Not everyone has the ability to look at a list of numbers or a spreadsheet and be able to interpret them. With that in mind, we can use an award winning forecasting and reporting tool called Spotlight to help clients interpret their business numbers. Spotlight links to Xero or Quickbooks, and draws the detail from your system. It can also be extremely powerful aid to strategic planning, goal-setting, budgeting and forecasting.
What can you include in the reports?
When used for reporting, the pack we produce can include financial and non-financial KPIs as well as trends in a graphical way. They are particularly useful where a budget has been set-up and entered into your bookkeeping system as you can see performance so far against it. You can also see how the year will look with year to date actual numbers and the forecast numbers thereafter.
The content of the reporting pack can be extremely flexible, but the structure remains similar. We usually include a selection of the following:
- A summary page, including highlights over the period.
- Observations drawn from the reporting process.
- Progress towards specified goals.
- Profit and Loss Analysis – including graphs showing related trends and performance against previous periods.
- Balance Sheet Analysis – including graphs showing related trends and performance against previous periods.
- Cashflow statement and movements analysis – where has the cash been used within the business?
- Progress against KPIs
The following are some example reports.
How do these differ to the Xero reports?
The reporting in Xero is really helpful, but the Spotlight reports take them further, and can come with our explanations and suggestions too! They are also highly customisable, so they can be designed to show you the key numbers that you want to track to achieve your goals.
How do I get the Spotlight reports?
We’ll have an initial conversation to identify the most helpful reports for you. There may be some tweaks needed to your current bookkeeping process to ensure the required data is available and accessible at the right times. We’d help your bookkeeper make any changes necessary.
From there, we’ll design your custom pack, and make any adjustments that may be needed to the original brief. Then it’s just a case of producing the reports at the agreed frequency, which can be monthly, quarterly or six monthly.
Some clients are happy to just have the reports sent out to them each month while others like to talk them through to ensure their interpretation is sensible. Others like to add them to the monthly management account discussions that we have with them as part of our OutsourcedFD service.
How we deliver the reports is as flexible as their content! It’s important to remember that getting them is only the start of the process though. You need to review them carefully and make changes along the way to get the full value.
What do Spotlight reports cost?
As long as the data is available in your system, the preparation of the reports is straightforward after the initial set-up. As a result, our fees start at £200+VAT for each reporting round, whether monthly, quarterly etc, with a £450+VAT set-up fee. Costs increase depending on the presentation method.
Do I have to be an accounts client to get Spotlight reports?
No – this can be a standalone service! If you’re entirely happy with your current accountant, leave your accounts and tax return with them. We’ll happily provide Spotlight reports for you to help move your business forward. We would need access to your bookkeeping system but there is no need to disturb any existing relationship.
If you’d like to know more about Spotlight reports and how they can help you move your business forwards, please get in touch.