Dashboards Provide a Unifying Look at Your Financial Health
I hear the following comments nearly every week as I meet with new companies that are facing common business challenges.
We seem to be working harder each month. My team is very dedicated to our business, so the extra hours each month are not a big problem. Our company team truly believes in what they are doing and wants the company to be successful. However, our biggest problem is with reporting. Everyone creates reporting that will be exactly what the company needs. However, each report is from “their view.” For instance, the operations team gives data about utilization or project performance. That information might be different than what accounting needs, which is more focused on billing and operational performance tied into costs and matching costs to the corresponding revenues.
We get into team meetings and the numbers seem to be different. Accounting is always based on where we were three weeks ago. Operations rely heavily on Excel, so they can input up-to-date information to make real-time decisions. Sales and Marketing rely on the “rainmakers” and don’t forecast as they should. If you are wondering how your business is doing, it’s no wonder we simply rely on bank balances, how busy the team is and our own “gut feel” to really know how the business is doing. We love this business, so we continue forward, but isn’t there a part of you that wonders if this is the best it ever gets when it comes to quality, financial information and running the business?
At One Vision, it always amazes me when our team focuses on an individual problem or issue, how quickly that issue gets addressed. This is why I believe companywide dashboards are truly the key. If we work from the same information, then Sales knows their goals and how they’re performing, which drives the operational backlog – the information needed for accounting to best manage the cash flow of the business.
We can easily see a picture of this in a football setting. A quarterback trying to pass to a receiver in football has a tough time if the linemen decide they are going to take a couple of plays off. However, most football teams are on the same page, because there are common ways to get information. The scoreboard is the ultimate decision-making tool that ties offense, defense, and special teams together. What is it then that ties Marketing/Sales to Operations to Accounting? Dashboards that drive making decisions.
One dashboard with key information will unite your team; identify if everyone is moving in the same direction; truly let you know how your business is doing, and allow you to make changes the minute they are needed:
- Cash Availability
- Performance against plan
Can you imagine the football team that is working to win the game and Offense, Defense, and Special teams all have a different score for the Home and Visiting team? That is what businesses do every day. On the other hand, visible, quick-to-read dashboards, all based on the same information, are the key to conquering this problem. Feel free to call me to discuss how you can get on the same scorecard and start winning more games today with One Vision and Sage Intacct.
Kreg Decker, Managing Partner