In today’s Information Age, we expect granular numbers right away, However, often times many business’ accounting systems have limitations and can‘t deliver the kind of information that owners need, or the functionality has not been built in for the information to be tracked.
In this post, we’ll show you why you need to make the switch to the new way of tracking, accessing, and using information to give you the answers you need.
Choosing an Accounting System
This is the first place to start. If you can clean up your financial reporting system then your business will be in a much healthier place.
Rather than working with figures that are days or even weeks old, you can log into your cloud-based accounting system and examine up-to-the-minute data.
And once you have something in place, it’s important that you work with your CPA to make sure you’re looking at the whole picture. For instance, at Whittaker we take the information you want to look at in more detail and drill down even further, to the point where we can analyze by activity class or location, or regionalize sales activity.
You might think that only the very large companies can afford to access this kind of granular-level information, but we can assure you that smaller companies can too.
QuickBooks Online is an easy-to-use, web-based accounting software that allows you to see your financial data in real-time. It typically works well with other financial systems and reporting platforms.
Think of your accounting and reporting system as an ecosystem. While Quickbooks Online can be the ‘Central Hub’, you can have applications that feed the Central Hub, and other applications that the Central Hub can feed. For example, you can have bank feeds automatically populate QuickBooks Online to minimize data entry and you can link QuickBooks with electronic dashboard applications.
Using electronic dashboard and analysis platforms like Fathom with QuickBooks Online, you can gain deeper insights into the performance of your business. Fathom’s suite of analysis tools allows you to assess profitability, cash flow, growth, and many other key performance indicators (KPIs).
Just bear in mind the idea of “garbage in, garbage out”. If you’re not collecting the right data in the first place, then your analysis won’t be nearly as useful.
We’ll start by reviewing your numbers for accuracy and making the necessary changes so we can focus on the ones that really matter for your business.
Once we ensure your data is accurate and reliable, we then work with you to establish the information that you need to look at in more detail. In general, this is a six month process; three months to build out your data dashboard, and then three months to really drill down into that information in order to show you a clear picture of where your business has been, and where it can go in the next 12 months, and beyond.
Put a Dashboard Front and Center
The past is the past; it cannot be changed. However, by utilizing a dashboard view of your business, you can draw a line in the sand, put those previous years to one side, and store that information as a matter of historical record.
Your can now use the dashboard to track clean and clear data, allowing you to visualize the future direction of your business. Although there are undoubtedly some lessons to be learned from historical information, think of it as starting from scratch, recording and collating data that will provide you with a true picture of the health of your business.
Conversations Around Your Numbers
Once we have the necessary information to build out your dashboard, and six months of experience working with you under our belts, we can begin to identify trends and start asking the right questions, highlighting areas of opportunity for your business.
We can’t understate the importance of having this information at your fingertips. You have to start sometime, so why not today? Contact us to speak with one of our team members, and let’s get the ball rolling.
Tax returns, financial statements, IRS communications and similar items are vital to address and process, but they should not be the focal point. Think of these as tasks to get to the real work, which is providing you the information you need and an interchange of ideas to move you forward. The goal is to help you implement your strategies and vision. This is what we do!