Better financial reporting


#1

Long post - apologies.

Summary;
Current financial reporting is not the greatest, can be improved (refer to suggestions below). I am happy to help in whatever way I can - whether it’s creating example financial statements or figuring out ways to increase the complexity of financial reporting.

At present the financial reporting…isn’t really reporting at all. The best information one can get hold of is the net cash inflow/outflow over a selected period of time, whereas the cash budget is updated on an hourly basis and isn’t really a budget at all, just a tracker of cash flow. The net cash flow wouldn’t be that bad if it was possible to break it down to be able to identify what was affecting it. At the moment all one sees is - am I making cash? Yes? Great! Neither is this type of reporting anything close to management accounting.

Now normally games tend to steer away from the difference between cash flows and accruals (god forbid having to explain accruals to most of the gaming population), not to mention the difference between balance sheet and income statement items (the number of times I’ve seen purchases of buildings/other capital items affecting profit and loss in most games are just too painful to mention).

But for this to be a proper tycoon title, I cannot help but believe that believable, effective and realistic financial reporting would be a key tool for players to use to manage the airport (after all, financial reporting is what just about every person making financial decisions uses.

Sooo two suggestions

  1. Introduce the ability to generate historical financial reports. These can just be cash flows for the moment, but at least allow us to see what we’ve been spending the money on? Salaries, fuel, taxes and how we have been generating money. That will be easy. This reporting can further be broken down based on airline/shops (which airlines are generating the most in revenue and/or costing the most to service).

  2. Consider splitting out capital expenditure from operational earnings to better reflect the operational performance of the airport. Then, recycle the capital expenditure through operations by way of amortisation/depreciation.

Some good examples
Two games which have relatively decent financial reporting are Railroad Tycoon 3 (which did a pretty good job of replicating believable and real world financial statements) and GearCity. Gearcity’s reporting is not the greatest, but it does allow one to get a sense of what’s been going on inside the entity.


#2

I would argue against this in the reporting. This is a “financial” impact and should only affect the taxes. Why, would I say that, well because people not used with financial reporting will be confused why the cash on hand does not match the reporting. So I would keep the current cash flow perspective, just to make it easier, however I would like to see the amortization used in the tax model which currently is so simplistic it brakes the starting economy.