A financial dashboard is a management tool that helps track all your relevant finance KPIs, allows for effective cash management, and enables you to track expenses, sales and profits in detail to meet and outperform the financial objectives of a department or company.
More than ever before, finance professionals and departments are under intense pressure to deliver fast insights, clear and reliable financial reports while driving the company’s performance higher. By using financial dashboards, a business can swiftly comprehend and measure all the data accurately, and in real time. They enable finance experts to validate figures faster and drill into financial details as much as needed, increasing productivity and, ultimately, providing a stable financial environment. Data at your fingertips, rich analysis options from one point of access, and financial KPIs with integrated intelligent alarms that immediately spot anomalies – all create limitless options and remove tedious traditional means of data analysis and reporting. With the help of modern financial business intelligence, you have the opportunity to unify all your financial data and generate immediate actionable insights.
Here we present 7 professional financial dashboards created for various roles and levels within the finance industry or department:
Cash Management Dashboard - Financial KPI Dashboard - Profit and Loss Dashboard - CFO Dashboard - Actual vs Forecast Dashboard - Financial Performance Dashboard - Operating Expenses Dashboard
This financial dashboard template provides an overview of your liquidity and current cash flow situation while providing a strong indication of how you can improve these metrics by optimizing processes handling accounts payable and accounts receivable. In detail, it gives you a quick overview of the quick ratio, current ratio, cash balance, and your outstanding debts.
At first, the cash management dashboard examines your current and quick ratios. The current ratio is a finance metric that indicates the liquidity of a business and its ability to pay short-term liabilities (debt and payables) with its short-term assets (cash, inventory, receivables). This KPI is simply the relationship between current liabilities and current assets and demonstrates the flexibility your enterprise has in immediately using the money for acquisitions or to pay off debts. You should always aim to have a ratio higher than 1:1 to ensure that you can pay your obligations at any time. This financial dashboard allows to immediately ensure that your business has the financial fluidity it needs to survive and thrive.
The quick ratio, also referred to as an acid test ratio, gives a more conservative view of the liquidity situation and does not include inventory and other less liquid assets as part of the short-term assets to meet the liabilities. If your current assets include a lot of inventory, your acid test ratio will be much lower than your current ratio. Similar to the current ratio, a quick ratio greater than 1 indicates that your business can pay the current liabilities with the most liquid assets. Both ratios in this financial dashboard template are greatly influenced by your accounts payable and accounts receivable turnover, which measures, on the one hand, at which speed you pay your bills and, on the other hand, how fast you are collecting your payments owed.
Last but not least, our financial dashboard example provides immediate visualization of your current accounts payable and accounts receivable situation. It allows you to quickly reflect on your current expenditures and money to be collected in order to ensure that no payments remain outstanding for too long, and similarly, payments you owe do not take you into arrears. At the bottom of the dashboard, the accounts receivable information is broken down over the course of a year, whereby you may analyze payment and debt collection patterns as they relate to your current and quick ratios, the two litmus tests of the financial liquidity and stability of your enterprise.
Our next financial dashboard example provides a general overview of the most prominent KPIs that can be applied to nearly any business or financial department that needs stable and proactive management and operational processes. With the help of financial analytics software, this dashboard was created to answer critical questions on liquidity, invoicing, budgeting, and the overall financial stability of an organization. Let’s take a closer look at each.
The financial KPI dashboard starts with an overview of your current working capital, consisting of your current assets and current liabilities. This information will provide an instant conclusion if your organization is liquid, operationally efficient, and financially healthy in the short-term. If your working capital is substantially high, you have the potential to invest and grow. On the other hand, if your current assets don’t exceed your current liabilities, the risk of going bankrupt is higher. We can see that on our finance dashboard example, the working capital is $61000, and the current ratio is 1.90, which means that the company has enough financial resources to remain solvent in the short-term, and on this dashboard, you can conclude that immediately.
