The importance of business reporting starts from day one and continues throughout the business lifecycle. Monitoring business performance over time and understanding the available historical data of the business is key in enabling you to budget, forecast and plan for the future. 

For reports to be useful, they must cater to the business’s needs. They should include financial and non-financial Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) as well as looking at trends in the data, to help you forward plan resources and highlight potential issues that may arise. Reporting can also identify where the most and least profitable services, industries and/or clients are, so more informed decisions can be made moving forward. 

This information can then be used to project future periods and look at the financial impact of potential opportunities and changes which could have a direct financial benefit to the business. Reporting can also help team engagement, working towards a common goal or objective, as well as providing a facility to measure performance. 

Ensuring your reports are right for you 

Business reporting must be accurate, timely, and insightful. Your reports should track KPIs and trends that actually help you achieve your strategic goals, and most importantly, they must be easy to understand. 

Finding the right solution for your business can be a bit of trial and error. The reporting applications within the app ecosystem tend to be a one-size-fits-all solution which, dependent on your needs, might not work for your business. 

In this guide, we consider two of the main reporting applications that can be used to create easy to read monthly, quarterly or annual reporting packs, which are particularly useful for giving to Boards or investors.