Tracking cash flow and business performance
Now you've set up the essentials, you're ready to start using Accounting to its full potential.
One of the key goals for any business is to make sure you're making enough money to cover your purchases and other costs, and have some left over!
Good record keeping is essential and now you're using Accounting, you'll be able to track your income and expenses with ease.
Here you'll find a quick guide to some of the key reports and tools available In Accounting that help you keep track of your cash flow and business performance.
In this section we're going to cover:
- Using the Summary dashboards for your key business metrics.
- Finding your way around the key reports - what they're for and when to use them.
To get a quick view of key business metrics you can use our charts and graphs for a real time view of sales, purchases and cash flow.
While it might seem a little overwhelming seeing so many different reports, each is telling you something about the performance of your business. Try coming back to these every day as you've entered more information and you'll start to see the story of your business.
Select a tab for each business area.
How many sales have you had this month? Who owes you money?
Use the Sales tab to get an oversight of money coming in. From here you can:
- Track sales to get an overview of trends.
- See the total amounts that are outstanding and your oldest overdue invoices so you know who to chase for payment.
- Check your potential sales from quotes and estimates, so you know when to chase up leads and convert to sales.
- Find out who your best customers are.
- See who owes you the most so you know where to focus your credit control activities.
- Keep track of the amount of VAT due to be paid on your sales.
We've got lots of help around sales and invoices. You might want to start with Create and manage sales invoices or if you want to record the receipt of money where you haven't prepared an invoice, see Record a receipt without issuing a customer invoice (other receipt)
How much have you spent this month? Who do you owe money to?
Use the Purchases tab to get an oversight of money going out. From here you can:
- Track your purchases and costs to get an overview of trends.
- Keep track of how much you owe your suppliers and your overdue purchases so you know who to pay first.
- See your spending by category.
- See who you buy from the most so you know who to ask for a discount.
- See who your biggest creditors are to help decide who to pay first.
- Check the amount of VAT that can be reclaimed on your purchases.
While it's likely you'll want to create purchase invoices you don't need to create a purchase invoice for all money going out. For one-off purchases where you didn't receive an invoice, you can simply record a payment, see Record an expense when you don't have invoice from supplier (other payment)
Cash flow (statement and forecast)
You're going to want to get to grips with your cash flow because it provides one of the most important indicators of your business - how much cash there is.
You need cash to pay expenses, bank loans, taxes, and to purchase new assets like stock and materials. The cash flow statement along with the cash flow forecast help you determine whether you're able to do that.
Find out more about how to use the cash flow statement and cash flow forecast
Besides the cash flow reports, Accounting can help you look at many aspects of your financial performance. We'll look at one very important report in this section but check out Management reports for details on the others.
Profit and Loss
The Profit and Loss report shows the performance of your business over a specified period of time. It shows the value for sales, direct expenses including cost of sales, and overheads in the given period. It also shows the resulting gross and net profit or loss. When running the report, you can drill down on the values to see what transactions are included.
See The Profit and Loss report to learn more.