When I try to simply explain what we do, I tend to go way past the “30 second elevator speech”. It can be technical and complex to talk about software and reporting capabilities and how to analyze data. When I say CFO services, people start to understand that we help businesses make decisions. But to get to the point where we can help make decisions, we need information. Getting information brings us back to the systems that collect the data and the reporting tools that help us analyze the data.
In large companies (where I gained most of my systems experience), the CFO and the Financial Planning and Analysis Organization typically own and manage the technologies that enable financial analysis. They know how they need to look at their business, so they build and manage the systems to enable it.
Financial analysis or business analysis to me will always be “beyond financial statements”. Maybe it starts there, but in order to understand the activities of the business and how they affect the results, we must drill down into the details of product performance, customer performance, etc.
In large organizations, we take the general ledger, bring it into a datawarehouse, and then implement tools to report on it in Excel or via web based dashboards. When we get it into Excel, we want the ability to slice and dice the information however we need in order to perform the analysis of the moment. We push dashboards out to the organization that provide charts and graphs specific to a manager’s responsibility. That manager can then drill down to understand the results displayed.
The small to mid-size business market is finally seeing some of these capabilities. A business owner may not be able to fully understand how the pieces fit together, but the approach taken in large companies is no different than bringing QuickBooks data into Excel via a technology like QQube or uploading it into a dashboard tool like Corelytics. These tools compile the information in a way that helps a business owner or manager make decisions. They take analysis “beyond financial statements” and report results that provide insight that would be otherwise unavailable.
So, what do we do? We implement the systems that enable good reporting and analysis. Then, we help business owners and managers make decisions. “Systems and CFO Services”, let’s see if I can get that to resonate.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for information or a demonstration of QQube and Corelytics.