be more applicable to certain industries and businesses than others. If you provide a service rather than sell products, then ratios like return on assets and inventory turnover are unlikely to be relevant to your company whereas the receivables turnover is critical to your business operations. It’s best to choose the five most relevant ratios to your business and track those as part of your monthly management operating plan. It’s crucial to look at your ratios on a monthly basis so that you can spot trends as they develop

Get your numbers in track with The CFO Centre

Informed and insightful decision making can only be made if the magic finance numbers are accurate and informative. Reporting should thus be tailored and customised for the type of organisation (large, medium, and small enterprises). This is where a CFO can truly add immense value. A ‘one size fits all’ approach just does not work in today’s challenging, diverse and financially demanding business environment. 

 The CFO Centre can provide you with a highly experienced senior CFO with ‘big business experience’ for a fraction of the cost of a full-time CFO.   

With their support and expertise at your fingertips, you will achieve better results, faster. It means you’ll have more confidence and clarity when it comes to decision-making. After all, you’ll have access to expert help and advice whenever you need it. 

If you’d like to speak with us about how we can help you better understand your numbers to accelerate your growth, please get in touch here.

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