As a business owner, a great deal of your time will be spent answering questions. How is your business doing? Do you know what your profit margins were last month? Do you have any big payments coming up in the next few weeks? Will you have the cash to pay? What happens to your cash flow if a client misses a payment? That’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Now to the question in our title. If you don’t have the answers to those questions above, or you don’t know where to look for them, you probably do need access to management reports and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
You might not need to see them every single month – quarterly ought to be enough – but knowing more than simply how much money is in your business bank account is vital when it comes to ensuring your finances are in good shape.
In this short blog post, we’re going to take you through just some of the software we recommend when creating management reports and KPIs for our clients. But first…
Why are KPIs so important?
Keeping track of Key Performance Indicators can be incredibly useful when it comes to both short and long-term decision making. By monitoring your KPIs, you’ll have an understanding of what’s actually driving the success of your business, rather than a gut feeling.
With KPIs, you can:
- Measure important targets and track vital business information;
- Foster an environment geared towards learning and discovery;
- Save time and save money by identifying inefficient processes;
- Boost morale and encourage accountability.
Knowing which KPIs to track
In order to determine which KPIs you need to monitor, you first need to define what success looks like, and identify the metrics that underpin that success. Many business owners get caught up in trying to track everything, but in reality, you only need to measure that which relates to your most important goals and objectives.
The beauty of KPIs is that when you measure something, you start to manage it too. For example, if you include waste as a KPI, be it time or resource, you can start making positive changes and holding your employees accountable. Contrast that with not tracking waste, and your business could be suffering from inefficient processes and shrinkage, both of which could eat into your profit margin without you knowing.
How we track KPIs and deliver management reporting
At Ten Forward, we have a great deal of experience in setting up and overseeing financial reporting software. Here we take a look at some of our top reporting software recommendations when it comes to tracking important KPIs:
Fathom, which is trusted by over 10,000 businesses and advisors, is an easy to use software that helps you gain deeper insights into how your company is performing. It syncs with Xero, QuickBooks Online and MYOB, and it’s extremely accessible. It prides itself on being tailored for accountants and advisors who strive to deliver better management reporting services.
You can choose from over 50 KPIs and track performance against budgets and targets, and even add your own KPIs so that it’s geared towards your unique circumstances. With Fathom, you can set up alerts for companies and clients to monitor when targets are missed or exceeded.
Futrli offers a wide range of options, such as forecasts, scenario planning and alerts. It seamlessly syncs with Xero, making it easier and quicker to set up, as well as providing access to client details. Once it is synced with Xero, it automatically presents new transactions, KPI dashboards, and all of the alerts are kept up to date daily.
You can upload budgets, and use historical business trends to generate projections for up to ten years. You can also combine actual and forecast data to monitor business performance vs budget on live dashboards that can be shared with both clients and colleagues.
Futrli is available online, and also on tablets and smartphones, increasing efficiency and accessibility. The software is ever-evolving and at the forefront of current trends.
Reviews of the Futrli software include praise of the power of the software and its efficiency in time-saving, with one person saying that they were able to review their entire company’s performance in just 30 minutes, instead of the eight hours it had taken previously!
Spotlight Reporting provides simple and easily accessible information. It is available to sync with Xero, as well as WorkFlowMax and Google. It updates charts and other information when relevant dates and data is admitted and is customisable at any time.
Regarding Cash Flow Forecasting, you are able to create a profit and loss, balance sheet and cash flow forecast for up to five years. This can help clients to better understand their cash flow needs and plan for the future.
Spotlight Reporting also runs live training webinars at different levels, as well as offering on-demand content. What makes this software unique is that Super VCFO Partners have access to a ‘Partner Success Centre’, full of content and insights from industry thought leaders, tips, and case studies.
Spotlight has received many 5-star reviews applauding the ease of use, the availability of multi-currency for international clients, and customisable graphs.
Start tracking your KPIs today
Here are a few more questions for you to answer as a business owner: Do you want to gain a competitive advantage by running a leaner, more efficient business? Do you want to save time and save money, both short-term and long-term? Are you ready to monitor your most important metrics using top class reporting software?
If the answer’s “yes”, then we can help. Simply fill in our contact form or call us on 0208 446 6112 to get started.