Finance & Accounting

Helping Businesses Thrive and Grow

The Balance Sheet gives a snapshot of the present position of the business by showing what is owned in the way of assets, what is owed in liabilities, the owner’s investment in the business, retained earnings, and current period profits or losses.  Year-end Balance Sheets are often compared to previous years to analyze trends.  Current assets should well exceed current liabilities or bills might not get paid on time.  Bankers will be interested in coverage ratios and equity.

The Income Statement, sometimes referred to as the Profit & Loss Statement, looks at the past revenue and expenses. The difference is often stated as a profit or loss.  The past period might be a month, a quarter, or a year.  Reports can be prepared to compare the current period to a previous one.  Analyzing changes, trends, and problems will improve decision making.  For example, if the cost of rent is going up, will prices have to be raised or can other costs be reduced? Break-even analysis will examine how much has to be sold at what prices in order to pay all expenses.


Better decisions are based on better information.  Analyzing, understanding, and using reliable and timely accounting reports in the decision making process will improve the business.  Decisions need to be made about pricing, purchases, borrowing, expanding, selling, negotiations, hiring, and much more.

For most business owners and managers, regardless of wealth, financial analysis is of top importance for decision making.  Accounting reports are the key to this analysis.

The North Idaho Small Business Development Center offer workshops to help small business owners improve financial analysis skills and offer consulting to help analyze the feasibility of a business plan.


Financial Analysis can become a complicated topic and the purpose here is not to teach accounting.  Most small businesses hire accounting professionals to prepare taxes and provide advice.  Certified Public Accountants have the education and credentials needed by many small businesses.

Online Resources

Small Business Loans

The SBA offers several loan and grant programs for small businesses.

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Annual Credit Report

Information in your credit report is used to evaluate your applications for lines of credit. 

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Accounting Coach

Online resources so help you learn accounting for free.  

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Quickbooks Accounting Software

We don’t expect you to be an accounting expert. QuickBooks helps keep everything organized.

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Small business accounting and online invoicing software.

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Tax Information

View our tax resource page to find online resources to help you. 

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Cash Versus Accrual Accounting – Khan Academy

Just keeping track of cash that goes in and out of a business doesn’t always reflect what’s going on. This tutorial compares cash and accrual accounting. This is very valuable if you ever plan on starting or investing in any type of business.

Three Core Financial Statements- Khan Academy

Corporations use three financial statements to report what’s going on: balance sheets, cash flow statements and income statements. They can be derived from each other and each give a valuable lens on the operations and condition of a business. After you know the basics of accrual accounting (available in another tutorial), this tutorial will give you tools you need to responsibly understand any business.

Depreciation and Amortization – Khan Academy 

How do you account for things that get “used up” or a cost that should be spread over time. This tutorial has your answer. Depreciation and amortization might sound fancy, but you’ll hopefully find them to be quite understandable.