For many Trusts the AGM is the window for members to question the annual reports published by the Trust. The time when you are most likely to get questions that you don’t normally deal with, perhaps don’t have the time or expertise to with and probably don’t like dealing with. We could, of course, do the presenting for you, or you could give us a call and ask for our third-party view on issues you think are, or aren’t in the statements.
8 Ideas to present financial statements more clearly
When it comes to presenting the statements, here’s a few tips that might help you:
- “present” them to a non-financially minded person first. Note what you found harder to deal with, and what you found easier. What questions did they ask which you found hard?
- how much detail? It’s common to present too much data when it’s a subject you don’t feel comfortable with, get some help to focus on the really important parts
- consider the audience. It maybe that your audience need (or don’t need), all the data. Don’t assume or do it because that’s how it was done last year.
- use metaphors. I know that good teachers use metaphors when teaching, although it’s odd that when presenting something they find more complex they tend not to. What metaphors might help you simplify, or focus the presentation?
- choose a time in the meeting which isn’t just after something contentious.
- get visual. If there are one or two points you want to make, will a simple chart help? Make the chart more relevant or amusing to lighten the mood.
- don’t put rows of small numbers on the screen, break them up and use more slides if you really need to show all of the numbers (which you often don’t)
- acronyms and technical terms. They creep in everywhere, if you can’t avoid them can you send out a simple glossary in advance?
How else could you help my Academy?
Although we are Accountants, we don’t deliver numbers, we spend time turning them into information and assist you with taking actions based on that information. So, we could help you:
- Understand the financial statements, so you can present them more confidently
- Understand the results of your audit
- Manage your financial information throughout the year, so you save time to focus on teaching
If you have a specific question on the finances in your Academy and would appreciate a third-party viewpoint, give us a call, we are always happy to talk.