What would it be like to watch a game without a scorecard?
You’ve managed to get your hands on front-row tickets, and as a result you now have the best possible view of the field. You can see everything that’s going on in the game, or so you think. But every five minutes or so, you find yourself turning to the next person and shouting “What’s the score?” over the noise. Keeping track of the score and enjoying the game become two competing activities. Surely this is not the best use of those front-row tickets?
The same goes for your business. If you own one, very often you will find yourself wondering “How is my business doing?” You can check the bank balance, find out how much goods you have in stock and get a list of all the assets. You can work out how much you owe to your creditors and how much you are owed by debtors. But all these bits of information present a very disorganized view that doesn’t really answer your question. What you need is a “scorecard” for your business, a quick summary that presents information in a way that makes sense. That is exactly what the QuickBooks Online Report Dashboard aims to do.
Quickbooks Online Report Dashboard
The Report Dashboard first shows a graphical summary of the Profit & Loss, comprised of Income and Expenses.You have an accessible box that allows you to Search reports instead of clicking through the report groups. Then itbreaks the reports into four tabs:
The Report Dashboard first shows a graphical summary of the Profit & Loss, comprised of Income and Expenses.You have an accessible box that allows you to Search reports instead of clicking through the report groups. Then it breaks the reports into four tabs:
- Recommended – The most common reports business owners use are grouped together in the Recommended Reports section. They include: Profit & Loss, Balance Sheet, Company Snapshot, A/R Aging Summary, Expenses by Vendor Summary, A/P Aging Summary. Each of these reports is in their respective report groups as well, but having them in one place enables faster access.
- Frequently Run – As the name suggests, this section will remember reports that you access most frequently. It allows you to quickly view regular reports and will change over time depending on which one you access most often.
- My Custom Reports – This is the list of reports you have specifically asked QuickBooks to Save Customization for. You can run the reports, distribute them, or edit their settings in this section.
- All Reports – This is where you can access every preset report inside of QuickBooks. The reports are grouped into nine categories based on the purpose of the report.
Why Use the Dashboard?
This scorecard allows you do a lot more than quickly check on the progress of your business. Because of the way that the Dashboard displays information, as a QuickBooks client you gain a better understanding of your business, and this leads to better and more informed decision-making. There are four key ways in which this is achieved.
- Up-to-date information. Since the system is fully computerized, any new piece of information entered shows up instantly in the financial metrics. This allows you to see how certain events affect your business almost in real time.
- Relational and Graphical Presentations. The dashboard shows how various streams of data are interconnected and presents information in a visual manner, making it easier for you to interpret it. Understanding graphs and bar charts takes a lot less effort than delving into a long list of numbers.
- History and Projections. A concise history of your business operations is a must-have for future planning. With data displayed in a convenient visual form, as done by the dashboard, it is easy to spot past trends. This knowledge can be combined with knowledge of the present situation to predict possible future trends. These projections are enormously important for proper planning.
- Drill Down to Underlying Data. Bookkeeping involves keeping detailed records, but the importance of each piece of data may not be entirely obvious from just looking at figures. With sophisticated tools of financial analysis, the dashboard can reveal hidden trends that you may have missed at first sight.
The list goes on. Financial analysis tools improve your decisions and allow you to devote more time and energy to your business instead of wasting time on disorganized lists of figures. Generally, surprises aren’t a good thing in the world of business, and financial metrics help you avoid them by telling you what’s really going on. Also, better decisions allow you to utilize resources in the most effective manner, enabling you to save money, among other things.
No Special Knowledge Needed
All the information presented by financial metrics may seem a little daunting to someone with no knowledge of accounting. You may be worried about how much useful information you could possibly glean off the dashboard. But the good news is that you don’t have to be an accountant to use financial metrics. After ensuring that your records are accurate and your systems are working correctly, you are good to go!