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Management Dashboards 101

January 29, 2015

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What is a management dashboard?

Management dashboard is simply a fancy term for informational reports that management uses to help make decisions.

mangement dashboard

As business advisors, we understand that many small business owners don’t have a financial background. For some of you, the only time you look at financial statements is when you sit down to sign your tax return.

We are used to hearing a lot of reasons for why business owners don’t regularly pay attention to their financials. “I’m too busy running the business.” “As long as there’s cash in the bank, that’s all that matters.” “I haven’t looked at it before, so why do I need to start now?” “I don’t understand financial statements. They are too confusing.”

Reviewing your financials does not have to be complicated or time-consuming. The key is creating reports that can get you relevant information in an easy, understandable manner. These reports should be designed to give you all the information you need when making business decisions. Even if you’ve built your business solely from gut instinct, this information can help you continue to grow and improve.

When designing a dashboard, the most important thing is to make sure the information is relevant to the decisions you make. Examples include:

  • Bank balance
  • Sales and profitability by product/service line or key customers
  • Outstanding receivables
  • Jobs waiting to be invoiced
  • Outstanding payables
  • Expenses vs. budget
  • Net income

You do not need fancy software.

Most accounting programs can be configured to provide this information at the touch of a button. Spending a few minutes each day reviewing this information can make a big difference in growing your business.

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