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Updated: December 17, 2023 |

The 17 best financial reporting software tools [updated for 2024]

Jake Ballinger

Jake Ballinger is an experienced SEO and content manager with deep expertise in FP&A and finance topics. He speaks 9 languages and lives in NYC.

The 17 best financial reporting software tools [updated for 2024]

Financial reporting should be quick and easy. 

...but legacy financial reporting tools can be slow, cumbersome, and error-prone.

(Like letting old data slip into new reports.)

This guide to the best financial reporting software will help you find the best reporting tool for you.

Keep reading.

Jake Ballinger

FP&A Writer, Cube Software

Get out of the data entry weeds and into the strategy.

Sign up for The Finance Fix

Sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter from serial CFO and CEO of Cube, Christina Ross.

What is financial reporting, and why is it essential to a successful business?

Financial reporting helps the office of the CFO surface important insights to key stakeholders that help them make informed, data-driven decisions to grow the business.

Businesses typically report on their finances through the three accounting financial statements , which they create at least once a year, but more commonly at the end of every month as part of their financial close process .

Good financial reporting also helps businesses have more productive, real-time conversations. For example, when deciding where to allocate money from a slush fund, the CFO might do quick ad hoc reporting to estimate that money's impact.

What is the primary objective of financial reporting?

The primary objective of financial reporting is to surface accurate and timely information about a business's finances to help people make rational decisions.

Financial reporting is also important for compliance. Businesses with many compliance requirements, like Cube customer Masterworks , need robust financial reporting tools.

What are the key types of financial reports?

The key financial reports are the 3 GAAP financial statements:

  • The income statement
  • The balance sheet
  • The statement of cash flow

Other key financial reports are typically focused subsets of those three statements, like the statement of shareholder's equity and the contribution margin income statement .

What is financial reporting software?

Financial reporting software speeds up the financial reporting process with automation and analysis. It helps finance teams with these basic accounting tasks:

  • Data collection
  • Budget alignment
  • Reconciliation
  • Financial close and consolidation
  • Creating financial statements

Organizations can quickly generate filtered financial reports to learn essential business details.

Types of financial reporting software

Different finance software will have different capabilities. In our review, we'll discuss financial reporting software. However, you might also encounter:

  • Accounting software
  • Invoicing and payment software
  • Tax management software
  • Budgeting software
  • Financial planning software
  • Financial statement software
  • SEC reporting software
  • Financial consolidation software
  • General ledger software

Critical components of financial reporting software

Here's what the best financial reporting software helps organizations accomplish: 

Automation : Financial reporting software automates many routine tasks, like pulling updated data from your source systems

Custom report creation : Balance sheets, income statements, profit and loss statements , and cash flow statements are a few of the many critical financial reports organizations need to pay taxes , inform business strategy, and assess performance. It also helps you create custom reports based on your business's circumstances.

Source system integrations : The best financial reporting software integrates with your ERP, HRIS, and other source systems that house critical information about your finances, payroll, and compliance.

Security : Financial reporting software must be secure, preferably SOC 2 Type 2 compliant , to protect your business's financial information.

But does financial reporting software give you everything on this feature list? Not quite, but each one has pros and cons. Let's explore them in this next section.

The 17 best financial reporting software tools on the market in 2024

Let’s start our review of the top financial reporting tools. 

But first, a disclaimer: yes, we put Cube first. We’re proud of the results our software gets for customers—and our customers love them, too.

You don’t have to just take our word for it: check out our 5-star reviews on Capterra .

Cube  is the first spreadsheet-native FP&A platform that empowers teams to drive better reporting, planning, and business performance without changing how they work.

We integrate with both Excel and Google Sheets, so you can create reports in Excel and then share them with your CEO, department leaders, or board members in Google Sheets.

Of course, FP&A also has to make reports, and that's where Cube can help. Many companies (like SmugMug ) use Cube's reporting capabilities to inform their budgeting and planning, saving weeks of work.

Cube offers faster time to value (most companies onboard within two weeks) and is competitively priced.

Convinced?  Book your free demo with us today.

Big image_Howcubeworks_V2 (4) (1) (1)

  • Automated data consolidation : Connect data from numerous sources to create a single source of truth that can be used to quickly create custom and ad hoc reports.
  • Multi-scenario analysis : Allows you to model how changes to key assumptions affect overall outputs seamlessly.
  • Endless integrations : Integrations for spreadsheets (Google and Excel), accounting & finance, HR, ATS, billing & operations, sales & marketing, and more.
  • Customizable dashboards : Design, build, and share customizable reports across your organization without leaving Cube.
  • Native Excel and Google Sheets integration : Compatible and bi-directional with any and all spreadsheets. We work with both, and many teams find Cube a powerful Google Sheets unlock, improving financial transparency across the organization.
  • Keep your Excel models : Work how you work, only better. Cube doesn't replace your back end with proprietary formulas or add hidden columns to your reports.
  • Multicurrency support : Evaluate your finances in your local and reporting currencies.
  • User-based controls : User controls, validations, and an audit trail ensure that the right data goes to the right people at the right time.
  • Dive in your data with drilldown : Ensure accurate reports by knowing where your data comes from, down to the individual cell. Get straight to the transactions and history behind a single data cell in just one click.
  • Audit trail : Track and account for changes via this historical record to ensure your data stays clean
  • Built-in roll-up logic: Easily aggregate values across time periods and other parameters with built-in formulas.

➡️  See more features here .

  • Powerful reporting and KPIs help automate and analyze important data.
  • Streamline manual data, reduce errors, and improve collaboration so you can make smarter business decisions in a fraction of the time.
  • You can easily collaborate with industry-leading FP&A experts and an award-winning support team.
  • Integrations with dozens of applications.
  • Keep real-time eyes on cash flow with easy-to-update actuals and the ability to drill down into cells.
  • Cube works best for mid-sized businesses—it’s not a personal finances app.
  • Cube doesn't provide multilingual support right now

Starting at $1250/month for lean finance teams and $2,450/month for companies looking to scale.  See detailed pricing .

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2. Oracle NetSuite

Oracle NetSuite features a user-friendly interface where organizations can access real-time analytics and advanced reports.

The platform enables serious automation, from data collection and journal entries to account reconciliation . Customers appreciate the cloud function, allowing them to access important financials anywhere.

  • Tax management
  • Accounts receivable and payable
  • Cash management
  • General ledger
  • Payment management
  • Financial management
  • Real-time insights into profitability ratios , margins, tax liabilities, and cash flow
  • Automation for countless administrative processes
  • Higher learning curve
  • A more expensive option 
  • Not many customization options 

Pricing is not listed on their site.

Did you know?

We've built a robust, comprehensive Oracle NetSuite connector for Cube. Check out our integrations or see how the CFO at SmugMug uses Cube + NetSuite to simplify her budgeting and reporting . 

3. Intuit QuickBooks 

Intuit_QuickBooks_logo

Intuit QuickBooks is a great introductory financial analysis software for freelancers and small or growing businesses. 

While it's one of the world's most popular accounting software, it falls short as a financial reporting software due to its limited capabilities in advanced and custom financial report generation.

For example, you can customize profit and loss statements and other reports by vendor or employee, but not by unique market conditions to prepare for future strategy. 

Larger organizations might need more robust software to capture all their insights. 

  • Expenses and expense management
  • VAT and GST
  • Insights and reports
  • Multi-currency support
  • Financial consolidation
  • Tax preparation
  • User-friendly
  • Easy integrations
  • Works best for individuals or smaller businesses
  • Lack of custom reports
  • Poor customer support
  • Not the best fit for larger companies 
  • Essentials: $7.80/month/user
  • Plus: $10.80/month/user  

We've built a robust, comprehensive Intuit QuickBooks connector for Cube that significantly reduces your time-to-value as a new Cube user. Check out our integrations or see how the CFO of Masterworks uses Cube + QuickBooks to create custom financial reports . 

4. FreshBooks 

freshbooks-logo-1 (1)

Freshbooks is even more tailored to freelancers and small businesses, functioning primarily as invoicing software. You can generate seven types of reports through this software, but custom capabilities are limited. 

Customers praise the platform's user-friendly interface and affordability but complain about frequent crashes.

  • Budget and sales tax summaries
  • Profit and loss reports
  • Accountant access and permissions
  • Expense reports
  • Balance sheet reconciliation  
  • Journal tracking
  • Affordable, including a free trial
  • User-friendly interface 
  • Slower loading and crashes are possible 
  • More an invoicing tool than an accounting software
  • Lack of flexibility
  • Not ideal for large organizations
  • Lite : $4.50/month
  • Plus : $7.50/month
  • Premium : $15/month
  • Custom pricing available

5. Sage Intacct

Sage Intacct is financial reporting software that prioritizes increased user efficiency and extensive reporting customization.

Users can use its drag-and-drop design to create reports based on math functions, aggregations, transaction details, grouping, and other criteria.

This platform works for various industries, like SaaS (software-as-a-service) and hospitality.

  • Quick multi-entity consolidation
  • Cloud solution
  • Integrations, including with Salesforce
  • General ledger with predefined dimensions
  • Collaboration feature
  • 150 built-in reports plus custom reports
  • User-friendly interface
  • Extensive reporting features with key metrics
  • Data visualizations to make reports more accessible
  • Integrations could be smoother
  • Limited search capabilities
  • Higher learning curve 

Pricing isn't available on their website.

You can integrate Sage Intacct directly with Cube to create custom financial reports in Excel, then share them with key stakeholders in Google Sheets. See all Cube integrations .

6. Insight Software

insightsoftware_DETAIL (1)

A French tech company,  Insight Software promises to reduce your closing and reporting times by 50%.

It features custom reports and Excel integrations.

This company bases pricing on increased features measured by claims of improved efficiency up each tier.

  • ERP to Excel data export
  • Spreadsheet server reporting
  • Data integrations, formatting, and prep
  • Custom reports
  • Integrations with some financial software
  • Equity Management
  • Bugs can be frequent
  • Not the strongest customer service. 

Insight offers three pricing tiers—simple, streamlined, and vetted—but you must inquire within for exact pricing. 

