Look to the future – get the most out of your reporting and forecasting

- Thursday, June 23, 2016

 TaxtMoving to a cloud accounting system for your business doesn’t just improve the basics like bookkeeping – you also get a hugely improved view of your management reporting and forecasting as well.

When you get real clarity on those key numbers – and can see further into the future – your decision-making and strategic planning is improved too.

So, how do you get this deeper view of your business forecasting? And what impact can it have for the long-term success of your business?  

 

Getting clarity on your numbers

 This theme of ‘Getting clarity on your business numbers’ was the key topic at our latest business breakfast event on 11 May at The Royal Wells Hotel.

We’ve really been enjoying these early morning sessions, and everyone in the room had a fun time, even at such an early hour. There was a real buzz of interest in the room around our key theme and the possibilities of cloud-based management information and forecasting.

We were very pleased to share how the CrunchBoards cloud solution helps provide business intelligence and forecasting. And there was certainly a lot of interest in CrunchBoards and the potential value it could bring to attendees’ businesses.

Everyone loved the visual approach that CrunchBoards takes, with clear, colourful data visualisations, charts and diagrams displayed on ‘boards’ for your chosen business area – whether it’s current sales figures or future forecasts of cash flow.

Having a graphical way to look at your management information makes a huge difference – especially if you’re allergic to pages of numbers – and the overview provoked some great conversations and real high energy in the room.

The consensus was that this real-time forecasting software had a huge amount to offer a business owner and their management team, and people were champing at the bit to see how this solution could help their own reporting and forecasting needs.

 

Forecasting your future

Forecasting is such a HUGELY important part of your management information.

It’s a crystal ball that allows you and your management team to see the future of the business – and once you’ve seen ahead in time you have the information needed to avoid potential hurdles and grab all the opportunities that are coming your way.

As someone who’s spent many years practising the martial art of Tae Kwon Do, I know the advantage of being able to anticipate your next move, or seeing where your competitor is likely to move next – it’s that sixth sense that allows you to dodge the blow and win the competition.

And there’s a real analogy to draw there with how you look ahead, plan and make decisions for the next step in your business journey.

At Naylor, we build forecasting into our business advice from day one. And it’s this forensic analysis of your numbers, and how they project forward in time, which allows us to help guide your planning help you maximise your future success – and avoid any nasty falls!

With all the tools that Xero online accounting and the latest crop of cloud reporting tools provide, we can get into the nitty gritty of your business numbers, whether it’s cash forecasting, future sales performance or your projected annual profits.

Cloud tools help us mine down into the data in an incredibly granular way. And because they integrate with Xero, all your accounting and sales numbers are pulled through effortlessly – giving us a goldmine of data to review, analyse and extrapolate forward to give you forecasting that makes a difference.

And because Xero records your actuals in such detail, we can measure your actual performance against your forecasted targets – and re-engineer your formulas to match the reality.

 

The power of asking ‘What if…?’

Where forecasting adds serious value is in scenario planning. When you and your management team are looking at prior-year planning, having the outcomes set out for several different scenarios is important.

And having a forecasting model where the variables can be changed and evolved over time gives you a way to ‘update’ your crystal ball with as many ‘What if…?’ questions as possible.

With a real variety of possible outcomes planned out, you can see all the potential pitfalls and avoid them – and that saves you time, money and stress in the long term.

For example, if growth is your core objective for the next two years, having a good forecasting model behind your growth plan helps you spot the challenges before they arrive. It armour-plates your strategic growth plan and gives you a genuine sense of confidence in the actions you take – and a confident business is a generally successful business.

 

Talk to us about your forecasting needs

If you’re looking to get the best from your business, then a cloud reporting and forecasting will help you deliver a more successful future.

At Naylor, we enjoy working with business owners who have a real vision for the future of their company. So we’d love to sit down with you and hear your growth plans, and help you to start forecasting the next stage in your business journey.

Get in touch to set up a meeting and find out how we can use forecasting to change your business.

Interested in coming to our business breakfast sessions? The next event is at 5.15pm on the 27th July, so sign up here to secure your seat (and the best biscuits)