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Flash reports and why to build them

This short guide covers what Flash Reports are and how you could use them as a speedy solution for your clients’ reporting needs.

When reporting on clients’ data it’s always nice to hand over a flashy management pack. These reports pack a punch and are a great way to show your clients that you have dived into the guts of their business. This is what you get to show for all your hard work…

But sometimes we need something quick and scalable. We can’t dedicate hundreds of hours to management packs for clients and clients can’t always afford them either… Enter the Flash Report.

This short guide covers what Flash Reports are and how you could use them as a speedy solution for your clients’ reporting needs.

What are Flash Reports?

Flash reports are one-page executive-level summaries that provide a snapshot of a company's key financial and operational metrics at regular intervals, usually on a weekly basis. Designed to be short and concise, they should not take more than 30 minutes to prepare. They allow management to assess the key performance indicators (KPIs) of the company and identify potential issues and opportunities. By providing real-time insights into trends and customer behaviour, flash reports are an essential tool for making informed decisions and staying ahead of the competition.

3 common features of a flash report

Every flash report is unique and based on the requirements of the client or user. There are, however, some general features that most flash reports use.

  • Liquidity. This is where your cash flow forecasts are key. Does the company have enough in the bank to keep the lights on? What do their accounts receivable and their day sales outstanding look like?
  • Productivity. This will be unique to each of your clients based on their industry and size. This is a place to show off the KPIs that are meaningful to your clients. How many new clients have they taken on? What are their sales growth rate? What’s their gross profit margin?
  • Profitability. “Profit is sanity.” While cash keeps businesses moving, your clients still need to know that they are on the right trajectory. An easily digestible indication of their profitability will help your clients sleep at night.

The best flash reports…

  • Are short. There’s no need to make your flash reports long. In fact, flash reports should ideally fit onto a single page. Get the data that counts onto the page, save the rest for later.
  • Take little time to produce. Flash reports should take no more than 30 minutes to produce. When using Futrli’s drag and drop reporting, you can cut that time down to just a few minutes through easy to use drag and drop reporting. Your saved reports can be used again and again as reports are linked to your source data.
  • Use comparative data. Clients’ data becomes far more meaningful when we compare it to past results. Ground your flash reports in historical information, up-to-date financials and predictions for impactful reports.

Offering flash reports is a great opportunity to expand your advisory offerings to your clients. Use them in conversations with clients looking for more support.

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