Generally, accountants present regular financial statements that we’re all familiar with, but the concepts can be applied to all other types of financial information.
This might include financial information used to supplement or enhance the presentation of financial data such as:
- Commentary on financial statements
- Management reports
- Financial summaries
- Non-financial data i.e. your entity's operations, sales activities, production metrics, etc.
The skill is not about providing advice on financial standards or compiling financial statements but concentrating on practical suggestions that you can use when standing before your audience.
I’m sure as you are reading this you can think of times that you knew you weren’t getting your point across. So what's the best way to present financial information to a range of stakeholders?
8 Tips for Presenting Financial Information
We have identified 8 key tips that you can use to present financial information to an audience which are:
1) Think about the numbers
You need to make the transition between financial statement preparer to financial statement presenter. So think about the numbers from the perspective of others in order to make your points clear.
2) Formulate your message
Think about the message you are looking to convey and try and understand what the focus of your audience will be.
3) Avoid jargon
When designing reports, take the organisation’s most meaningful measures into account and convey them in a simple way that will be understandable across departments and skills.
4) Use visual software
People tend to respond well to visuals in presentation as it makes information easier to take in. Use software such as Excel, Tableau and Powerpoint to create simple visuals that engage and inform.
5) Read your audience
Try and understand the different groups, are they internal or external stakeholders, or a mixture of both.
6) Match content with expertise
What you are presenting might be complex but the audience may also be well versed in the topic. Ensure your presentation technical is matching the expertise of the audience.
7) Prepare for the presentation
Look at the business form a businessperson’s perspective and not necessarily and accountant’s perspective.
8) Practice presentation delivery
Prepare, practice and put the content in a logical order. Make sure to ask your audience regularly for questions and recap the key points.
Presentations should generally be kept short, to the point and simple so the main message is communicated and understood.
The crucial part about presenting financial information is that it is understood by everyone it is directed at.
If you want to know more about how to present financial information we have a CPD course available worth 2 units that you can complete online.
Once you complete it, we will send you a certificate you can download and share across your networks.
Do you want to check out the courses and 21-unit tracks first? Register now to try one of our free courses 'Effective Appraisals'.