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  • Writer's pictureBrian R. Schobel, CPA

Retrospective Financial Analysis: Learning from the Past Year

Hello Financial Explorers,

As we embark on a new year, it’s the perfect time for a retrospective financial analysis. This process involves looking back at the previous year to understand what worked, what didn’t, and how you can improve your financial strategies moving forward. Let’s delve into how this reflection can be an invaluable tool for your financial growth.

The Power of Looking Back

  1. Understand Your Spending Habits: Reviewing the past year’s spending helps pinpoint areas where you can cut back or reallocate funds.

  2. Assess Investment Performance: Analyze how your investments have performed. This insight is crucial for making informed decisions in the future.

  3. Evaluate Financial Goals: Did you meet your financial goals? Understanding your successes and shortcomings sets the stage for realistic future goal-setting.

Key Steps for Retrospective Analysis

  1. Gather Financial Statements: Collect all relevant financial documents – bank statements, investment accounts, loan statements, etc.

  2. Categorize Transactions: Break down your income and expenses into categories to identify trends.

  3. Analyze Variances: Compare your budgeted amounts to actuals. Investigate significant variances to understand the why behind them.

  4. Review Goals vs. Reality: Reflect on the financial goals you had set and whether you achieved them. If not, explore the reasons and learn from them.

  5. Seek Professional Insights: Sometimes, getting an expert opinion can offer a new perspective. A financial advisor can provide valuable advice based on your analysis.

Moving Forward with Financial Wisdom Armed with the insights from your retrospective analysis, you’re better prepared to tackle the financial challenges of the new year. Remember, the goal is continuous improvement – each year offers lessons to build upon.

For personalized advice on financial analysis and planning, don’t hesitate to contact us at BRS CPA. We’re here to guide you on your financial journey.

Here’s to a year of financial growth and learning, The BRS CPA Team


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