Slice and dice your tracking data - improve your (cash flow) forecasting with Xero tracking categories
Xero’s Tracking Summary Report does what it says on the tin. Generate a list of your active tracking categories, showing the activity in a particular group of accounts for a particular time period. Simply input the time frame you’d like to see, add your account group (eg ‘sales’), and add your tracking category. This, for argument’s sake, might be branch location. Xero’s tracking categories (and class or location categories) enable you to monitor different areas of your business. Being able to define your own tracking categories and tracking category name gives you the flexibility you need. This way, your reports help you make proactive business decisions.
At Futrli we’ve taken this functionality to the next level. Our software allows you to forecast against individual tracking options, and filter any report by tracking options. There are no restrictions on the time period you want to analyze. This is because you can’t get a grip on your business if you’re chasing around for information: to protect your business from any nasty surprises, you must to look at the full picture. Drill down into incomes and costs, and create custom KPIs and formulas for all your Tracking Categories.
What Xero data can you track?
Sales and Purchase information can be tagged effectively with the departmental names that you assign. We have users who are tagging their data by region, by project name, by salesperson, by the department. Xero tracking category options seem endless. We will let you run reports that allow you to benchmark each one against each other. There is a tracking option out there for everyone.
Industries that should be using this function include tourism, hospitality, manufacturing, recruitment, and real estate. The possibilities are (almost) endless – any business that needs to divide itself up into smaller entities needs to be conducting tracking reporting.
Setting your staff personal and team targets offers your staff empowerment, accountability, and motivation in the workplace. This leads to good team morale. Being transparent with your team through your reporting will show them you trust them, result in harmony, achieved targets, and even a better quality product
Food for thought
Rather than manually updating a spreadsheet with every single sale, plugging your figures into Xero will show your team’s movements in real-time. Focusing on the positives – the actual sales – you need to know how each person is performing. You’ll have laid out a target in your budget, and need to be able to see how you’re performing against it. You have your actual data, so you could go through and compare each figure manually, or you could automate this task incredibly quickly, and it’ll continuously update in real-time.
Input each of your sales team’s names into a report to create your report. You’ll be able to easily see who is on or missing their targets, and how they’re doing as a unit. If there’s a dip in sales, you’re able to ask the right questions and work out how and why this has happened. You’re able to divide upper region, person, and any other segmentation that you need. Now you can see your report, you’ve achieved half of the mission.
Having these static figures is great, and gives you a solid understanding of where you are at present, and how your business has performed in the not-so-distant past. What you need to do next is get your figures into a forecast, which will project your future earnings. The reason this is pivotal to your operations is you’ll be able to make business decisions confidently, knowing your sales will be strong enough to help you move forward.
If you need to invest in more staff for a busy season, you’ll need to be completely sure that you can afford their wages. Forecasting is the easiest, fastest, and most efficient way of achieving this. Need a bigger office? Check your forecast to ensure this is within your means. There’s no sense in rushing in headfirst with these decisions, and having a forecast help you decide such things will make your business grow sustainably – not a moment before you should. Having your Xero tracking categories set right will improve your business's success.
Delivering speedy tracking results
Almost all of the entrepreneurs we speak to say the one thing they had more of is time. Reporting with Xero and Futrli will save you time, both professionally and personally. When you don’t have an hour or more to check up on the performance of your entire business, it sure would be handy to be able to check on it at a glance. And this is exactly what Futrli’s tracking reporting allows you to do.
We’ve created this function to be easy to use, so logging in you can set it up to show you a snapshot card that presents your actual vs forecast data. Create cards for each department, or have them all in one place. The beauty of Futrli is its flexibility, and the ability to customize your dashboards so they’re just right for you. Your business is unique, and your reporting should reflect that.