7. Workday Adaptive Planning 

Workday Adaptive Planning boasts visible insights as fast as a click, and immense financial planning capabilities.

However, users cite frustration with difficulties translating advanced insights to non-finance audiences.

  • Budgeting and forecasting
  • Analytics and reporting
  • Scenario planning
  • Predictive models
  • Time savings 
  • Cloud-based 
  • Integrates with other Workday products
  • Limited training resources and high learning curve
  • Advanced reporting can be challenging to learn 

Pricing isn't listed on their site. 

board-logo

Board is a financial reporting software that helps businesses improve financial processes and accounting.

It even allows users to create custom planning and analysis applications. The platform unifies metrics, analytics, and reports into one place.

  • Calculated metrics
  • Real-time modeling
  • Multi-user data entry
  • Adaptive aggregation
  • ERP database write-back
  • Easy to create dashboards without a tech background
  • Actionable insights
  • High learning curve
  • Privacy concerns
  • Slow customer service
  • Not user-friendly

Board doesn't list pricing on their website. 

xero-logo (1)

Xero is an accounting software with some reporting features, though its primary functions are payroll, expenses, and invoicing.

You can track and pay bills, claim expenses, connect to your banks, track payments, use Gusto payroll software, manage Xero contacts, and much more. 

  • Collaboration capabilities
  • Customizable reports
  • Formulas to compare budgets with actuals
  • Search functionality
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Interactive and KPI -specific reports
  • Tracking categories for different business departments 
  • Limited advanced functionality
  • Limited integrations to other financial software 
  • Starter : $22/month
  • Standard : $35/month
  • Premium : $47/month

You can connect your Xero instance with Cube and enjoy all the benefits of an ERP with the speed and flexibility of enhanced spreadsheets. See all Cube integrations here , or read about how WizeHire uses Xero + Cube to cut their financial reporting time from weeks to days .

10. Sage 50 Accounts

sage-50cloud-logo

You might remember Sage Intacct, which we covered previously in this review.

However, the company also offers a cloud version called Sage 50cloud Accounts . This financial reporting software is similar to Intacct, but users can access their files anywhere. 

Additionally, it’s a decent financial reporting software for companies requiring Microsoft 365 integration. 

  • Advanced budgeting and reporting
  • Audit trails
  • Inventory management
  • Automated reconciliation
  • Fraud detection 
  • Invoice tracking
  • Microsoft 365 integration
  • Adequate customizability for reports
  • Permissions are only permitted on the most expensive plan
  • Any company with over five users will have to sign up for the most costly plan
  • The basic plan offers basic reporting, but nothing advanced

The company is currently offering a 40% discount. The prices listed below reflect that discount.

  • Pro Accounting: $340/year
  • Premium Accounting: $554/year
  • Quantum Accounting : $919/year

11. Vena Solutions

vena_logo_v1_1__5e8f34e2823bb-1

Vena Solutions is financial reporting software dedicated to helping businesses seamlessly integrate advanced reporting with Excel data.

A cloud solution, Vena offers reporting to include what-if scenarios and prepare for cash and budget planning.

However, customers cite a long learning curve and limited training opportunities. 

  • Financial and ad-hoc reporting
  • Analytics and real-time insights
  • Report consolidation 
  • Mobile version
  • Integration with Excel 
  • Longer loading time
  • Lacking training
  • Limited customization 

Vena Solutions doesn't list prices on its website.

Cube vs. Vena Solutions

While Vena Solutions integrates with Excel, most users find Cube's native Excel integration better for their existing workflows.

Cube is faster to set up and requires less training than Vena Solutions. After all, if you know how to use Excel, you know how to use Cube. There's little learning curve, which is different from Vena Solutions.  

12. Planful (formerly Host Analytics)

Planful , formerly known as Host Analytics, has skilled professionals with enterprise software, HR, and growth experience.

While reviews praise the platform's user-friendly interface, some criticism cites issues with accuracy when updating formulas and reports.

  • Excel reporting and integrations
  • Data visualizations
  • Personalized dashboards
  • Forecasting
  • What-if scenarios
  • Journal entries 
  • Reports consolidation
  • Strong customer service team
  • Reusable templates for efficiency 
  • Accuracy issues when updating formulas
  • Tricky collaboration 
  • Different reporting tools for templates
  • High learning curve 

Planful doesn’t list its prices online.

Planful vs. Cube

While both Planful and Cube are complete planning platforms for FP&A teams, Cube keeps you in your favored spreadsheet environment and unlocks the flexibility of Google Sheets for easier financial report distribution.

Planful integrates with Excel, but the integration isn't as robust as Cube's.

13. Multiview ERP 

multiview-logo

Multiview ERP features a team of in-house support along with its financial software. It delivers year-round insights, data visualizations, and customization capabilities through core accounting, business insights, business automation, and inventory management. 

  • Asset management
  • Accounts payable and receivable
  • Automated workflows
  • Business intelligence
  • Strong and responsive customer service
  • There can be difficulty in creating customer reports
  • There are glitches at times

Multiview doesn't list pricing online.

14. DataRails

DataRails-blueblackoriginal (1)

Datarails is a legacy Excel-friendly platform for FP&A teams at small to mid-size businesses. It helps teams forecast their finances and plan operations accordingly.

  • Auto backup & version management
  • Logical version comparison
  • Cell drill down
  • Spreadsheet error and data loss prevention
  • Dashboards are easy to set up
  • Keeps your FP&A team on Excel
  • Old-school Excel experts will enjoy the mix of formulas and coding with a refreshed UI
  • Limited Mac compatibility
  • No Google Sheets compatibility
  • Users need an additional DataRails license to edit any reports, which makes collaboration expensive
  • Proprietary formulas and hidden columns in their pre-built reports exacerbate Excel's existing weaknesses instead of complementing them, causing frustrations as reporting gets more complex
  • Replaces much of your back end, making it difficult to offboard should you find DataRails isn't a good fit

DataRails doesn't list pricing on its website.

Cube vs. DataRails

Both Cube and DataRails want to keep you in Excel, where you work best. However, that's where similarities end. Cube is notably more flexible than DataRails, including:

  • Cube gives you more power and customization over your reporting. We don't hide proprietary complicated formulas in the back end, which means your reports are easy to understand and don't break
  • You own your templates in Cube. While DataRails provides plenty of pre-built templates, they're rigid and prone to breaking, so you'll have trouble tweaking them to your preferences.
  • Cube works with Google Sheets and Excel, so while both tools make it easy to create reports, Cube makes it infinitely easier to share those reports in tools that the receiver already uses. 

Jirav-logo

Jirav is a driver-based planning platform that gets FP&A teams out of spreadsheets. 

Jirav is a great tool if all of the following describe you:

  • You're part of the 5% of finance professionals who don't believe advanced spreadsheet skills are essential for FP&A managers
  • You prefer a driver-based approach to planning
  • You want a strict cloud-based solution

Otherwise, Jirav is probably not the best fit.

  • Driver-based planning platform
  • Templated and custom reporting
  • Shareable dashboards
  • Cloud-based solution
  • Cheaper price point
  • Dashboards can be shared with anybody, even if they don't have a Jirav license
  • Replaces your Excel models
  • Processing speed can be slower than comparable tools
  • Integrations are limited and not as robust as other tools 

Jirav has three pricing tiers:

  • Starter : $10,000/year
  • Pro : $15,000/year
  • Enterprise : Contact Jirav for a quote

Jirav vs. Cube

Most FP&A teams prefer Cube over Jirav because Cube keeps them in Excel.

Cube also has all the benefits of Jirav—templates, custom reporting, a cloud-based source of truth, shareable dashboards, etc.—and then some, because it unlocks Google Sheets, which simplifies real-time ad hoc reporting.

As Cube and Jirav have comparable price points, you should request a demo and compare them for yourself.

16. SAP S/4HANA Finance

SAP

SAP S/4HANA Finance is group reporting software from SAP. It's best for businesses that are already entrenched within the SAP ecosystem.

It promises to help streamline financial consolidation and close processes by unifying operational and group reporting.

  • Deployment flexibility: on-premise, cloud, or hybrid
  • Unified entity and group close reporting
  • Continuous accounting functionality
  • Real-time data access
  • Helps accelerate the financial close process
  • Can unify consolidation and transactional activities
  • Integrations, especially with recent SAP acquisitions, could be improved and more robust
  • Slow customer support response times
  • Complex to integrate, set up, and keep running
  • Not easy to create customized reports

We were unable to find SAP S/4 HANA Finance pricing online.

17. Synoptix

synoptix-logo

Synoptix is a legacy financial reporting tool that replaces your custom Excel reports to move everything to the new platform, like many other tools on this list.

  • Dashboards that highlight KPIs
  • Real-time analytics
  • Drill-down and transactional details
  • Helps teams create annual financial statements, especially those that don't change much year-on-year
  • Sells to a wide variety of businesses, so it's relatively industry agnostic 
  • Seems to be lacking in features—one reviewer called them bare-bones reporting software
  • Difficult to navigate, with an outdated UI
  • Users report frustrations with mismatched updates to the desktop version and online portal, suggesting consistent snags

We were unable to find Synoptix pricing on their website. 

Benefits of using financial reporting software 

Organizations reap many benefits by having the best financial reporting software, like:

  • Identifying trends
  • Real-time insights
  • Time and labor cost savings
  • Accurate data and consequently informed business decisions
  • Better collaboration and cohesion across teams
  • Minimizes the chance for human error
  • Streamlined tax management

The best SEC software will give all the above and more.

More about financial reporting software

There's a lot to dig into regarding financial reporting software. Let's go over from frequent questions.

Financial reporting software for small businesses

Small businesses require the best financial reporting software to stay on top of payroll, expenses, business strategy, and more.

Although the best financial reporting software offers extensive custom reports and features, a small business might benefit from one with limited reporting if the price is significantly more competitive. 

QuickBooks and FreshBooks are some of the most common software for small businesses, offering Lite and Basic plans to accommodate smaller budgets.

Best financial reporting software for Excel?

Cube integrates with both Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel to capture every single data point your business has to give you accurate reports.