The central part of this dashboard focuses on the cash conversion cycle (CCC) in the last 3 years. It is important to track trends in the CCC to be able to spot if the cycle is decreasing or increasing. A compact overview of these charts shows us that in the last 3 years, the company has been efficiently converted its investments, inventory, and resources into cash flows since the cash cycle steadily decreased over time. Great management, indeed.
Below the cash conversion cycle, this dashboard depicts the state of invoicing and paying processes. Wrong addresses, duplicate payments, and incorrect amounts all affect the vendor payment error rate and increase it if the accounts payable department doesn’t control these processes effectively. We can see that, in the last year, this rate had a few spikes that increased the overall average and affected the department, especially in September. It would be wise to dig deeper into this month to see exactly what happened and what kind of processes need to be updated or adjusted. The next months brought a general decline, which could mean the lesson has been learned.
We finish our finance dashboard example with stats on net profit margin, quick and current ratio, followed by the budget variance. The full scope can be accessed on our dashboard in full-screen mode. The quick and current ratio will show us the liquidity status of our business while the net profit margin is one of the most important indicators of a company’s financial status and health. It basically shows how much net income is generated as a percentage of revenue. This part of the dashboard clearly demonstrates that the financial state of the company is on track and going well. The budget variance below shows us if our gains are positive or negative. Errors while creating the budget such as wrong assumptions, faulty mathematics or relying on stale data can all lead to changes in the variance. Therefore, it is important to create it as accurately as possible, and this financial reporting dashboard will help you in the process.
This finance dashboard example provides an easy-to-understand overview of the income statement from revenue to net profit, enhanced by relevant performance ratios. The finance dashboard centers around four important financial indicators; gross profit margin, OPEX ratio, operating profit margin, and net profit margin. The heads-up information, right at your fingertips, can be further utilized to reveal month-to-month trends in the OPEX ratio, the constituent subcomponents of that ratio, and year-to-date statistics of earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT). Finally, the financial dashboard gives a succinct breakdown of the four financial category subcomponents of the overall income statement.
We start with revenue, which is mainly influenced by selling price and number of units sold and is indicated without taking into account other expenditures or taxes. Subtracting the cost of goods sold shows the gross profit of your company and indicates the earnings after expenditures. OPEX refers to the costs that your company incurs as a result of performing its normal business operations. These “unavoidable” costs are inherent in any business operation but imperative to understand completely. In this finance dashboard template, we specifically look at the OPEX for sales, marketing, IT and general & administrative expenses. We also include other income and expenses in the P&L statement, which might include costs incurred from restructuring and currency exchange, amongst others. The resulting earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) and especially its trend is one of the main metrics to describe a company’s financial situation. In the end - after (subtracting) all costs related to interest and tax payments - you have your net profit. The net profit is the standard calibration for evaluating the success or failure of a company or certain aspects of its operations.
Next to the income statement, this profit and loss dashboard shows important metrics that describe the health of your business and the profitability of your operations. When comparing these KPIs across companies, it is important to consider that the figures might change significantly across different industries. However, this is a standard means of evaluating a company’s financial performance so comparisons can be made equitably and reliable. With this finance dashboard template, you have this crucial information at your fingertips for real-time monitoring, which enables you to take the right actions at the right time.
The gross profit margin shows the percentage of total sales revenue remaining after accounting for all direct costs associated with producing your goods or services. It indicates to what extent your efforts in this company, investments, R&D, etc. are actually contributing towards earning a profit. The operating profit margin or EBIT margin is calculated by dividing your EBIT by the revenue generated in the same period. The net profit ratio indicates how well your company does at turning revenue into profits - how much percent of every dollar generated will remain in your company as earnings. It is an excellent yardstick to evaluate performance in light of investments, market fluctuations and other operational considerations.
Our rundown of the best financial dashboards continues with CFOs (Chief Financial Officers). They usually focus on high-level metrics that expands outside of a purely financial focus so you can also find employee or customer satisfaction metrics, as depicted in our visual example. To see the full scope of this CFO dashboard, please open it in full-screen mode but now we will go through some relevant details.
