Categorized | Word On the Street

On the Street: Should small biz owners share financial data with employees

To share financial information with your employees or not? Small business owners differ in their opinions.

I teach my employees how to read the income and profit and loss statement. I talk to them about how each line item relates to what they do. They are encouraged to provide feedback on how we can cut out unnecessary expenses and refine processes. By including them in the process I am building a strong team.

— Donna Reade, Car-Tech USA,


Isabel Graf

Isabel Graf

Owners should share some information so employees know how they can impact the business’ success. They need to educate their employees about the numbers and how the employees’ role in the business. I am not suggesting that the owner has to share all information—just the measures that help employees understand the importance of their jobs. Any information that you share needs to include an educational piece.

—Isabel Graf, Owner, Insights2Talent,


Diana Otwell smallSmall business owners should consider sharing selective financial information. Sharing key financial metrics can be used to shape behavior and to celebrate the success of individuals or the entire team. We hold quarterly meetings with our employees and like to be as transparent as we can with information. We also have annual incentive programs directly related to our overall financial performance.

—Diana Otwell, Spectrum Signs and Graphics

William G. Mora.smallIn today’s economy it’s imperative to share key financial information with all employees. Employees need to know the budget is and how the company is doing. In this way they would be more productive so you can hire talented people  to play for your company. They will be protecting the secret for your business’ success, their talent.

—William G. Mora, president and CEO, GM Consulting-Gamma Brands,


david mcgrawI believe you should share the theme of your financial information. In small companies, employees often feel they are taking a risk working with a small company over larger ones, so to keep them in the loop with how you are doing is smart. If handled correctly, you will inspire some to work harder and turn it around, and in good times, add to the momentum of your growth.

—David McGraw, founder, Oyova Software LLC,


Graeme Nichol smallInformation should be shared. However, most smaller businesses lack a way of presenting the numbers in a means which can make sense to everybody. Their accounting (bookkeeping) is poor and the applications have no dashboards so whatever is shared is lost on the employees!

Graeme Nichol, president, Arcturus Advisors


Donald Flynn.small.pgA small business owner should consider sharing financial information with employees concerning if payroll will be made.

—Donald J. Flynn, Don Flynn Pictures, Inc.,


Sheila collins smallI believe financial information should be topical so your team can understand your concerns and how issues could be resolved.  Include them in the process so that they feel they are part of the solution. However, I do not believe that you should reveal financial statements to your team.  In my 32 year career, I have never seen this done.  

—Sheila Collins, Collins Capital Management, Inc.


linda nottingham small.pgI never shared my company’s financial information with employees, except to demonstrate broad growth trends and how to analyze them to determine if new positions should be added. Running the company is not a group project. You can share your vision without sharing a financial report.

—Linda Nottingham, president, JAX Realty Advisors, Inc.


Editor’s note: See more comments on this topic at the Jacksonville Small Business Advantage group site on LinkedIn (


Leave a Reply