Other financial reporting software requires manually copying and pasting data into Excel. Some may offer Excel integrations, but Cube is the only tool that also works with Google Sheets.

Best financial reporting software for QuickBooks?

Maybe you already use accounting or invoicing software for your business. QuickBooks is popular, but you might crave more advanced reporting capabilities.

Cube integrates with plenty of financial software —including QuickBooks—to enhance your financial reporting.

What kind of financial data does good financial reporting software handle?

The best financial reporting software solutions will help you create and report your three financial statements .

The three financial statements are the income statement, balance sheet, and statement of cash flow . Together, they comprise the 3-statement model .

Conclusion: the best financial reporting software? 

No business became successful without any support. Be it through a team of skilled professionals or machine learning tech, the best organizations offload the busy work so they can spend more time scaling.

Cube offers you this exact service–to take on the effort that goes into financial reporting to save you time and resources. 

We've covered an extensive list of the best financial reporting software, each with unique selling points and downsides. 

Now, it's your turn to take the wheel and drive your financial reporting to new heights. Cube could help you with automation, strategy, and seamless integrations on your journey.

Request a free demo today to learn why Cube is the best financial reporting software on the market. 

Sources cited

  • https://www.irs.gov/businesses/large-business-and-international-tax-center
  • https://corporatefinanceinstitute.com/resources/knowledge/other/machine-learning-in-finance
  • https://finance.uw.edu/fr/internal-controls/reconciliation
  • https://financesonline.com/accounting-software-trends/

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how to make financial reports more user friendly

  • Environmental Finance Center at UNC Chapel Hill

how to make financial reports more user friendly

Four Keys to Creating a More User-Friendly Financial Statement

There will probably never be a time that financial statements, like Comprehensive Audited Financial Reports (CAFRs) and Annual Financial Reports (AFRs), are going to be as exciting as the New York Times latest bestseller. They are usually long documents and can be a little intimidating at first. However, a good financial statement is full of important information that can describe the financial well-being and sustainability of a utility. This blog post is a suggested guide to highlight a few important components of financial statements and why they should be included in each CAFR and AFR.

Before we get any further, we would like to offer this short disclaimer: We invite you to read this blog post as a suggested set of guidelines to follow when preparing financial statements, or when working with your auditor to let them know some items that would be helpful to include. These “keys” are only recommendations from the Environmental Finance Center (EFC), created based on our experience of best practices from working with a wide variety of financial statements. If you are a governmental water system, you will want to ensure your auditor follows the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) – maintained by the General Accounting Standards Board (GASB) – as well as any additional regulations that are necessary in your state. If you are a non-governmental water system, you or your auditor should be aware of the guidelines from the Financial Accounting Standards Board . Also, see previous EFC blog posts on helpful hints for reading annual financial statements , and for how to use financial key performance indicators to look for warning signs of unhealthy financial trends in your organization.

Now let’s look at four keys for an annual financial statement that will make evaluating the financial health of your utility a bit more user-friendly.

1. Separate Funds for Each Utility

If your organization owns more than one utility, it can be very helpful for each utility to have a separate enterprise fund or section in the financial statement (or at least be broken out into separate columns of figures). When you combine multiple utilities, such as gas and water, into one set of figures in the financial statement, it might seem easier at first. But ultimately this only inhibits seeing the financial health of each utility separately and clearly.

For example, if water and gas are combined into one, that may mask the fact that the water business is doing fine while the natural gas business is losing money and needs to be restructured (e.g. reduce costs, raise rates, or both). Each utility benefits from having its own separate, complete set of figures to ensure each utility operates with relative autonomy and financial sustainability. (In some states this may be required by law, in fact.) Indeed, for local government systems, it is a best practice under GAAP for enterprise funds to be financially self-sustaining (though there are some legitimate exceptions to this principle).

2. Break Out Depreciation Expenses

Depreciation is a method of allocating the cost of a tangible asset (such as a treatment plant) “wearing out” over its useful life. While depreciation expense is an accounting procedure – you’re not actually handing anyone a check for a “depreciation bill” –including deprecation as an operating expense on the Statement of Revenues, Expenses and Changes in Net Position can be a step in the right direction to ensure there will be enough funds to pay for updates and repairs to your assets in the long run.

Even though depreciation is just an estimate, it is important because it can help calculate the Operating Ratio , to see if a utility’s Operating Revenue (coming largely from their rates) is high enough to cover the cost of operations and capital. (Of course, equipment tends to cost more to replace now than it did when you first bought it, so the cost of replacement may need another 20% or more above and beyond the fully depreciated value.) By breaking depreciation out, a utility can show ability to cover day-to-day operations and maintenance expenditures. So, break it out!

3. Unrestricted Cash and Cash Equivalents

If there is ever an emergency expense, knowing how much of a utility’s cash is easily accessible is key! It is important to include and separate Unrestricted Cash and Cash Equivalents from other kinds of Current Assets, such as restricted cash funds, prepaids, and inventories on the Statement of Net Position. Restricted cash can refer to certain funds that are set aside and unavailable for immediate use, such as for payments to bondholders under legally binding bond covenants. (Certificates of Deposit, while not restricted funds per se, may not be able to be immediately liquidated for their full amount without paying a penalty for early termination – so having a separate line item for them too can be useful). Unrestricted Cash and Cash Equivalents typically refers to money that is immediately available for investing or spending. Unrestricted cash, together with annual operating expenses, can then be used to calculate how long a utility can run with no new revenue in case of emergency – also known as Days of Cash on Hand .

4. Long Term Capital Debt

Some utilities take on debt to help pay for expanding/ upgrading their system. These debts (related to loans, warrants, notes, or bond issuances) aren’t necessarily bad – in fact, they may be a sign of the useful growth of the utility. However, the principal and interest payments made on these debts should be clearly and separately stated on the Statement of Cash Flows – presumably under the “Cash Flows from Capital and Related Financing Activities” section. And if your auditor chooses to list the interest payments in a separate section of the CAFR/AFR, it would be helpful to restate the interest payments here, together with the principal payments, for clarity. These debt payments can be used to calculate, among other financial key performance indicators, the Debt Service Coverage Ratio – which is used to measure ability to pay for debt service and day-to-day expenditures using operating revenues.

To conclude, each of these four keys is important to help calculate the key performance indicators of the financial health and success of the utility. Doing so should help – for financial experts and non-experts alike – to understand these four concepts, make the audits a bit more user-friendly, and to support the utility in being more efficient and sustainable.

Hope this helps and happy auditing!

Alison Andrews is a student intern at the EFC and is pursuing a dual degree in Economics and Public Policy at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The contents of all posts authored by students are solely the responsibility of the authors. Statements made and opinions expressed are strictly those of the authors and  not  the Environmental Finance Center or The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Title image source: http://blog.sercle.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/finance-concept_z17OEuDO.jpg 

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How to Write a Great Financial Report? Tips and Best Practices

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Peter Caputa

Enjoy reading this blog post written by our experts or partners.

If you want to see what Databox can do for you, click here .

To make informed financial decisions in your company, you first have to be, well, informed.

Understanding the financial activity of your company sets the foundation for identifying good business opportunities and making the right decisions to ensure future growth.

By tracking, organizing, and analyzing financial performances, you will have a clearer picture of where the money is going and where it’s coming from. No wonder finance is one of the most monitored and reported operations, according to Databox’s State of Business Reporting .

To stay on top of numbers, companies use financial reports.

Financial reports are formal documents that capture all the significant financial activities within a business in a specific period.

While these reports are extremely useful for you and your key stakeholders, you won’t be the only one reaping the fruits. Financial statements are also examined by potential investors and banks since they provide them with enough insight to determine whether they want to invest in your business.

In this article, we are going to walk you through what financial reports are, why they are significant and show you a step-by-step guide that will take your financial reports and business reporting as a whole, to the next level.

What Is a Financial Report?

What is the purpose of financial reporting, what are the types of financial reporting, how to write a financial report, finance report examples.

  • Improve Financial Reporting with Databox

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Financial reports are official company documents that showcase all the financial activities and performances of your business over a specific period. Usually, they are created on a quarterly or yearly basis.

Every business is legally obliged to use financial reporting to display its current financial status and organize financial data.

The documents are available for public view which means that potential banks and investors will most likely analyze them before they decide to work with you and invest in your business.

They are also important for tracking future profitability estimates, business growth, and overall financial health.

At bottom, financial reports provide you with insight into how much money you have, how much did you spend, and where it is coming from. Based on the data within the report, you can make informed business decisions and create plans for future spending.

The key things a financial report should include are:

  • Cash flow data
  • Asset and liability evaluation
  • Shareholder equity analysis
  • Profitability measurements

Related : Quarterly Business Review: How to Write One and How to Present It Successfully

Financial reports are used to track, analyze, and display your company’s cash flow .

Understanding how your business is performing from a financial standpoint can seem like an impossible task without these reports.

However, financial reports aren’t used only because they are practical; you are legally required to include them.

Here are some of the main ways in which financial reports can help your business:

Communicate essential data

Monitors income and expenses, supports financial analysis and decision-making.

  • Simplify your taxes

Having an insight into the current financial situation of your business is important to each high-ranking member of the company (stakeholders, executives, investors, and partners).

You will use this financial data to create budget plans and monitor the company’s overall performance. When you establish an open communication and transparency policy within your business, you are more likely to attract new investors and enhance funding.

The information communicated in financial statements is what investors rely on when they are assessing risks, profitability, and future returns.

One way to gain the trust of investors is to showcase how your financial performance stacks up against your peers. For example, by joining this benchmark group , you can better understand your gross profit margin performance and see how metrics like income, gross profit, net income, net operating increase, etc compare against businesses like yours.

For example, you can discover that the median gross profit a month for B2B, B2C, SaaS and eCommerce is 73.79K . If you perform better than the median, this might be a good incentive for your investors to increase your funding.

average gross profit for B2B, B2C, SaaS and eCommerce

*Important note: Databox Benchmark Groups show median values. The median is calculated by taking the “middle” value, the value for which half of the observations are larger and half are smaller. The average is calculated by adding up all of the individual values and dividing this total by the number of observations. While both are measures of central tendency, when there is a possibility of extreme values, the median is generally the better measure to use.

