Driving forward with executive dashboards


With HMRC imposing demands on business owners to comply with Real Time Information (RTI) deadlines, it’s never been more important for decision-makers to monitor accounts as they go along and have a consistent understanding of the fiscal side of their business on a day-to-day basis.

In the midst of the bustling working day, however, what tools can executives use to stay on top of this challenging task while also overviewing the broader wellbeing of their business?

A facility being used by more and more SMEs is the executive dashboard. Allowing directors to visualise the goings-on at their company as they happen, dashboards are highly graphical and easy to comprehend representations of all the matters that affect your business every day.

While being aesthetically pleasing to look at, they’re far from a gimmick; in 2009, American business research company Aberdeen Group discovered that firms using them were doubling their profit growth and tripling their revenue growth when compared to those without them.

In particular, the researchers found that dashboards stop executives from making decisions based on instinct, and give them the facts they need to come to informed choices. This, they found, helped 47% of them increase their response speed to customer issues. Of course, customer and client retention is one of the most important factors in maintaining cashflow, as it costs much more to gain new clients and customers than it does to keep existing ones.

What can it show?

Dashboards are primarily used to keep track of key performance indicators within certain sectors, with sales being a common example. Dashboards can monitor the channels from which money is coming in and going out of the company, identify your biggest pullers of business traffic, and calculate an up-to-date cost per lead. It can be particularly useful if you trade overseas, because it can point out to you which nations or geographical areas are bringing in the most money.

Dashing results

Executive dashboards can be of particular use if you use outsourced accounting solutions, so that real-time figures can not only be monitored, but investigated. Accounting services like Sollertia can take full control of your accounts or, if you prefer, can act in a similar way to a financial director, where accounts are studied, patterns are identified and strategies are discussed with company directors.

In any case, statistics clearly show that dashboards are rapidly becoming an essential tool for the hands-on business owner looking to steer their company towards profitability and growth.