There four quarterly periods in a year, meaning a publicly traded company would issue four quarterly reports per year.
Companies and investors alike use fiscal quarters to keep track of their financial results and business developments over time. These quarters are often referred to as Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4.
Quarters do not always line up with the calendar year. For instance, if a company chooses to have its fiscal year starting in February rather than January, then its first quarter would consist of February, March, and April.
Companies sometimes choose to do this if they want their fiscal year to end in their peak season.
Alternatively, since finishing the year often involves a lot of additional accounting work, some companies choose to end their fiscal year on a relatively calm month.
As a start-up or a growing business, a quarterly business review is also necessary, it is not a luxury. The main advantage of quarterly reporting is that it allows you to measure the growth or lapses of your business with a previous quarter or with the same quarter from a previous year.
You can identify factors that contributed to high performance or low performance to improve your stance at the end of the year. To have a true picture of your business’s state of affairs you should avoid the following mistakes;
Set a Meeting Agenda
Meetings without a distinct goal get classified as “pointless” and “unnecessary” by employees.
“Meetings must have a clear purpose beyond a status report, which can be handled very well by one of the many online project management tools that are out on the market,” said Stephen Sheinbaum, founder of Bizfi, a financial technology company, and alternative finance provider. “Make a meeting agenda, and send it to all attendees ahead of time so they know what is expected of them at the meeting.”
Have defined start and end times, and most importantly, have someone to lead the meeting and keep it on track.
Focusing on the problem
It is not uncommon to find people who can uncover underlying issues from the previous quarter. Finding out the problem is okay, finding a solution is good but implementing that solution is what makes great companies.
The purpose of a quarterly business review is for after the meetings and measures must be put in place to ensure that the solutions proffered are implemented.
Focusing on the wrong metrics
The right metrics differ for different businesses, but generally, some metrics to look out for are; sales margin, profit margin, customer retention ratio, social media engagement for e-businesses.
The metrics should be very specific to the business but also general for comparability purposes with “benchmark” companies. If you are building a global brand that should be the focus and even if you are building a local brand excellence should still be the goal.
Inconsistent metrics and method
Small disciplines repeated with consistency every day lead to great achievements gained slowly over time. John C. Maxwell, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth
Consistency with metrics with the right metrics is just as important as choosing the right metric. and key performance indicators (KPIs) will give a true picture of the financial position of the business. Inconsistency will hide it.
Remember, what you don’t measure you can’t improve. Did you have a business review for the last quarter?