Benchmark Your Performance Against Hundreds of Companies Just Like Yours

Viewing benchmark data can be enlightening, but seeing where your company’s efforts rank against those benchmarks can be game-changing. 

Browse Databox’s open Benchmark Groups and join ones relevant to your business to get free and instant performance benchmarks. 

Financial reporting involves tracking incomes and expenses for a specific time period. To establish efficient debt management and budget allocation, you will need an insight into the most important spending areas.

By tracking income and expenses , you will also understand current liabilities and assets. Analyzing financial documentation will provide you with a bigger picture regarding the key metrics such as debt-to-asset ratios that investors use to calculate potential profitability.

All of this is information is crucial for staying ahead of your competitors.

Related : How to Write a Great Business Expense Report: A Step-By-Step Guide with Examples

The performance analysis in financial reports is what you rely on to make better business decisions.

Considering the different data that financial reports include, you can check out real-time information regarding historical performances, key spending areas, and use them to create accurate financial forecasts.

Implementing detailed financial analysis and using developed data models can help any business better evaluate current activities and make future business growth decisions.

You will be able to recognize trends, potential problems, and stay on top of your financial performances in real-time. This sets the foundation for quick and accurate economic decisions.

The main purpose of financial reports is to make sure your business is in compliance with the law and regulations of government agencies.

Regulatory institutions examine every document that evaluates the financial activities of your company. This is why making accurate financial documentation is crucial for the well-being of your business.

Aside from accuracy, you will also have to follow certain deadlines that these institutions set. This sometimes causes pressure in accounting departments to create complex financial reports quickly and accurately, which is why regular bookkeeping is immensely important.

In the US, private and public companies have to be compliant with the GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles), while international companies mostly report under the IRFS (International Reporting Financial Standards).

Both of these organizations provide some standard guidelines but there are a few differences you will have to pay attention to when creating your financial statements.

Simplify your taxes  

No matter how big or small your business is, doing taxes can be a stressful task.

By creating accurate financial reports, you can make tax calculation a lot easier since you will minimize any chances of error and save time by including all financial data in one document.

Not only that, since financial reports are a legal requirement, the IRS uses them to evaluate the tax income of each individual company. 

While financial reports all have the same goal, there are a few different types that you should know about.

This isn’t only a matter of compliance or best practice, these reports are key for understanding the different segments of cash flow.

Here are the main types of financial reporting:

Balance Sheet

Cash flow statement, income statement, shareholder equity statement.

A balance sheet is a financial statement that tracks the total amount of assets, liabilities, and shareholder equities within your company. They also provide you with a real-time evaluation of asset liquidity and debt coverage.

Most companies create balance sheets on a quarterly basis and include the data from each quarter in the annual report.

When creating a balance sheet, there is an asset page (includes available cash, equipment value, inventory value, etc.) and a liability page (includes accounts payable, credit card balances, bank loans, etc.) that you need to fulfill.

Once you total these assets and liabilities, you will subtract liabilities from the assets. The amount you get is what is called ‘owner’s equity’.

This is a financial statement that records all the different cash flow activities in the company.

Cash flow statements track cash generated and cash spent amounts in a specific time period. This report is crucial for measuring whether companies generate enough cash to cover their debts. Also, it provides insight into fund operations, investments, and the overall activities that are generating revenue.

This statement is helpful for investors since they can use it to determine whether your business presents a good investment opportunity .

While balance sheets incorporate certain calculations to determine financial values, cash flow statements are consisted of three main elements:

  • Operational activities – inventories, wages, tax income, accounts receivable, accounts payable, and cash receipts
  • Investment activities – investment earnings use, investment earnings generation, asset sales, issued loans, payments from mergers
  • Financing activities – payable dividends, debt payments, debt issuance, cash from investors, and stock repurchases

The income statement records the company’s expenses, revenue, and net loss/income over a specific time period.

Balance sheets focus on the current activities and performances while income sheets track them over a longer period. Businesses tend to track income statements each quarter to gain better insight into the different financial processes that occur.

Income statements include profits and losses , which is why they are also called P&L statements (Profits & Losses).

The main elements included on the income statement are:

  • Operating revenue – financial data regarding sales of products or services
  • Net and gross revenue – includes the total sales revenue and remaining revenue (after the cost subtraction)
  • Primary expenses – these include general costs, administrative costs, depreciation and selling, and COGS (cost of goods sold)
  • Secondary expenses – capital loss, asset loss, debt interest, and loan interest
  • Nonoperating revenue – this is revenue that comes from accrued interest, it includes investment returns, capital gains, and royalty payments

Even though shareholder’s equity is usually included on the balance sheet, larger companies tend to report these activities on a separate statement.

This statement tracks the amount of money key stakeholders invest in the business. The investments most commonly include company stocks and securities. After dividends are released to stockholders, the retained earnings in the company change.

Stakeholder equity statement includes these key components:

  • Retained earnings after dividends and losses have been subtracted
  • Common/preferred stock sales
  • Purchased treasury stock
  • Generated income (including the income that comes from unrealized capital gains)

Pro Tip: How to Stay on Top of the Financial Health of Your Business

Do you own and manage a small business? Then you know how much of a struggle it can be to stay on top of the financial health of your business on a daily basis. Now you can pull data from QuickBooks and HubSpot’s CRM to track your key business metrics in one convenient dashboard, including:

  • Open deals and deal amounts by pipeline stage. Get sales data directly from your HubSpot CRM and track deals, deal amounts, deal stages, and dates from your sales pipeline. 
  • Key financial data. Track gross profit margin, open invoices by amount and by customer, paid invoices, expenses, and income from QuickBooks.

Now you can benefit from the experience of our HubSpot CRM and QuickBooks experts, who have put together a plug-and-play Databox template that helps you monitor and analyze your key financial metrics. It’s simple to implement and start using, and best of all, it’s free!

hubspot_quickbooks_financial_overview_dashboard_preview

You can easily set it up in just a few clicks – no coding required.

To set up the dashboard, follow these 3 simple steps:

Step 1: Get the template 

Step 2: Connect your HubSpot and Quickbooks accounts with Databox. 

Step 3: Watch your dashboard populate in seconds.

Financial reports help you understand your company’s financial performance, attract potential investors, and are legally required. This is why you have to make sure that they are as accurate as possible.

You want your financial reports to be comprehensive, understandable, and precise.

Even though creating a good financial report can be very complex, we are going to show you a step-by-step guide that will make the whole process much easier.

Follow these steps to create a great financial report:

Step 1 – Make a Sales Forecast

Step 2 – create a budget for expenses, step 3 – create a cash flow statement, step 4 – estimate net profit, step 5 – manage assets and liabilities, step 6 – find the breakeven point.

When making a sales forecast, the first thing you should do is create a spreadsheet that includes your sales performance from the last three years.

Use a specific section for each line of sales and organize columns for each month of year one. For years two and three, organize columns on a quarterly basis.

Create three different blocks – one for pricing, one for unit sales, and the third one for multiplying units by unit cost (to calculate the cost of sales).

Cost of sales is important because it helps you calculate a precise gross margin.

Once you do the math, you can make an accurate sales forecast that is backed up by historic financial data.

PRO TIP: If you are using HubSpot CRM to visualize your sales data, watch the video below to learn how to set up and track your HubSpot CRM data in order to more accurately forecast your sales this month, quarter, and beyond.

Once you have made a sales forecast, you will want to calculate how much it will cost you.

When creating an expense budget, you should include both fixed costs (rent, payroll, etc.) and variable costs (marketing and promotional expenses). Costs such as interest and taxes can’t be completely accurate, so you are going to have to make rough estimates.

For taxes, you can multiply the estimated debt balance by your estimated tax percentage rate.

To estimate interest, multiply your estimated debt balance by an estimated interest rate.

We already mentioned what cash flow statements are and why they are so important for your business. They are typically created based on the sales forecast, balance sheet components, and other estimates.

To make cash flow estimates, companies should use historical financial statements. If your business is relatively new, you should project cash flow statements by breaking them down into 12 months.

Your way of invoicing is also linked to cash flow estimates.

For example, if a customer has the right to pay for your services after 30 days, the cash flow statement will show that you only collected 80% of your invoices within the month (while you need 100% to cover the expenses).

To estimate net profit, you should use the numbers from your sales forecast, expense estimates, and cash flow statement.

You can calculate the net profit by subtracting expenses, interests, and taxes from the gross margin .

This step is extremely important since it serves as a profit and loss statement that helps you create a detailed business forecast for the next three years.

In order to estimate your business’s net worth at the end of a fiscal year, you have to be able to manage assets and liabilities that won’t be shown in the profits and loss statement.

Come up with a rough estimate of how much money you expect to have on hand each month and include accounts receivable, inventory, land, and equipment.

After that, calculate liabilities, debts from outstanding loans, and accounts payable.

You know that you have found a breakeven point if your business expenses are in line with the sales volume.

The three-year income estimation should help you acquire this analysis. In viable businesses, the total revenue should exceed total expenses.

For potential investors, this kind of information is crucial since they want to be reassured that they are investing in a company with steady growth.

Nowadays, most companies use different tools and templates to make their reporting process easier. Using dashboards can help you track the metrics you obtain from the financial management tools that your business integrates.

Databox offers pre-built financial templates that can help you track the most important financial metrics in one place.

With our comprehensive dashboards, you can follow the most significant numbers and later include them in your financial report, making the whole process less time-consuming.

We understand that each business is different, which is why you can also customize the reports in any way you deem fit and at any time.

Here are some of our most popular financial reports that you can try out:

  • Quickbooks Profit and Loss Overview Dashboard

Xero Profitability Overview Dashboard

Stripe (mrr & churn) dashboard, profitwell revenue trends dashboard, paypal (account overview) dashboard, quickbooks profit and loss overview dashboard.

To gain valuable insight into the sales and expenses that incur in your business, you can use the QuickBooks Profit and Loss Overview Dashboard .

