Finding the treasure inside financial reporting

March 5, 2019 by
Finding treasure in financial reporting

Wandering Cooks has come close to financial catastrophe more than once. This is not an unusual experience for start ups. Thankfully, we’re doing well now. That’s no accident. And it’s the reason that one of my favourite tasks is now financial reporting and analysis. Wandering Cooks would no longer exist if I hadn’t made best friends with many many spreadsheets. If I hadn’t developed the financial systems I have in place now, I would have gone bankrupt or given up. And then lost our house.

So when I hear other food business owners saying I’m no good at numbers or I’ve got an accountant to do that stuff for me, I feel nervous. Firstly, you don’t have to understand complex formulas to do this work. And secondly, the reports your accountant sends at the end of the month – do you even look at them? I’ll admit it… I don’t! When data comes straight from a bookkeeping software, it’s often turgid and angry. Translating it into your own financial system allows you to interrogate it until it’s a little less gutter mouth.

Once the data’s making sense, patterns can be identified and formulas created. The whole process is less like a maths exam and more like a carefully crafted treasure hunt. And the treasure? A truly viable, adaptable food business.

How does this come about from a bit of Excel work? Because huge amounts of rich information will now be at your disposal. Indeed, I’m happy to say that success will become a fait accompli rather than a perpetually escaping dream.


That said, you may need to rethink what shape success will take. But if you’re willing for it to be moulded by this work, lateral thinking will be the gift that your new found financial literacy will bring to you. And there will be no failure, only gold.

Wandering Cooks still exists, is thriving even, and in a form we couldn’t have dreamt up without this work. If you’re up for this journey, too, please email me. I’m beginning to hatch a way to help.

Stay up to date on the food community

Would you like to receive information straight to your inbox about food business, news and other Wandering Cooks events? If so, sign up and we’ll make sure to keep you in the loop.