In April we previewed our Business Performance Dashboard at Xerocon New Zealand – and were rapt by the reception it received. As the official release nears, we thought we’d provide some guidance as to how accountants and bookkeepers can get ready.
So what is the Business Performance Dashboard?
The Business Performance Dashboard provides a view of a business’s performance across a wide range of standard business metrics. You and your clients can view simple graphs of each metric. This will help to identify important trends that would otherwise be difficult and time consuming to derive.
You will be able to click on any metric to find out more information – including how each has been calculated and where the data comes from.
With these metrics available, there are great opportunities to evolve your relationships with your clients. Think of the Business Performance Dashboard as a starting point for conversations with them. Talk to them about which numbers make the most sense to track. Help clients understand their meaning, and create a plan to address any specific performance issues.
You might also decide to establish a new advisory or business monitoring service. Depending on the goals of your practice, there could be opportunities to meet more regularly with your clients. You could discuss these metrics in more detail, set goals, and broaden the set of advisory services that you provide.
Enabling more metrics
In some regions (currently New Zealand and Australia), you will see additional metrics. These metrics require Xero to know more about how your clients have coded their accounts. They will rely on a feature called Report Codes (coming to other regions later this year). For example:
Note, these metrics will not be visible to your clients immediately. First you (or any staff member of your practice) needs to confirm a client’s chart has been correctly and consistently mapped to Xero’s Report Codes. You can get ready for these additional metrics at any time by completing the mappings for each of your clients. Some handy hints for doing this quickly can be found in the Xero Help Center.
If you have access to Report Codes and don’t use them yet, now is an ideal time to start. It give you and your clients access to more performance metrics. Not only that, but you can also take full advantage of practice reporting for all your management and annual reporting.
We’ll be listening to feedback once we release and have plenty of ideas ourselves about where this could lead us. Adding new metrics, setting thresholds and alerts, and the grand prize of benchmarking against similar businesses are all in the works. We look forward to hearing what you think – and continuing to help you help your clients be amazing.