Make sure you are staying on top of your numbers by tracking monthly, quarterly, and yearly income. Also, this report will help you figure out how profitable your company is and which areas may need to be fixed.

Some of the key metrics you can follow are net profit, income by month, expenses by month, and profit margin.

QuickBooks Profit and Loss Overview Dashboard

Xero is one of the most popular accounting systems that companies use to manage their financial positions. However, it can sometimes be hard to organize the large amount of data this tool provides.

This is where the Xero Profitability Overview Dashboard can come in handy. This customizable template will provide you with a comprehensive view of the sales and expenses that go into your Xero system.

Once the time comes for creating a financial report, you can simply integrate the data you gathered in this dashboard.

The key metrics it includes are net profit, income by month, expenses by month, profits, losses, gross profit, and other income.

Xero Profitability Overview Dashboard

Use the Stripe Dashboard to monitor your churn rate and track MRR growth in real-time. Also, you can check how many customers your business currently has at any given time.

Once you connect your Stripe account to this template, you will be able to answer these questions:

  • How much money did I make through sales today?
  • How can I track my MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue)?
  • How many active customers do we have?
  • How much revenue did I lose from churned customers?

Some of the metrics you can visualize are churn rate goal, customer churn rate, gross volume, revenue churn, and customers.

Stripe (MRR & Churn) Dashboard

Profitwell Revenue Trends Dashboard allows you to monitor all the incoming sources of revenue for your SaaS business and keep track of the important churn metrics.

You can use this free template to see how fast your business is growing. The SaaS metrics will all be located in one comprehensive dashboard and you can visualize all the data with only one click.

Also, you can compare revenue from upgrades and downgrades and investigate your churn ratio revenue.

Profitwell Revenue Trends Dashboard

The PayPal Account Overview Dashboard is extremely useful for bigger companies who want to have a clear overview of their payments, refunds, sales, and other key metrics that your business relies on.

Connecting your PayPal account to the template can be done in a matter of minutes and you will get the answers to questions such as:

  • How can I track gross sales?
  • What is the best way to calculate net sales?
  • How much did I spend on PayPal fees in the previous month?
  • How can I check my PayPal account balance?
  • How much money was returned through refunds last month?

PayPal (Account Overview) Dashboard

Streamline Financial Reporting with Databox

Since the financial reports you create will be examined by both government agencies and potential investors, you will want to make sure that they are top-notch.

However, the reporting process can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming and you will face a lot of pressure trying to create the perfect report.

Databox can help relieve this stress and enhance your financial reporting skills.

No matter if you create these financial statements quarterly or annually, you will end up with a handful of data to analyze. With financial reporting software such as Databox, this analysis process will become both simpler and quicker.

With our customizable dashboards, you can visualize all the most important data and gather it in one place. Aside from being visually pleasing, your reports will also be much more engaging and minimize any chances of error since the information will be imported directly from your financial management tools.

To satisfy both your company’s key stakeholders and potential partners, you can sign up here for a free trial and put your financial reporting on autopilot.

Do you want an All-in-One Analytics Platform?

Hey, we’re Databox. Our mission is to help businesses save time and grow faster. Click here to see our platform in action. 

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How to Create Regular Financial Reports in Power BI

A computer screen with a power bi dashboard showing financial data

If you’re a business owner or financial manager, you know how important regular financial reporting is for making informed decisions and understanding the health of your company. With the help of Power BI, you can create dynamic and interactive financial reports that make it easy to analyze key metrics and track progress over time. In this article, we’ll walk you through the process of building custom financial reports in Power BI, from understanding the basics to integrating external data sources and sharing reports with your team.

Table of Contents

Why Financial Reporting is Important for Your Business

Before we dive into the specifics of using Power BI for financial reporting, it’s important to understand why this type of reporting is crucial for your business. Financial reports let you track revenue and expenses, monitor cash flow, assess profitability, and identify trends and opportunities for growth. By analyzing this data regularly, you can make informed decisions about everything from product development to hiring to marketing strategies. For investors and stakeholders, financial reports are also essential for evaluating the financial health of a company and projecting future performance.

Another important reason why financial reporting is important for your business is that it helps you comply with legal and regulatory requirements. Depending on your industry and location, you may be required to submit financial reports to government agencies or regulatory bodies. Failure to comply with these requirements can result in fines, legal action, and damage to your reputation.

Furthermore, financial reporting can also help you identify potential risks and mitigate them before they become major issues. By analyzing your financial data, you can identify areas where you may be overspending, undercharging, or experiencing cash flow problems. This can help you take corrective action before these issues become more serious and impact your business operations.

Understanding the Basics of Power BI

Power BI is a powerful data visualization and analysis tool from Microsoft that lets you connect to multiple data sources, create custom reports and dashboards, and share insights with your team. It’s designed to be user-friendly, even for those without a strong technical background, and allows you to drill down into your data to uncover insights in real-time. With Power BI, you can quickly create engaging visualizations like charts, graphs, and tables, and customize them to fit your needs.

One of the key features of Power BI is its ability to integrate with other Microsoft products, such as Excel and SharePoint. This allows you to easily import data from these sources and use them in your Power BI reports and dashboards. Additionally, Power BI offers a wide range of customization options, including the ability to add custom visuals and create custom themes, giving you complete control over the look and feel of your reports. With its powerful features and ease of use, Power BI is quickly becoming a go-to tool for businesses looking to gain insights from their data.

Choosing the Right Data Sources for Your Financial Reports

In order to create effective financial reports in Power BI, you’ll need to connect to the right data sources. This might include your accounting software, bank statements, invoices, and other financial data. You can also integrate external data sources like industry benchmarks and economic indicators to get a broader view of your financial performance. It’s important to ensure that your data is clean, accurate, and up-to-date before importing it into Power BI to avoid any discrepancies or errors that could skew your reports.

One important consideration when choosing data sources for your financial reports is the level of detail you need. For example, if you’re creating reports for a specific department or project, you may only need data from certain accounts or transactions. On the other hand, if you’re creating reports for the entire organization, you’ll need to gather data from all relevant sources to get a complete picture of your financial performance.

Another factor to consider is the frequency of data updates. Some data sources may only update on a monthly or quarterly basis, while others may provide real-time data. Depending on your reporting needs, you may need to choose data sources that update frequently to ensure that your reports are always up-to-date and accurate.

Building a Financial Report in Power BI from Scratch

Once you’ve connected to your data sources in Power BI, it’s time to start creating your financial reports. You can design your reports using the drag-and-drop interface, which allows you to add elements like charts, tables, and gauges with just a few clicks. You can also customize the formatting, colors, and fonts to match your brand or preferences. To ensure that your reports are easily digestible for your audience, it’s important to keep them simple and focused on key metrics.

Creating Custom Visualizations to Enhance Your Reports

One of the benefits of using Power BI for financial reporting is the ability to create custom visualizations that bring your data to life and make it easier to understand. You can choose from a wide range of pre-built visualizations or create your own using the visualizations marketplace. Some popular types of visualizations for financial reports include line charts, scatter plots, and heat maps. By experimenting with different types of visualizations, you can identify the ones that work best for your data and add them to your reports.

Using Filters and Slicers to Analyze Financial Data in Power BI

To make it easy to analyze your financial data in Power BI, you can use filters and slicers to drill down into specific segments of your data. Filters can be applied to specific visualizations or applied globally across your entire report, and allow you to narrow down the data based on specific criteria like date range or product line. Slicers provide an interactive way to filter your data and let users control the data they see. By combining filters and slicers, you can create dynamic and interactive reports that give your audience the ability to dig deeper into your data.

Setting Up a Schedule for Regular Financial Reporting in Power BI

Regular financial reporting is essential for keeping your finger on the pulse of your business, and Power BI makes it easy to set up automated reports that are delivered to your inbox on a regular basis. You can customize the frequency, format, and delivery method of your reports to ensure that they are always up-to-date and readily available. By setting up a schedule for regular reporting, you can stay on top of key metrics and identify areas for improvement.

Sharing and Collaborating on Financial Reports with Power BI

One of the benefits of using a cloud-based tool like Power BI is the ability to collaborate and share reports with others in your organization. You can share your reports with specific individuals or groups, or share them publicly if desired. You can also set permissions to control who can view or edit your reports. By collaborating on financial reports in Power BI, you can ensure that everyone in your organization is on the same page and working towards common goals.

Troubleshooting Common Issues with Financial Reporting in Power BI

While Power BI is designed to be user-friendly, there may be times when you encounter issues or errors with your reports. Common issues include data refresh problems, formatting errors, and missing data. Thankfully, there are a number of resources available to help troubleshoot these problems, including the Power BI community forum and online help center. By familiarizing yourself with these resources, you can quickly resolve any issues and get back to creating engaging financial reports in Power BI.

Best Practices for Creating Effective and Engaging Financial Reports in Power BI

To ensure that your financial reports are effective and engaging, there are a few best practices to keep in mind. First, focus on the key metrics that matter most to your business, and present them in a clear and concise way. Use visualizations that highlight trends and outliers, and be sure to provide context for your data. Use annotations and text boxes to add additional context and insights. Finally, be sure to test your reports thoroughly to ensure that they are accurate and user-friendly before sharing with your team.

Advanced Techniques for Analyzing Financial Data in Power BI

While the basics of creating financial reports in Power BI are relatively simple, there are a number of advanced techniques you can use to take your reports to the next level. These techniques might include using DAX formulas to calculate complex metrics, creating drill-through reports that allow users to explore data in greater detail, and using Q&A to ask natural language questions about your data. By mastering these advanced techniques, you can create highly customized financial reports that provide unparalleled insights into your business.

Integrating External Data Sources into Your Financial Reports with Power BI

While you may already be using accounting software or other sources of financial data within your organization, there may be external data sources that can provide valuable insights into your business. For example, you might use economic data to investigate industry trends or competitor analysis to identify areas for improvement. Power BI lets you easily integrate external data sources into your financial reports, providing a more holistic view of your business that can inform key decision-making.

