Welcome to the new year! I hope you were able to take some days to relax, and hopefully, plan for your year!
A couple weeks ago I started talking about how I function as an accounting GPS for my clients’ businesses. Today I’m going to talk about TRACKING. The GPS in your car tells you how far you’ve traveled, how far you have yet to go, and occasionally, you’ll hear that dreaded “recalculating”. How far you’ve traveled may be how your sales were last week, last month or last year. I like to look at my schedule for a particular week to see how busy I was two years ago and last year, then compare it to this year. How far you have yet to go may be how far you are from your goal for the week, month, or year. And unfortunately, that “recalculating” can be looking at a report and seeing it’s only February, and you’ve already blown your yearly budget on office supplies!
With my clients, I love showing the positive. This can be a percentage or dollar increase in sales for the same period over last year, or how close they are to reaching their goal for this year. Regrettably, every business is going to have some course corrections and “recalculating” to get to their ultimate goal. I gently advise when they’ve taken a wrong turn (I try not to be that annoying Siri voice though!), and provide advice through key performance indicators on how to make a course correction. This can be due to straying from your mission statement, adding in staff when you didn’t have the money to, neglecting the customer in some way, and customer satisfaction decreases.
This year my goal is to get all of my clients onto a regular KPI report schedule. Each client’s needs are different, so the reports will vary widely. One wants to show how they are doing compared to their fundraising goals for the year, and want a giant thermometer at the top of their report. Another is really concerned with matching their mission statement and customer satisfaction. Two others just want to monitor their receivables and payables aging and improve their days to payment or collection. Personally, I want my clients to be so thrilled with my work they continue to refer me to their friends, family and associates.
What is important to you to track this year?