The dashboard focuses on 4 primary areas CFOs can find relevant and interesting: costs, sales goals, gross profit, and customer and/or employee satisfaction levels. You can easily connect to another dashboard within, and additionally implement specific areas of interest such as market indicators, customer analysis, investor relations, cash management, etc. Key metrics that are depicted at the top left of this financial analysis dashboard include revenue, gross profit, EBIT, operating expenses, and net income. That way, every CFO can have a clear overview of the financial performance within the first quarter of the year. You can see how you performed against set targets and conclude that operating expenses are actually higher than planned. Then you can easily dig deeper, start asking questions, and analyze why this happened in order to avoid such scenarios in the future. We have included simple gauge charts in our visual example so that you can immediately spot if the metric is developing well or it’s in the “red zone.”
On the right side, the dashboard shows the breakdown of costs with an additional tab that focuses on the revenue. We can see that, in this case, sales have generated the highest costs within this quarter followed by general and admin. This can give you an idea of where your expenses are allocated and if you have the opportunity to lower them as much as possible. We have also added 3 additional metrics: economic value added (EVA), berry ratio, and the payroll headcount ratio, but you can customize your KPIs as needed. These 3 metrics will show you your company’s true economic value, and an indication if you’re losing or generating money, and how many employees support your payroll efforts.
Finally, we can take a closer look at the bottom part of the dashboard where we can see details on the employee and customer satisfaction levels expressed also with a 3-month trend. In this case, the trend in employee satisfaction is negative so you might want to examine what happened and how you can change it. Finally, we can see other connected dashboards that you can customize based on your own requirements as a CFO, and quickly go through more data as questions arise.
Our fifth example is a different take on an income statement, this time including useful forecasts for costs and income. Financial forecasting has become an invaluable practice for businesses as it provides an accurate picture of how their financial situation will look in the near future. That said, forecasting plays an integral role in developing the budget for the coming fiscal year. By analyzing present and historical data, businesses can identify trends and define attainable budgeting goals that can be reassessed quarterly or monthly, depending on changing market conditions and the actual scenario of the organization. Let’s dive into the dashboard.
The actual vs forecast financial dashboard looks into three key areas for finances: revenue, costs, and net profit for the last 12 months. Each includes insights into the actual and forecasted value, as well as the absolute variance in dollars and a percentage between the two. Starting at the revenue portion, you see a -3,82% variance between the actual and the forecasted value.
How to interpret this deviation also depends on how the business approaches its forecasting and budgeting processes. On the one hand, for financial forecasting, you need to define your model quality, which is, for example, influenced by your chosen confidence interval. Based on these forecasting settings, you will get a range with an upper and a lower limit as well as the most likely concrete forecasted value. This concrete value is what is shown in our dashboard example above. On the other hand, budgeting attains specific goals previously defined with the forecast and other individual factors. Therefore, companies may decide their concrete budgeting goals either in the upper limit or lower limit forecast range, and this of course influences, how you should interpret these deviations between your forecasted and actual numbers.
Moving on, the dashboard provides a detailed look at your costs, differentiating operating expenses, COGS, and taxes (open the full-screen version to see full scope). Cost forecasting is a valuable exercise for the finance department as it assists in defining resource requirements for the next 12 months. In the example, we can see that overall costs are a bit lower than the forecasted amount. This could be either due to a good cost-management strategy or, a delay in the implementation of a project or the launch of a product that was expected to require more costs. If the last one is the case, it is always important to reassess your forecast based on the organization’s present situation.
Going into the last section of this template, you get an overview of the net profit. As you might already know, this KPI represents how profitable the business is after subtracting all costs and expenses. Therefore, it is fundamental to monitor it closely to assess the financial health of the organization. Here we can see a -34,76% variance in the net profit. If you want to dig deeper into the causes, you can look at the breakdown charts for costs and revenues and extract deeper conclusions about the outcome. Remember that these values can be perceived differently depending on the approach the business is taking with its financial forecasting.