Comparing and Contrasting Different Versions of Your Financial Reports in Power BI

As your business evolves and grows, you may need to modify your financial reports to ensure they remain relevant and informative. Power BI lets you easily compare different versions of your reports over time, making it easy to identify trends or areas where changes may be necessary. You can also create snapshot reports that capture a particular point in time for comparison purposes. By analyzing different versions of your financial reports, you can gain deeper insights into your business and make informed decisions based on the data.

How to Interpret and Present Financial Data from Power BI to Key Stakeholders

Finally, it’s important to understand how to interpret and present financial data from Power BI to your key stakeholders, including investors, board members, and other decision-makers. This might involve creating summary dashboards that provide high-level insights into the health of your business, or providing detailed reports that drill down into specific metrics. It’s important to present your data in a way that is clear, concise, and easily understandable, while also providing context and insights that can inform decision-making at all levels of your organization.

Overall, creating regular financial reports in Power BI can provide a powerful tool for tracking the health of your business and identifying areas for improvement. By utilizing the tips, techniques, and features outlined in this article, you can create engaging, informative, and user-friendly reports that can inform better decision-making and drive business growth.

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How to make financials more meaningful

For many businesses, financial reports are a formality, but how often do key decision makers challenge the data to find out more about what it really means?

Financial directors within small and medium-sized businesses often say that profit and loss reports prepared for the monthly Board meeting get little or no reaction. In some instances, this could be because the data is not being interpreted fully or accurately enough, or else it lacks the layer of interpretation needed to make it meaningful.

When smaller businesses grow, business leaders may find that the financial data being reported back by the in-house finance team is no longer as useful as it once was. For example, it may be too historical or focused in an area that is no longer relevant or necessary. In other cases, the data sets may have been added to over time, which has caused monthly management reports to become too long and difficult to navigate.

If a financial report has grown to 25 pages or more and is at best skim read, or at worst, ignored completely, it would probably benefit from a review. In general, reports tend to get more favourable feedback if they are much shorter, more relevant and focused on the future. How does the past impact the future? How can we use this information to spark positive change?

Reports tend to get more favourable feedback if they are much shorter, more relevant and focused on the future.

As business advisers, our teams are often asked for advice about how to improve financial reports and make them more user-friendly. We usually recommend that a management pack of information is prepared and circulated in advance of board meetings; making sure there is the right amount of analysis to ensure the data is understood. This should be accompanied by a ‘one pager’ summarising key data in an easy-to-digest format.

As part of its monthly reporting, the business should establish Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and keep them under review as the business grows. Sales and cash flow forecasts should also be prepared to provide a realistic picture of where the business is heading. The management pack should share facts about the performance of the business against these pre-agreed KPIs – for example, are sales figures higher or lower than targeted? How might this affect the forecast for next month, the current year and the year after?

Keeping the data as up-to-date as possible is also important. Board directors are bound to lose interest if the only numbers they are being shown each month relate to the previous month’s performance. If this is happening, financial teams should try to find out why the information is late. For example, if the business is waiting until 21 st for all supplier invoices to come in and be entered meaningful financial reports arrive much later. Introducing a new rule whereby all supplier invoices must be in by the 7 th of the month, to get paid by the end of the month, could make all the difference and improve your internal reporting timetable. Do you really need to wait that long?

Reporting financial data can be more complex in businesses that operate on a project basis, such as those in the construction industry. Some projects may last just a few months, whereas others might last a year or more, and it is important to account for them on a project-by-project basis. As well as keeping track of payments made and invoices issued, the business will want to know whether each individual piece of work is profitable or not. To calculate this accurately, the financial team will need to stay in touch with operations and make sure they know what stage the project has reached and whether it is likely to complete on time and on budget, and if not, due provision is made.

Forecast modelling should be introduced to provide a view of how strategic decisions could impact the performance of the business over time.

Depending on the number of projects underway at any one time, it may be important for the financial team to understand the point at which each is expected to turn cash positive. This could help to reassure decision makers that the cash position of the business is secure, even if the project appears to be unprofitable in the early stages. Conversely, a profitable contract still may put a huge cash flow strain on a business if early expenditure is significant, before recovering from your customer. If this occurred on multiple contracts, at the same time, clearly the impact is compounded.

To ensure financial data is relevant and forward-looking, forecast modelling should be introduced to provide a view of how strategic decisions could impact the performance of the business over time. For example, the Board may wish to know what would happen if the business increases or reduces prices by 1%, or if it recruits a new senior manager to head up an expanding sales function, or ventures to new territories. Demonstrating the cash impact of changes or differing scenarios should keep the whole management team engaged. This type of cash modelling can help to make financial data more meaningful and integral to the running of the business.

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Financial Reporting Tools for Accurate Financial Analysis

Financial Reporting Tools for Accurate Financial Analysis

May 16, 2023

SmartSuite Staff

Financial Reporting Tools for Accurate Financial Analysis

Accurate financial analysis is critical for the success of any business. Financial reporting provides insight into business performance and enables businesses to make informed decisions about investments, operations, and strategic planning. To achieve accurate financial analysis, businesses need the right tools and software to manage their financial reporting effectively. This is where financial reporting tools come in, providing an affordable and efficient way for businesses to manage their financial reporting and improve overall profitability.

What are Financial Reporting Tools?

Financial reporting tools are software solutions designed to help businesses manage their financial reporting effectively. These solutions typically provide tools for tracking financial data, generating financial statements, and analyzing financial performance. Financial reporting tools enable businesses to improve financial visibility, making it easier to identify areas for improvement and optimize profitability.

Why are Financial Reporting Tools Valuable for Accurate Financial Analysis?

Accurate financial analysis is critical for business success. Financial reporting tools provide an affordable and customizable way for businesses to manage their financial reporting, reducing the burden of manual data entry and improving overall accuracy. Here are some specific benefits of using financial reporting tools for accurate financial analysis:

  • Improved Accuracy: Financial reporting tools can help reduce errors associated with manual data entry, improving overall accuracy and ensuring that businesses have a clear picture of their financial performance.
  • Streamlined Reporting: Financial reporting tools streamline the financial reporting process, reducing the burden of manual data entry and improving overall efficiency.
  • Customizable Reporting: Financial reporting tools provide customizable reporting options, enabling businesses to generate reports that fit their specific needs and optimize profitability.
  • Real-Time Visibility: Financial reporting tools provide real-time visibility into financial data, enabling businesses to make informed decisions about investments, operations, and strategic planning.
  • Scalability: Financial reporting tools can grow and evolve with business growth, providing a platform that can meet the changing needs of an expanding organization.

SmartSuite: Financial Reporting Tools for Accurate Financial Analysis

SmartSuite is a popular financial reporting tool that is used by businesses of all sizes to manage their financial reporting effectively. With its user-friendly interface, SmartSuite enables users to track financial data, generate financial statements, and analyze financial performance from a central location. SmartSuite's customizable approach means that businesses can optimize their financial reporting processes to fit their specific needs, reducing errors and improving overall accuracy.

In conclusion, financial reporting tools provide an affordable and customizable option for businesses to manage their financial reporting effectively and improve overall profitability. With their user-friendly interfaces and affordable pricing, financial reporting solutions like SmartSuite make it easy for businesses to track financial data, generate financial statements, and analyze financial performance. By using financial reporting tools, businesses can streamline their financial reporting processes, reduce errors, and stay competitive in today's fast-paced business world.

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Best digital annual reports of 2021: Get inspired by these websites

digital annual report illustration

What do we know about the best digital annual reports ? The most successful yearly wrap-ups go beyond just sharing essential info about financial standings. They also feature dynamic designs, strong imagery, and moving storytelling to showcase accomplishments from the past year.

Though the preferred way to share annual report findings varies from company to company, every year more companies are embracing digital annual reports. Some of the reasons for this format’s popularity is its greater potential reach, more flexible formatting, and added opportunities for interactivity.

Plus, in some cases, strategically designed digital annual reports can also be more affordable in the long-run (especially if you reuse CMS layouts and other creative assets to support other marketing and communication initiatives).

Keep reading to see examples of the best digital annual reports published in 2021.

What do the best digital annual reports have in common?

1. intriguing infographics.

An annual report is ultimately a report, after all. Paint a picture for your shareholders by creatively displaying pertinent statistics about how you are achieving your goals.

digital annual report example from Basser Center for BRCA

2. Telling real stories, in their own words

The best digital annual reports will incorporate real people who have been impacted by your work. Use any combination of testimonials, case studies and client stories, and even video interviews to tell their stories.

digital annual report example from Farm Aid

3. Spotlighting the mission and goals

Make the connection for your audience by weaving your mission and goals throughout the report. Since a user controls how they navigate your digital annual report, you’ll want to incorporate the mission in different ways to tie them back to overall goals for the year.

digital annual report example from IBRI

4. Use of professional, custom photography and videography

Having custom, professional, high-resolution photography or videography is the gold standard when it comes to online imagery. While stock photography has its merits, custom imagery paints a more compelling and engaging story for your brand. This is true in print marketing, but with so many images on the web, custom art can be a way to make your digital annual report stand out.

digital annual report example from L’Oreal

5. Utilizing enhanced analytics tracking

Unlike a printed report, you can gain real-time information about your audience and users in a digital annual report. You can use passive data to better understand what appeals to your users, such as a time on page, bounce rate, and click tracking.

For some organizations, it makes sense to offer a gated copy of the report to collect contact information about their shareholders and potential investors.

digital annual report example from Artsy Gallery

6. Customizing the user experience

While a printed report is a similar experience for all shareholders, from the cover to the imagery to the order of the information, the best digital annual reports give users more control over the information that matters to them. Use navigation and design elements to help your users “choose their own adventure” to provide them with the best experience with your annual report.

digital annual report example from Migros

7. Staying on brand

The best digital annual reports are like virtual brand ambassadors. When your annual report is interesting, tells your story, and is user-friendly, it has the added benefit of adding validity to your overall brand credibility on the web. The annual report can be a way to show a new expression of your brand while still being recognizable and adding your digital tool belt.

digital annual report example from MailChimp

Consider the improved user experience, the ability to tell stories with images and videos, and the ability to track user engagement to determine how to best build your digital annual report.

