If you’re stressing about running reports to evaluate your past year of business, you’re not alone. It’s not uncommon for owners to feel intimidated about pulling reports for their landscaping business. It might feel like an arduous task and on top of that, you probably don’t have a lot of free time to do it. For this reason, you may be putting it off.
Unfortunately, when you do this, you lose sight of the value that can be derived from reports when you invest in running them. After all, end-of-year reporting is an important way to keep your finger on the pulse of your business. By pulling vital reports, you allow yourself to make data-informed decisions for the year ahead.
If you’re thinking about pulling reports for your landscaping business, you might be wondering which ones are most important. Here are 6 that we suggest you run to review your last year and plan for the future.
1. Payroll Reports
Payroll reports help you keep track of payroll details and history, which is vital information in making financial decisions. Some of the most common payroll reports that you might consider running include the following:
- Payroll Tax and Wage Summary
- Payroll Tax Liability
- Workers’ Compensation
- Vacation and Sick Leave
- Total Payroll Cost
2. Profit & Loss Report
Profitability is obviously the key to a successful business, which is why it’s important to be able to have a clear understanding of your profit and loss, and what impacts it the most. Understanding your profit and loss can be helpful when it comes to knowing where your business is succeeding and where it is struggling. Armed with that information, you can take the steps needed to be more profitable as you go forward.
Your company’s profit & loss report is different from your balance sheet. The latter is meant to be more of a quick snapshot. But a profit & loss report looks at how much money was earned, how much money it cost, and how much money is left for profit.
There are 5 key factors you should be looking at in your profit & loss statement. These include the following:
- Revenue (sales)
- Direct Costs
- Indirect Expenses (first component of overhead)
- General and Administrative Expenses (second component of overhead)
- Net Profit
3. Departmentalized Income Reports
In order to truly dig deeper and understand your income and how it relates to profitability, it can be helpful to run department-specific income reports. By looking at the data by department, you can determine whether there are certain areas of your business that need more attention than others.
4. Year-End Tax Filing Reports: W2s and 1099s
As an employer, one of your business responsibilities is to provide reports to employees and subcontractors showing them their income from the previous year. For employees, this report is a W2 and for contract workers, this form is 1099. These reports are due by the end of January of the following year. Of course, on top of sharing these reports with employees with subs, you must also file copies of these reports with the IRS and Social Security Administration by the end of January.
5. Employee Evaluation Reports
Managing employees is an important part of owning a landscape business. The best way to do this is with an employee evaluation report, also known as a “performance appraisal.” A performance appraisal can be simply defined as how well your employees are performing their jobs. Employee performance is generally measured by comparing each employee’s ability to do their job against predetermined Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
A truly helpful employee evaluation report is contingent upon data. For instance, data about attendance would alert you to how often each employee is late to work or has even been a no-show. Data that tracks job costing, on the other hand, will allow you to calculate how efficient your employees are being. This type of information is vital in evaluating employee performance.
6. Sales Commission Reports
In looking back at your past year and planning ahead for the future, you should also be measuring your sales activity. Of course, this is something you should already be doing periodically. Two of the key areas that you should specifically hone in on, in order to learn from the past and improve in the future, is closing ratio reports and pipeline forecasting.
Closing Ratio Reports
These reports take a detailed look at proposed work compared to closed sales. Measuring these figures can help you determine which salespeople need support, what service lines should get the most focus, and gather information for sales pipeline forecasting.
Knowing the closing percentages allows you to evaluate how many proposals are out and to determine a predictable amount of sales that will be closed in the near future. If you’re missing your mark, these reports give your sales team areas of focus to keep specific crews busy with a flow of already sold work. The resulting data will then help your operations team plan for the impending work.
Using Landscaping Business Reporting Software
If you’re feeling like pulling reports for your landscaping business is going to be an enormous hassle, then you likely aren’t working with landscaping business software—or you’re at least not working with a system that makes it easy for you.
With the right landscaping business reporting software, pulling reports should be easy since all of the information is already there. There is no additional work that needs to be done. The complete ease of use with a system like this will help hold you accountable to actually doing it—and your business will reap the rewards. After all, there’s simply no better way to make wiser decisions for a new year than to review data and make critical real-time choices.
With all that being said, let us add a word about budgets. Most businesses usually spend January working on their budget and don’t really take time to ever look at it again. But with how easy it is to review financials and run reports using the right landscaping business software, we would suggest the “Frank Ross” method of looking at (and updating) budget every single month.
By taking these steps and staying on top of your business, you can feel confident that you’re setting yourself up for success for the new year—and for future years to come.
If you want to find out more about how landscaping business software can help you easily run year-end reports, let’s explore and see what Asset can do for you. If you love running reports, here’s another resource for you!