Our next financial dashboard example gives you an overview of how efficiently you spend your capital and an overview of the main metrics on your balance sheet. It is broken down into four visualizations of your return on assets (ROA), working capital ratio (WCR), return on equity (ROE) and debt-equity ratio (DER). These four key performance indicators give an immediate understanding of trends in how your company’s assets are being managed. The balance sheet breakdown shows how your current assets (cash, account receivable, inventory), as well as your long-term ones, and it also provides information about your total liabilities, depicted by the two subcomponents of current liabilities and shareholder equity.
This financial dashboard template provides valuable information about the capital structure of your business. The DER measures how much debt you use to finance your assets and operations compared to the equity available. It is calculated by dividing your total liabilities by your shareholders’ equity, return on assets, and even more importantly, return on equity. These are key figures on the stock market when it comes to evaluating your company as an investment opportunity. The more debt you have, the larger your ROE is compared to your ROA.
This financial dashboard example closely monitors these two ratios to ensure you can control these extremely important financial aspects in real-time. Letting these ratios go unchecked is a recipe for disaster and can lead to unexpected losses, bankruptcy, and loss of client base or assets. Furthermore, ROA is a critical litmus-test of your company’s success and is a major indicator for potential investors. Companies with low return on assets face severe difficulties whilst attempting to attract investors. Shareholders and investors will further be aware of your return on equity, which ultimately represents to them how much money your company will return on their investments. Use this financial performance dashboard to keep a close eye on these essential aspects of your company’s progress and ensure its long-term viability and success.
So far, we’ve covered examples related to critical financing areas such as cash management, budgeting, profit and loss, and more. For our last financial dashboard template, we’ll detail operating expenses with a range of insights to help you manage them efficiently. The dashboard above has a monthly focus, displaying KPIs for a fictional manufacturing company with over 2000 employees. Let’s explore it in detail below.
Operating expenses (OpEx) are all costs incurred in a business’s daily operations. These can include production costs, marketing and sales, insurance, employee salaries, rent, inventory, and more, depending on the industry. The end goal should be to keep these expenses at a minimum without affecting the business’s efficiency and profitability. Companies who manage to find a balance between reducing their OpEx while still maintaining their expected revenue can gain a significant competitive advantage.
Starting at the bottom of the dashboard, we have the fixed and variable expenses breakdown charts. Fixed expenses are mandatory expenses that must be paid over a fixed period. These include rent, insurance, salaries, marketing and more. On the other hand, variable expenses refer to the production of goods or services and can vary from period to period depending on the production and sales levels. They include raw materials, research and development, sales commissions, shipping, utilities, and more. As mentioned, you want to keep these expenses as low as possible without affecting quality. To do so, you can take a deeper look at the OpEx development chart at the top, which compares the monthly development of fixed and variable expenses with the previous year's performance. Here, we can observe that both types of expenses have increased compared to the benchmark. This is not necessarily negative as the business could be producing more this year. However, it is something to look into to find the reasons and detect any inefficiencies on time.
Next to the OpEx development chart, we have insights into the operating ratio, arguably the most valuable KPI presented in this template. It represents operational expenses as a percentage of a business’s revenue and serves as a “success indicator” for your expense-optimization strategies. Naturally, you want to keep this ratio as low as possible. That said, there is no standard value to follow, as it will vary from industry to industry. In this case, the operating ratio is complemented by a breakdown of the net profit margin, where can observe a decrease in the month of July. A low net profit margin means the business cannot manage costs efficiently, which can reflect poorly in the eyes of investors. Again, it needs to be looked into in more detail to determine whether this decrease is critical or not.
Last but not least, we have an income statement that you can see in the live version of the dashboard. An income statement summarizes a company’s income and expenses over an observed period. In this case, the statement does not differentiate fixed from variable expenses, as we saw in other charts of the dashboard, but it provides a good summary of the company’s financial performance.
We have demonstrated the power of data visualization in financial performance, monitoring, and analysis. These dashboards can be used by C-level management, department managers, professionals, and finance experts that need a clear overview and mastery of their data. Whether you need to build your own financial reporting dashboard, select and combine your KPIs and strategies or simply have an accurate representation and monitoring processes, try our software for a 14-day trial, completely free!
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