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Financial Dashboards: Why pictures help with decision making

Unless you’re an accountant - or otherwise have a thing for numbers - it’s unlikely that financial reporting is particularly high up your list of favourite things.

Be honest: when you’re working on your business, do you tend to prioritise marketing and new campaigns over financial reporting? Or do you avoid working on your business as much as possible, preferring to work in the business?

Perhaps you don’t know what all the numbers mean in your accounting system. (And if that’s the case, rest assured that we come across that frequently, and work with a lot of clients to help them understand their numbers.)

Even if you’re OK with some number crunching, do your colleagues’ eyes glaze over when you present them with reports you’ve spent hours carefully compiling?

If you need to give your financial reporting some oomph, there are cool tools to help you with that

At Empower Business, we totally realise that not everyone loves number crunching as much as we do. Yet financial reporting is absolutely vital for your business planning. Not only to plan future campaigns and expansions, but also to make sure you don’t run out of cash to pay the bills in the meantime.

The problem is that looking at a page of numbers is daunting to many people. That’s where financial dashboard apps come in: they give you key information at a glance, and in easy-to-understand charts and graphs that make sense to not-so-numerically-minded people.

How can financial dashboard tools help your business?

Financial dashboard apps have a number of benefits:

Communicating the current situation at-a-glance

Financial dashboarding tools help you to communicate what’s currently happening in your business to the rest of the team. Whether that’s financial KPIs, sales data, cashflow forecasting, or whatever else you choose. 

You can choose to represent the data compared to previous periods, or indicate predicted future forecasts.

Can you afford that new thing?

Can your organisation afford a new computer system, or vehicles? Can you afford to take on two more staff right now? Can you afford to give yourself a pay increase? Can you afford that new lease? Can you afford your current debts – or to take on new debt? Is now the right time to purchase more stock? Is your cashflow sufficient to cover your next tax bill?

Financial dashboard apps empower you to make more effective business decisions, especially around balancing your future expenses versus your predicted income. This improves your organisation’s strategy development process.

Helps with funding applications

Is your organisation seeking funding? The reports and analysis in a financial dashboard app can help to justify your business case in a way that’s visual and easy to understand.

Scenario planning capabilities

Should you launch your new service this quarter – or wait till next quarter? What happens if your new product or service doesn’t take off like you’d hoped – or is a complete flop? Should you take on new staff now – or wait till next month? What if a big contract is paid late? What’s the impact on your business of your best-performing sales rep taking a two-month sabbatical?

Identify sales and customer

How much seasonality is in your business – and how does that impact your staffing levels? What is the average dollar sale? How long does it take to convert a quote into a sale? Who are the bad/slow payers?

Benchmarking capabilities

With a financial dashboard, you’ll be able to easily compare your performance in terms of KPIs (key performance indicators) to your historic performance, as well as to industry benchmarks.

Improved risk management

Many risks in an organisation carry a financial burden: for example, machinery breakdowns or maintenance; building repairs and maintenance; IT expenses and data risks; insurance premiums, claims, and excess payments; and so on. Being more financially savvy means you can keep funds aside to cover critical risks, to keep your organisation running smoothly and solvent.

How amazing would it be to have these kinds of insights into your business?

The really neat thing is that it’s actually very easy to get these kinds of insights, once your dashboarding tool is set up. Financial dashboard apps connect with your existing accounting software, so there’s no need to move data around, or do any data entry.

It’s simply a case of us working with you to figure out what your most meaningful KPIs are; integrating the dashboarding tool with your accounting software; selecting the right visuals; and showing you how to use it the financial dashboard app.

Next step

Contact Empower Business for a free one-hour consultation to see how a financial dashboard app could make a difference in your organisation.