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About the author | TBH Creative

TBH Creative is an award-winning marketing company specializing in web design/development, digital strategy, inbound marketing, and reporting. Since 2004, we’ve built multi-dimensional digital marketing campaigns and complex, enterprise-level websites for clients in a wide range of industries.

We believe in communicating clearly, delivering excellence, and beating deadlines. But beyond those ideals, what really drives the heart of our business is your business—helping our clients achieve more with comprehensive digital marketing and web design.

Our Indianapolis web design company is WBE-certified in the state of Indiana and the city of Indianapolis, and we’re also a Hubspot-certified inbound marketing agency.

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Why Use Excel for Financial Reporting Instead of Financial Software?

excel spreadsheets for financial reporting

Microsoft Excel is one of the most commonly used tools for analyzing and reporting financial data, particularly among nonprofit organizations. But why is this the case when so many of the same organizations rely on advanced financial and accounting software? Our nonprofit accounting software consulting company is exploring why organizations choose Excel, and we’re also sharing how you can bridge the gap between Excel and Blackbaud’s Financial Edge accounting software .

Benefits of Using Excel for Financial Reporting

First, let’s look at why so many nonprofit organizations choose Excel for their reporting and analysis.

Formatting Options

Excel allows you to format your reports in a way that makes them easy to read and parse information. This is especially important when you’re sharing data with a board of directors who want both overviews and to drill down specific information. Excel allows you to highlight, change colors, and add bold fonts to improve how readers can find the data they’re looking for.

Improved Visual Aids

For comprehensive overviews as well as showing in-depth breakdowns, Excel gives you the ability to combine charts and graphs into your reports easily.

Familiarity

Excel is a familiar medium and most people, particularly those who aren’t financial or accounting professionals, can read the information more easily and comfortably. You can easily deliver information in a variety of formats depending on who you are presenting data to.

Simplifying and Streamlining Reports

Excel allows you to combine and simplify your reporting. This allows you to create comprehensive reports for the IRS and board of directors as well as simple data that shows the state of your nonprofit for donors seeking information.

Create Presentations

Accounting software doesn’t allow you to create charts and presentations that you may need to provide to the board of directors, nor does it meet grantor and funder required formatting. Excel meets all the requirements and allows you to create the presentations you need.

Bridging Reporting Between Excel and Financial Edge

If you’re using Financial Edge NXT , you are most likely relying on Excel for the above-listed reasons, but that also takes time to carry over data from one platform to the other. Capital Business Solutions has created Power Cloud Reporting to integrate Financial Edge NXT and Excel so you can get the reporting features you need without adding multiple steps. By combining the Excel interface with Financial Edge NXT through Power Cloud Reporting, you’ll get the following benefits:

  • Achieve greater insight into your nonprofit’s finances;
  • Generate advanced reporting for the board of directors;
  • Create accurate budgets and forecasts based on real-time data;
  • Consolidate multiple Financial Edge databases;
  • Generate income statements for multiple funds, departments, and projects across separate spreadsheets;

It’s a user-friendly platform that offers the functionality you need to expand your reporting while eliminating multiple steps between Financial Edge and Excel, saving you time and hassle.

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To learn how Power Cloud Reporting can improve reporting, reduce costs, and save time, call us at   (888) 249-6008  or fill out the form below.

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how to make financial reports more user friendly

🔥$39 Lifetime Deal on Magnimetrics Tools for Excel

5 tips for better financial models in excel, dobromir dikov.

“If you cannot explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” Albert Einstein

It’s a simple sentence, but it carries a lot of truth. A lack of simplicity is often why models are so complicated that they are almost useless. And I’m not just talking about Excel workbooks full of hard-to-track VLOOKUPs, convoluted named ranges, and data tables. Better financial models start with better conceptualizations and more straightforward ways of representing the issues you are trying to analyze and solve.

Read ahead for 5 great tips on how to build better financial models in Excel!

how to make financial reports more user friendly

Tip 1: Start with outlining the flow of your financial model

Before you even open Excel, spend some time outlining the flow of your model. What are you trying to accomplish? Who is it for, and how will it be used? Which data sources will be required?

It’s essential to set goals before you start building so that you and the people who use your model know what they can expect from it. For example, if all they’re looking for is a report on year-over-year sales, there’s no need to build complicated forecasting logic. By knowing upfront who will use the model and how they’ll use it, you can limit its scope and increase its usefulness.

Take some time to outline the logical flow of the financial model. This means thinking through how different sections of the financial model will interact.

Whenever I have to build a new financial model, I start by drawing a diagram on a whiteboard or paper that shows how all the pieces fit together. This process will help you visualize the structure of the model and make sure you don’t forget any components. It’s also helpful to have this structure in place as you build out your model because it will help keep your spreadsheet organized.

Here’s an example from a recent model I built. This outlines the Sales section of the model logic and shows how the relevant financials will flow through the model. By having this structure in place before I start building the components, I can group items and conceptualize the functionality of each sheet and how I can reuse them. For example, the US Sales and EU Sales tabs have the exact same structure, but different data sources and forward-looking assumptions.

financial models structuring in excel

Tip 2: Document your assumptions.

Create a summary sheet that lists your key inputs and provides a source for each model input or how it was calculated. For example, take an LBO model where you use an EBITDA multiple of 5.00x to calculate the value of a target company. It is helpful to provide a source for the multiple, e.g., “The target has similar business characteristics as ACME Inc., which was recently acquired at 5.50x EBITDA”. If you don’t have a specific source, you can also explain the logic behind the assumption (“We used 5.00x because the average transaction multiple in the industry is 4.00-7.00x.”).

If you are doing complex calculations, remember to write down explanations for the formulas. You may think you will remember what you did, but if you need to revisit the financial model in a few months or even weeks, it will be much harder to figure out the calculations if you don’t document them. Therefore, it’s a good idea to always think about documenting your model in a way that would allow someone with similar experience to understand the financial model logic and flow relatively easily.

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Tip 3: use consistent formatting.

To make your Excel financial models easy to use, you should use consistent formatting. Anything you do to make the model more intuitive will save users time in the long run.

Using the same basic template for each worksheet (or “tab”) is a great idea. This may include setting up headers with titles, currencies, notes, etc., which are organized in the same way across the entire financial model. If, for example, you are modeling the sales performance of several entities, it makes sense to build a template for that when you model one of the entities and then reuse the same template for the others. This would speed up your work, and it will be easier to track the different pieces of the model, as they will look the same and follow the same calculation logic.

The workbook should also have a consistent theme across all worksheets. Set up a standard color scheme with different colors for constants/assumptions, links to other tabs or files, and calculations. That way, it will be visible at a glance what kind of information you’re looking at.

For example, I always use blue for assumptions (input numbers or constants), black for calculations, and green for links to other sheets or external files.

financial models formatting in excel

Additionally, when I have a cell with a formula that differs from the formula in the other cells in the row/column, I color it dark brown. In the image above, the prices in Mar and Dec were decreased manually to account for promotions.

Tip 4: Introduce validation checks to reduce errors

One way to ensure your financial model works well is by building in safeguards to minimize the possibility of error.

Regularly testing your model can help you discover and fix errors. One common technique is to do a “stress test,” which involves running extreme scenarios through the model to see if it can handle them. If you have a model for production costs, for example, trying a scenario where the cost of raw materials doubles can show you whether the model will break and what happens when it does. You can also perform sensitivity analysis on key assumptions to visualize how changes in them reflect on key outputs.

Another approach is to run multiple scenarios that are only slightly different, then compare the results. If you have a model for measuring sales, try running a projection for this year and next year with only a few minor changes to the assumptions (e.g., adjusting the predicted revenue growth by 1%). If the two sets of results differ too much, it could indicate something’s wrong with the model’s calculation logic.

Whenever I add validation checks, I’d calculate them as 1 for ‘OK’ and 0 for ‘Error.’ Then, with simple conditional formatting, I can transform these into icons that make the whole validation more visual and ensure it’s easier to spot problems.

financial models validation in excel

Tip 5: Keep it Simple

Probably the best advice is to keep it simple. If you can do that and communicate your financial models effectively, you’re well on your way to creating clear and effective communication with the model users. If people struggle to understand your model, or if it seems confusing, you need to reevaluate how you built it.

I tend to often over-engineer modeling components that can be solved much more straightforwardly. Therefore, it’s a good idea to regularly revisit parts of the model you built a while ago and think about simplifying them further.

Keep your financial models as simple as possible, and you will also significantly reduce the potential for human errors.

There are many important things to consider when building models in Excel. The ones I shared are far from extensive but are the 5 that had the most impact on my modeling.

If there’s anything that I can recommend, it would be to experiment with your models and templates continuously. Of course, you can also keep an eye out for blogs like this one to learn about some techniques that you may not have considered before.

Remember that no one ever started at the top of their modeling game. You can only improve by practicing more and being critical of your work. Keep learning, and things will get better!

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how to make financial reports more user friendly

Hi! I am a finance professional with 10+ years of experience in audit, controlling, reporting, financial analysis and modeling. I am excited to delve deep into specifics of various industries, where I can identify the best solutions for clients I work with.

In my spare time, I am into skiing, hiking and running. I am also active on Instagram and YouTube, where I try different ways to express my creative side.

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A chance to make government financial data transparent and user-friendly, federal legislation requiring machine-readable reporting has its critics, but it would go a long way toward modernizing how data is collected, used and shared. it also could lower borrowing costs for states and localities..

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More From Forbes

Five financial strategies to modernize your small business.

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Sal Rehmetullah is the founder of Stax Payments , a Unicorn in the Fintech space, and serial entrepreneur.

In today's dynamic business landscape, modernizing your small business goes beyond just keeping up with the latest technology trends. It's also important to implement financial strategies that optimize operations, drive growth and ensure long-term sustainability. Based on my experience founding and growing a business in today's financial technology market, here are five financial-focused approaches that can help you modernize your small business and set yourself up for success.

1. Optimize cash flow management.

Effective cash flow management is important for the financial health of any business. It can affect how you gain credit, grow your business and reinvest in growth strategies. One step to consider is implementing cash flow forecasting tools to help you project future inflows and outflows. This can allow you to anticipate and mitigate potential cash crunches. By leveraging a forward-looking forecast of market trends and customer behavior, you can make informed decisions to optimize cash flow efficiency and maintain liquidity.

