In business, the day to day demands and lack of time can often make effective reporting across all areas of the business a challenge. These time restrictions and the lack of information can result in incorrect data or even gaps in vital business intelligence, which can be the difference between sinking or swimming.

Financial reporting is amongst the most important reporting that you will need, because without money, cashflow and a revenue stream there is no business.

So here are some top tips and tools to help you get the most from your financial reporting with minimum time and monetary investment.

Cloud Accounting Systems

Things have moved a long way when it comes to online accounting, now it is rare that you will find a business without some sort of cloud accounting package. These packages are readily available and used by more and more by businesses because of their simplicity, detailed reporting and the visibility which enables even the busiest of business professionals to have a hawk eye over their accounts.

Our recommendation would be to opt for Xero as this is the solution that offers the most holistic package. From your bills to your invoices, you are able to drill down to every detail of your finances making it easier for you to establish where you are and where you need to be in the coming months.

CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

Cashflow is one of the biggest risk factors for businesses of all sizes. Knowing your projected revenue for any given month is essential for balancing your books. A CRM (customer relationship management) system is something that is all too often overlooked by smaller businesses, however one of the best features of a  CRM system is the ability to report and project for months to come.

Where the CRM often comes into its own, is with its ability to highlight trends or recurring features of your sales pipeline, allowing you to have better foresight of the opportunities to go in pursuit of.

Depending on the needs of your business, we have three recommendations when it comes to a CRM:

  • If you are looking to keep costs to a minimum, a great solution for getting you started (and an option which is totally free!) is ZOHO. This offers everything a small business will need without any initial cost.
  • One name that has really stood the test of time is Salesforce, this system offers a fantastic selection of core features, but what really sets it apart is the ability to bolt on and build a CRM that is almost bespoke to your business.
  • Finally and a solution that has really taken off is the Hubspot CRM, it is simple and stripped back compared to the two above solutions, but offers a simple and clear reporting tool for businesses of all sizes.
Budgeting When it comes to budgeting there are a whole host of tools available to help you to manage your transactions, many of which will also link seamlessly with your CRM and your cloud accounting tools, drawing data from your forecasts and your revenue. Some of our top picks in this sector include PROPHIX and FLOAT which are especially effective because they can link directly with Xero and quickbooks. Dashboard Reporting Although the above tools are likely to give you all of the information you need when it comes to reporting for board meetings, often when it comes to saving time, having something that will easily format and interpret data for you is key. GECKOBOARD, Scoro and Grow, are all fantastic tools for this and have the ability to pull and interpret data from a range of other tools, making preparing for your board meetings simpler than ever.

Spreadsheets, Spreadsheets, Spreadsheets.

For so many businesses, spreadsheets are still at the core of financial reporting, and why wouldn’t they be? If you have mastered the art of creating a killer spreadsheet, you can programme it to present all of the information you need in a simple format. Where spreadsheets can lack in sophistication over many of the above solutions is in their ability to automate and report in a clear way, but we businesses still love a spreadsheet!

However you decide to manage your financial reporting, our recommendation is to get a clear process and system in place as early as possible, it really will save you time and money. If you need help, advice, guidance or even someone to set up your financial reporting, contact our expert team today to get started.

Call 01392 495483 or email info@finance-department.co.uk