Keeping control with minimum interference – The Directors Dashboard (Part One)

One single monthly report, the panacea of every director! Well perhaps not quite, but keeping a handle on what’s going on and (I for one, think critically) ensuring what you NEED to happen, happens!

Forgive me before I progress because this is probably trite for a number of directors and managers, but I do hope it will be helpful to less experienced people.

It surprises me when talking to other managers in a variety of industries that they seem to work without the most basic of controls. There seems to be a tendency to delegate but abstain from responsibility. A mentality of “once it’s off my hands I don’t think about it.”

A director or indeed manager needs to control or have an oversight of the regular performance of their business. A director would perhaps decide where the business is going – its goal, mission, aims and focus. Its managers would manage the day to day processes of achieving the company’s goals, budget and more. But of course the director of a busy company can’t micro manage this stuff, so how can you do it?

Well think of a car, where you have all the vital indicators in front of you at a glance. Indeed a rally or race car that has all its dials turned so when the motor is running at optimum performance all the needles are pointing up (12.00 o’clock as it were). Now consider a business where this dashboard is your monthly reports and the needles are highlighted critical data.

From this point consider the most important factors you need to keep a grasp on to ensure your business runs successfully and that’s the basis of the Directors Dashboard.

I’ll go into more detail in future blogs and of course the overriding thing is to get these reports on your desk as soon as you can after the end of the month, but the sorts of things I include in my Dashboard are:

  • Aged debtors
  • Aged creditors
  • Cash at bank
  • Monthly net profit or loss
  • Monthly net profit (or loss) set against the budget (sometimes budget verses actual or variance analysis)
  • Client visitation form
  • Managers report (Issues etc highlighted)
  • Client issues report (issues etc highlighted)
avatar Name: Alexandra Eager
About: Alex has worked as a Financial Controller and Finance Director for many years for a variety of companies across a range of industries but more recently she has moved away from accounting working for an internet marketing agency as Finance and Operations director, primarily overseeing the finance functions and search engine optimisation (SEO) for clients. Follow Alex on G+ and on Twitter @Alex_BusDirUK
Alex runs her own company with two fellow owners developing a suite of e-commerce web sites and promoting them directly. “I found that SEO and finance were quite compatible both needing an eye for detail, research and analysis as well keeping up with new developments and changes.”

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