It's also important to prioritize the right things in cash flow management depending on your size. For example, if you are a smaller or newer business, ensure that you understand your supply chain and the amount of inventory on hand. If you are larger and can afford to keep inventory on your balance sheet, it may make sense to buy in bulk and save a few dollars to optimize your bottom line.

2. Explore financial technology solutions.

Business owners can also consider fintech solutions to help streamline financial processes and enhance efficiency. Explore solutions that can provide tools for confidently making data-driven financial decisions. I have found that leveraging fintech solutions tailored to your business needs can help save time, reduce manual errors and gain actionable insights into your financial performance.

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The main things to consider are your size and the growth of your business. There are many tools, both small and large, that require minimal-to-no setup or require a large and lengthy implementation. Consider your revenue size, the number of people and size of the team that will take this project on, as well as the overall budgetary requirements you have for a new solution.

3. Consider diversifying revenue streams.

Relying solely on one revenue stream can leave your business vulnerable to market fluctuations. Identify emerging market trends and opportunities to diversify your revenue streams. Then, consider exploring complementary products or services, expanding into new markets or developing strategic partnerships to help minimize risk and maximize revenue potential.

Additionally, keep in mind any concentration risk you may have. Large customers can be great, but if all of your revenue is tied up in one area, you may have a significant issue if this customer churns or has some challenges in their own business. I believe diversification is key for a healthy business.

4. Implement cost-reduction strategies.

Identify areas where you can trim unnecessary expenses and optimize operational costs. I have found that the easiest way to do this is to look at your profit and loss (P&L) and ask yourself, if you had to cut 10% of all expenses but still hit your numbers, where would you start? You may quickly realize that there are a lot of things in the organization that are nice-to-haves but not necessary.

This is also where cost analysis tools may help, and there are many from which to choose. By leveraging data-driven insights, you can identify cost-saving opportunities, renegotiate contracts with suppliers and streamline your operations without sacrificing quality or productivity.

5. Improve your financial education.

Knowledge is power when it comes to financial management. Explore educational resources and advisory services. By doing so, you can empower yourself and your team with the skills and knowledge needed to make informed financial decisions. Whether through training programs or personalized guidance from financial experts, equip yourself with the tools to navigate complex financial challenges and capitalize on growth opportunities.

Modernizing a small business requires a strategic approach to financial management and decision-making. In my experience, solutions that can help you digitize your business are important keys to driving growth in today's technology-savvy world. By optimizing cash flow management, leveraging financial technology solutions, diversifying revenue streams, implementing cost-reduction strategies and investing in your financial education, you can strengthen your business's financial position, drive growth and position yourself for long-term success in today's competitive marketplace.

The information provided here is not investment, tax, or financial advice. You should consult with a licensed professional for advice concerning your specific situation.

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COMMENTS

  1. The 17 best financial reporting software tools [updated for 2024]

    9. Xero. Xero is an accounting software with some reporting features, though its primary functions are payroll, expenses, and invoicing. You can track and pay bills, claim expenses, connect to your banks, track payments, use Gusto payroll software, manage Xero contacts, and much more. Features.

  2. 9 Smart Practices To Ensure Accurate, Timely Financial Reports

    2. Leverage Collaborative Digital Tools. Timely and accurate financial reporting can be a way to reduce business costs. Leveraging existing digital tools that automate tasks, such as tracking ...

  3. Four Keys to Creating a More User-Friendly Financial Statement

    Now let's look at four keys for an annual financial statement that will make evaluating the financial health of your utility a bit more user-friendly. 1. Separate Funds for Each Utility. If your organization owns more than one utility, it can be very helpful for each utility to have a separate enterprise fund or section in the financial ...

  4. 7 Best Finance Reporting Solutions: A Buyer's Guide for 2024

    3. Automated real-time financial statements & reports. At any given time, SaaS companies handle large volumes of data. Automation streamlines the financial reporting process, by eliminating manual entries and reducing the risk of errors—saving hours for finance teams and improving efficiency and accuracy.

  5. 10 Easy Steps To Creating The Perfect Financial Report

    Step 1: Selecting the Appropriate Financial Report Template. Begin by choosing the types of financial reports that align with your reporting needs. Templates like income statements, balance sheets ...

  6. 15 Tips To Help Businesses Develop Effective Financial ...

    4. Know The Close Calendar. Be a part of the conversation with the controller and know when the books are officially closed. There is a lot of data that is final before the close is complete ...

  7. How to Write User-Friendly Financial Reports with Plain Language

    5 Proofread and test your report. The final step of writing a user-friendly financial report is to proofread and test your report. You want to check your report for any spelling, grammar ...

  8. Interactive Data Dashboards: Building User-Friendly Reports

    Interactive data dashboards are visual representations of data that allow users to explore and interact with information dynamically. Instead of presenting static charts or reports, dashboards ...

  9. How to Write a Great Financial Report? Tips and Best Practices

    Even though creating a good financial report can be very complex, we are going to show you a step-by-step guide that will make the whole process much easier. Follow these steps to create a great financial report: Step 1 - Make a Sales Forecast. Step 2 - Create a Budget for Expenses.

  10. How to Create a Financial Report in Power BI

    Power BI allows you to connect to a wide range of data sources, including relational databases, online services, spreadsheets, and more. The first step in creating your financial report is to establish connections to these data sources. Power BI provides a simple and intuitive interface to connect to your data sources and retrieve the necessary ...

  11. 6 Tips to Make Your Financial Models User-Friendly

    To make your financial models more user-friendly, you need to follow some best practices and techniques that will enhance their clarity, accuracy, and usability. Here are six tips to help you ...

  12. How to Create Regular Financial Reports in Power BI

    Regular financial reporting is essential for keeping your finger on the pulse of your business, and Power BI makes it easy to set up automated reports that are delivered to your inbox on a regular basis. You can customize the frequency, format, and delivery method of your reports to ensure that they are always up-to-date and readily available.

  13. How to make financials more meaningful

    Keeping the data as up-to-date as possible is also important. Board directors are bound to lose interest if the only numbers they are being shown each month relate to the previous month's performance. If this is happening, financial teams should try to find out why the information is late. For example, if the business is waiting until 21 st ...

  14. 11 Best Financial Reporting Software Solutions For 2024

    5) Intuit QuickBooks. QuickBooks, by Intuit, is a robust financial reporting software designed to simplify finance management for businesses of all sizes. This comprehensive tool makes it easy to track income and expenses, manage invoices, organize tax information, and analyze performance metrics.

  15. Financial Reporting Tools for Accurate Financial Analysis

    SmartSuite is a popular financial reporting tool that is used by businesses of all sizes to manage their financial reporting effectively. With its user-friendly interface, SmartSuite enables users to track financial data, generate financial statements, and analyze financial performance from a central location. SmartSuite's customizable approach ...

  16. How to Create More User-Friendly Planning and Reporting Forms

    3. Keep it simple. If you want your solution to be user-friendly, keeping it simple is your number-one mantra. Try to reduce the amount of data being displayed by using smart features such as View Tags and Column Groupings. With insightsoftware, it is possible to show and hide certain parts of a large sheet by the simple click of a button.

  17. Best digital annual reports of 2021: Get inspired by these websites

    2. Telling real stories, in their own words. The best digital annual reports will incorporate real people who have been impacted by your work. Use any combination of testimonials, case studies and client stories, and even video interviews to tell their stories. A picture tells a thousand words, but a picture with a caption says even more.

  18. Why Use Excel for Financial Reporting Instead of Financial Software?

    Consolidate multiple Financial Edge databases; Generate income statements for multiple funds, departments, and projects across separate spreadsheets; It's a user-friendly platform that offers the functionality you need to expand your reporting while eliminating multiple steps between Financial Edge and Excel, saving you time and hassle.

  19. How to Choose User-Friendly Financial Reporting Software

    3. Test and evaluate. 4. Make a decision. 5. Here's what else to consider. Be the first to add your personal experience. Choosing the most user-friendly financial reporting software for your ...

  20. How to Make Financials More Meaningful

    Demonstrating the cash impact of changes or differing scenarios should keep the whole management team engaged. This type of cash modelling can help to make financial data more meaningful and integral to the running of the business. ——————————-. Phil Wright is a Director with Menzies LLPMenzies LLP, Chartered Accountants and ...

  21. 5 Tips For Better Financial Models In Excel

    Tip 3: Use consistent formatting. To make your Excel financial models easy to use, you should use consistent formatting. Anything you do to make the model more intuitive will save users time in the long run. Using the same basic template for each worksheet (or "tab") is a great idea. This may include setting up headers with titles ...

  22. A Chance to Make Government Financial Data Transparent and User-Friendly

    With open data standards, local governments can generate the data one time and make it instantly available to all stakeholders in a digital format that is searchable, sortable and more user-friendly.

  23. Five Financial Strategies To Modernize Your Small Business

    1. Optimize cash flow management. Effective cash flow management is important for the financial health of any business. It can affect how you gain credit, grow your business and reinvest in growth ...

  24. Big Data: Latest Articles, News & Trends

    Big Data Big Data Tableau Review: Features, Pricing, Pros and Cons . Tableau has three pricing tiers that cater to all kinds of data teams, with capabilities like accelerators and real-time analytics.

  25. Top User-Friendly BI Financial Analytics Platforms

    The most user-friendly financial analytics platforms use a variety of charts, graphs, and dashboards to help you understand your financial data at a glance. ... Report this article More articles ...

  26. GEN-Z ACCOUNTANTS: Redefining Traditional Accounting Practices

    Join us at 6 PM (WAT) this Thursday May 9, 2024, as our distinguish guest will be discussing the topic: GEN-Z ACCOUNTANTS: Redefining Traditional...

  27. How to Make Your Financial Models User-Friendly

    1 Use clear and consistent naming conventions. One of the first steps to make your financial models user-friendly is to use clear and consistent naming conventions for your worksheets, cells ...