Members Only

Best Practices: Custom Financial Reports

One of the most-discussed topics among members is how they track, analyze, and  evaluate their businesses. Members all have differing business models, and each has a different perspective on what they’ve found important to track. Four members shared some of the whys behind their reports, so that others members could adopt and adapt the ideas that work best for their practice. 

Margery Wedderburn: I rely on my pipeline spreadsheet. It shows me the big picture of projects, client activity and employee time when I get lost in day-to-day details. I use this for marketing purposes because it helps project slow months. And it also helps me better plan for both employee vacations or when we might need extra staffing.

I like the control of a spreadsheet like this—it’s easy to fill in, easy to add new projects/categories as needed, and I get loads of information out of it.

Susan Brunstrum:

My business manager tracks 12-15 different reports on a monthly basis and provides me with a weekly recap, but once a month we sit down with three specific reports.

YTD Financial Goals: This is a quick snapshot as it gives us a current look at revenue and expenses and let’s us see immediately where we stand vs. projections.

Monthly Expense Tracking: This is a detailed look at admin expenses, helping us keep track of what could seem like minor expenses (parking, Uber, supplies, etc.) to make sure we’re not getting too far out of bounds. It also help us see if we can afford unexpected opportunities (a great ad placement, a unique marketing offer)because we can see at a glance if or how we might make it work.

Monthly Employee Hourly Tracking: A quick progress check of billable hours per employees, used to see how much time per month is billable, and to loosely estimate billable hours for the future.

These reports were built in Excel to self-populate, based on our monthly balance sheet, income statement and other reports.

Debbie Baxter:
I invested my time in developing detailed time-billing codes for my employees. This includes different categories for time spent prior to client presentations, different resourcing needs, categories for specification and organizational tasks, four different codes for installation processes, and more.

This allows me to see what aspects of a project are taking up too much time; what we might be underbilling; how much time really goes into pre-planning or installations, or other aspects of a job that I thought we were capturing, but were really missing pieces. It has helped tremendously when analyzing billable vs. non-billable time.

Corinne Brown:

I receive a weekly report from my CPA that includes a cash statement summary of my three accounts—a B of A checking account which is used for weekly bill payments; a B of A operating account which is masked; and a Cal First savings account, which is where large sums are kept and there’s a two-step authentication in place before any funds can be moved.

Then I use two different reports learned from David Shepard, Cash Flow Projections, which takes into account the cash report from above, and then includes monies due in, monies due out, client deposits, future AR, future AP, and taxes. When this is coupled with the Current Ratio Report learned from David Shepard, I can know where I am financially now, but more importantly, project out for the future.

For more details on these reports, I suggest you get in touch with David directly.