Keeping your business on track financially is essential if you are to be successful and continue to grow. To do this, it helps to know where you are and how close to your goals you are. Having all your information in one, easily accessible place assists with this, and makes elements such as financial planning, raising capital, assessing cash flow, and filing tax returns less of a time-consuming and stressful activity. Installing and running software that shows all of your business financials at a click of a button can provide the solution you need. Such software, which also includes your Key Performance Indicators, in a clear format, such as a KPI Dashboard will further support your business. With that being said, continue reading to discover more about using software that will give you all of your business in one snapshot.
Key Elements Of Your Financial Dashboard
There are a wide range of software packages available on the market and choosing between them can be difficult if you are not sure what you are looking for. The first thing you need to consider is the ease of use. There is little point in choosing a package that you cannot understand, or that does not come with support to help you get started.
As an SMB, you need to be able to hit the ground running and avoid anything that is too time-consuming or takes you away from your other key duties. The financial dashboard of your software should be clearly laid out and customisable to your business, whether this is in terms of choosing your own KPIs on your KPI dashboard, or allowing you to import financials from the accounting software that you prefer.
In addition, you should be able to, at a glance, see your budgeting and forecasting information, cashflow statements, and, of course, the all-important financial KPIs. If your business has separate departments dealing with different aspects of your financials, then it is probably useful to consider a software package that enables you to create different financial dashboards for each of these departments. The benefit of having these as part of one package is that you can view the selection you need without transferring data or sifting through mounds of paper. Of course, you still need archive storage as a back up to ensure all of your data is protected and backed up.
The Purpose Of Your Business Dashboard
Another element of your business software needs to be the business dashboard. This element aids in making sense of the information that is presented in financials in relation to your business as a whole. It is great to know your sales have improved, but unless you can see this in the context of costs and overall profit it doesn’t mean very much at all. This area allows you to take snapshots of what is happening in your business at any one time and to compare that data against your KPIs, both financial and non-financial. In turn, this information can be used to create reports or to give an informal understanding of whether your business is on the right track.
The best business dashboard is the ideal tool for sharing information with banks, investors, managers and accountants, particularly when a full annual or semi-annual report is not required. You need software that enables you to tailor the snapshots both in terms of information and timing. After all, the details you want to share with your shop floor manager and the sales manager will be different, and by only sharing the information they require, you aid them in focusing more closely on their specific role.
How Reporting Software Can Streamline Your Business
Cloud-based, or multiple user software, that includes a KPI dashboard, minimises the work that needs to be done by one individual. It means that each department can enter their own figures, and keep track of their own financials. However, there will be times when all of this information needs to be brought together, collated and presented in a holistic and easily understandable way. Whether this is for your investors, the bank, or for your accountant in time for your tax return, the information needs to be there. If you are not using the right online reporting software then the simple act of gathering this information, let alone collating and presenting it, can be time-consuming and stressful.
In addition, it is likely to take people away from their normal roles and tasks, thus having a financial impact on your business. Reporting software takes away this problem in that it can collate the information entered by the different departments and present it in a clear, readable format that is aimed at the specific audience. You and your staff are free to continue your normal tasks while you have everything you need at the touch of a button.
Sourcing The Business Advice You Need
Whether you have been in business for a matter of months or years, business advice is not something you should ever ignore or turn down. Of course, not all advice is equal, and the best way to source the advice and support that your business needs is to have as much pertinent information about your business as possible. If you are able to show where your business is, what you are doing and where you want your business to be, then the advice you receive is more likely to be useful and focused on your needs. This begins with your focused financial and non-financial KPIs, your income and outgoings and, of course, your business plan. Within this, you also need to be able to track your cash flow and performance. These details, shown as simple, readable graphs, highlight where potential problems and opportunities for increasing profits lay. Using this information, you can source advice, and track the effects of any changes you make based on this advice. It also allows you to create reports for clients to show improvements, or areas where you can improve working relations and cost-effectiveness.