Learning to make good business decisions
We know in the Finlay-Mulligan & Co Accountants office that making good business decisions is easier to do when you have excellent information at your fingertips – and that’s the value of having great reporting at the heart of your startup.
Any cloud accounting software worth its salt will offer you straightforward ways to run your financial reports and track your important metrics. That’s standard in the new digital world. And this level of reporting gives you real, tangible data on which to base your decision-making. But good decision-making isn’t just about the numbers.
As well as having an effective understanding of your finances, you need a sense of what’s good for the business, how decisions will impact on your growth and what your future path looks like. Here are some tips from the Finlay-Mulligan & Co Accountants team:
Run management information at least once a month
Modern cloud accounting software makes it easier than ever to run detailed, up-to-date reporting on your financial position. With the click of a button, you can run numerous in-depth reports and statements that show your past and future position. Doing this regularly gives you a wealth of financial information on which to base your decision-making and strategic thinking.
At each stage in your startup’s growth, you’ll have to make important decisions about your next step – so, it’s important to think about the financial implications of any new projects, the amount of cash in the business and the availability of new sources of funding.
Use metrics and projections to inform your decision-making
Setting up a custom dashboard to monitor the most important metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) is definitely a good idea. Most accounting apps will let you tailor your dashboard, so you can pick and choose from KPIs that are most relevant to your startup.
Set clear and democratic targets for all of your main KPIs and track them on a weekly basis, so you’re monitoring the financial heartbeat of the business. If cash flow is looking poor, look at freeing up some cash, or borrowing money to fill the gap. If sales revenues are dropping, put some renewed vigour into your sales activity, or get a new marketing campaign underway to raise awareness of your most profitable products and services.
Talk to your board and executive team when scenario-planning
You may be the sole founder of your startup, or you may be part of a bigger team of co-founders. But the reality is that no one person can make all the decisions in a busy startup. To get the best overview of a challenge, or to come up with an effective way to grab a potential opportunity, you need to talk to your team – that’s the only way to get an effective consensus.
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