22 Nov Reviewing Reports
Commit to Reviewing Two Reports Weekly
In each business there are several things that, if done well, could make a big difference in the profitability and cash flow. For some this may be improving the inventory turn over rate, for others it is improving customer service by reducing time customers are left on hold, for others it is increasing visibility through promotion and public relations activities. Paul Dunn of Results Accountants once said something along the lines of: If your product and service is awesome you will make so much money that you’ll have to buy more bags to carry it all to the bank. That is very true. Clients and customers are willing to pay for great, personal service. It is important that each business determine what those factors, if done well, would improve the business, then get creative on ways to track and manage them. The results may be financial in nature and come from the accounting software, or it may be tracked off-line if more appropriate.
The most important fact is to try something and see what a difference it makes then move forward from there. How much will sales increase if additional purchase suggestions are offered at the time of the sale (i.e. would you like fries and a coke with that burger?) How much more do people buy if they are offered suggestions of other services you provide (i.e. your tax return is done, would you like to invest an hour to learn more about how you can pro-actively reduce your taxes next year?) If the sales people are making a lot of calls but the close ratio is low, what training or change in approach can help them to make more sales next week (i.e. test, test, test . . . If there are not different things to try, how will you know what the success formula for the business is?)
Every business is different so what works for one will not necessarily work for another. A different way to think of it is, if only two piece of information was known about the business, what could be determined about the success of the business as a whole? For most businesses there are more than two and not more than twelve. The key here is to start with those that make the biggest impact and then add more once the procedures are in place.
In QuickBooks there are lots of standard reports that can be used, or modified to create custom reports based on the business needs. Some examples to get started:
1. Profit & Loss Previous Year Comparison to see how the business is doing this year as compared to last
2. Sales reports that can be generated by day or by week.
3. Sales report by customer that show who is buying the most.
4. Gross Margin report by item for tracking which items are most profitable.
5. Graphs for sales or income and expenses.