Reviewing your business’ forecasts, budgets and cash flows doesn’t mean you should be shown a wall of numbers on Excel.
We’ve all seen those Excel spreadsheets. The ones with around 15 different tabs. Where you need to keep continually scrolling from right to left to find the figures you want.
The problem is, these spreadsheets are often complex and hard to understand. This is because they show you far too much information. Every number is treated equally which means that nothing stands out.
Here at Fresh Financials, we believe that you shouldn’t have to waste time searching for the numbers that matter to you.
If you are already using Xero, then don’t waste your bookkeeping
For us, management reporting and bookkeeping go hand in hand. Bookkeeping is about producing the information. Management reporting is formatting and helping you to understand that information.
You will not catch Fresh Financials using Excel for either of these.
We work exclusively with cloud-based tools. Xero is our core software and everything else works in conjunction with that. Doing this avoids duplicating work and it decreases the chance of errors that transferring data from one software to another can create.
Our clients approve of this because it improves efficiency which means they can access and review their numbers far quicker than they would if we had to manually update their actuals and comparisons each month.
Using integrated software solutions also creates a considerable amount of flexibility. Xero will house your day to day bookkeeping, but our forecasting software can help us to pull out the key bits of information that you need.
Prettier numbers mean happier people
Having your numbers illustrated with visuals can often tell you everything you need to know at a glance.
Sometimes all you need to see is an upwards graph to know instantly that sales or profits are increasing.
But pretty doesn’t have to mean superficial.
We know that you’re busy, so we design our reports so you see the headline numbers first but then you can drill down and understand the detail afterwards. This works in reverse to the traditional Excel spreadsheet that can overwhelm you with detail and hide the important trends.
One of our key considerations when choosing our reporting software was the ability for it to be interactive. We love to be able to adjust forecasts and create scenarios with you. This gives us both the ability to tweak, discuss and react to the results that our assumptions made. It’s this collaboration that can help you to really understand your numbers.
If you have the information, you can track and monitor it
Traditionally, monthly management reports consist of the profit and loss and the balance sheet.
Whilst these are still highly valuable and should not be ignored, we’ve found that they often fail to present the information in a way that can easily be understood.
Our current client favourite is the actuals versus budgets, shown on both a monthly and annual basis. However, the current profit and loss compared to previous years, is also very popular.
Pie charts are a traditional reporting staple but are fantastic at visualising the breakdown of your expenses for example. Again, we love anything that can help you to understand changes within your business instantly.
We work closely with our clients to make sure that they receive a tailored report that gives them the information they need. So, if all you need to know is your gross profit percentage, net profit percentage and revenue per employee ratio each month, that will be the main figures we show and discuss with you.
You need great bookkeeping for it to work – as you would with Excel
But don’t let this talk of software distract you from the importance of accurate and timely bookkeeping.
The old saying of, put rubbish in, get rubbish out is perfect for the relationship between bookkeeping and monthly reporting.
That is why every new client of ours undergoes a Xero Health Check, so we can access the quality of your bookkeeping prior to us taking over. We want your bookkeeping to be of a high standard from the moment you decide to rely upon it to make business decisions. And that quality doesn’t come into force from the first transaction on the date you sign up to work with us; it’s often way before that.
Call us or drop us a line to have a talk about how we can help you with your management reporting, without boring you with a wall of numbers.
Or if you’re very new to the idea of generating valuable reports from your Xero data, why not read our blog How to become financially literate: creating a budget and scenarios on Xero and Futrli.