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Your Introduction To CFO Dashboards & Reports In The Digital Age

CFO dashboards and reports by datapine

As a chief financial officer (CFO), the weight of your company's fiscal wellbeing most likely rests on your shoulders. That’s a lot of pressure, to say the least. Not only are you responsible for the ongoing financial strategy of your organization, but you're probably expected to provide timely, accurate reports to a variety of stakeholders.

With so much responsibility and such little time, financial data analysis is no easy feat. But, while working efficiently with fiscal data was once a colossal challenge, we live in the digital age and have incredible solutions available to us.

CFO dashboards exist to enhance the strategic as well as the analytical efforts related to every financial aspect of your business.

CFO reports will supercharge your financial initiatives. Here, we’ll explore the dynamics of reports for CFOs, consider the business-boosting power of CFO reports,  look at CFO reporting tools, and consider real-world examples of both CFO dashboards and reports.

Let’s get started.

Your Chance: Want to build your own CFO dashboard completely free?
We offer a 14-day free trial. Benefit from professional CFO reports!

What Is A CFO Dashboard?

Serving as a central, interactive hub for a host of essential fiscal information, CFO dashboards host dynamic financial KPIs and intuitive analytical tools, as well as consolidate data in a way that is digestible and improves the decision-making process.

A CFO dashboard tool provides a panoramic view of all of the information an ambitious modern CFO needs to perform their job to the best of their abilities. It also houses essential reports for CEOs through powerful financial dashboards. In essence, a CFO dashboard is the analytical nerve center for all of your most invaluable financial data.

What Is A CFO Report?

CFO reports provide a mix of visual KPIs geared towards helping financial officers make confident, informed decisions based on a variety of core financial activities. Reports are usually shared through a dashboard, public URL, or embedded into an existing application.

If you’re using CFO dashboards for financial business intelligence, they will play host to detailed analytical reports that serve up a mix of past, predictive, and real-time insights.

If a CFO KPI dashboard is the analytical framework, the reports are your analytical eyes. With the right CFO report template, you can access priceless fiscal information that will help you streamline your monetary activities, enhance your strategies, help you benchmark your goals, and improve the way you communicate essential insights with your stakeholders, both internal and external. Let's see this through an example.

CFO Dashboard Report Examples

Now that you know what to include in your reports and why you need them for increased financial success, it’s time to look at a real-world CFO dashboard example—our specialist CFO-centric dashboard report, to be precise.

1. CFO Cockpit Dashboard

A CFO dashboard example showing key metrics such as revenue, gross profit, EBIT, operating expenses, net income, etc.

**click to enlarge**

Primary KPIs:

  • Payroll Headcount Ratio
  • Economic Value Added (EVA)
  • Berry Ratio
  • Employee Satisfaction

This most essential of CFO dashboard examples drills into the four key financial areas that are most relevant to modern chief financial officers: costs, sales goals, gross profit, as well as employee and customer satisfaction metrics.

This powerful CFO dashboard example allows you to connect another dashboard within its framework with ease while integrating additional insights, including market indicators, consumer analysis, investor relations, monetary management, and more. The key metrics featured at the top left of this cutting-edge CFO report template include cover gross profit, EBIT, operational expenses, and net income — a perfect storm of financial information.

2. CFO KPI Dashboard

CFO dashboard example displaying important metrics to measure a business financial health

**click to enlarge**

Primary KPIs:

  • Working Capital
  • Quick Ratio / Acid Test
  • Cash Conversion Cycle
  • Vendor Payment Error Rate
  • Budget Variance

The next of our CFO reporting examples is an essential reporting and analytics tool for any financial decision-maker.

Our CFO KPI dashboard is armed with a cohesive mix of visual metrics designed to help you make informed top-level financial decisions with a quick glance. This powerful CFO KPI dashboard offers deep-dive insights into essential fiscal aspects, including cash conversion cycle, working capital, and budget variance.

This perfect storm of CFO KPIs will aid the creation of business-boosting financial strategies, keep unnecessary operational costs to a minimum, and streamline processes for optimal fiscal success. 

3. Investor Relations CFO Dashboard

CFO Management report for investors focusing on KPIs investor-oriented: Return on Asset, Return on Equity, Debt-Equity ratio, Share Price, P/E ratio, and Working-Capital ratio

**click to enlarge**

Primary KPIs:

  • Return on Assets
  • Return on Equity
  • P/E Ratio

As a financial manager, maintaining investor relationships is no doubt a top priority. This CFO report developed to make insights around assets, equity, and business valuation is a visually balanced investor relations dashboard that makes another powerful tool for any CFO or senior financial decision-maker.

By working with modern CFO performance metrics, every chief financial officer, regardless of sector, can gain a clear snapshot of the company’s fiscal health and status across the board. 

With CFO analytics, you can see how you performed against specific benchmarks and get an accurate gauge of how your operational expenses stack up (whether you’re on track, exceeding your targets, or if you need to cut costs).

Armed with access to these powerful CFO-centric insights, you will be able to start asking the right questions while identifying potential strengths, weaknesses, or trends that will ultimately accelerate the success of your business while increasing financial efficiency in a number of key areas.

Your Chance: Want to build your own CFO dashboard completely free?
We offer a 14-day free trial. Benefit from professional CFO reports!

Top 12 CFO Dashboard KPIs & Metrics Explained

Now that we’ve explored one of our most effective examples of CFO reports, we’re going to take a quick glimpse at 7 of its pivotal financial graphs, starting with the gross profit margin percentage. We have also included satisfaction metrics as, nowadays, CFOs don't track financial KPIs only, but also have responsibility for other business areas. Let's take a closer look at our examples and see what that means.

1. Gross profit margin percentage:

One of the critical CFO KPIs, the gross profit margin, expressed in percentage, will tell you how much of total sales revenue you keep after accounting all direct costs associated with the production process (or delivered service).

CFO KPI example: gross profit margin expressed on a gauge chart

This is one of the high-level CFO metrics that need to be monitored in order to see a bigger picture of acquiring your income. In essence, the bigger the margin, the more income you can retain.

2. Operating profit margin:

Also referred to as earnings before interests and tax, this CFO KPI demonstrates what's left from the revenue after paying all operational costs.

A CFO metric example showing the operating profit margin and its development over time.

By monitoring this important metric, you will be able to quickly identify if the number is declining and, consequently, take immediate action.

3. Operating expense ratio:

The operating expense ratio is a metric that will info you whether your company is scalable or not. For example, if you can increase sales without increasing operating expenses.

Operating expenses ratio showing the value of 40%.

It's important to monitor this CFO metric as it will show you the level of operational efficiency which you can always improve over time and try to lower the expenses.

4. Berry ratio:

When you’re talking about a CFO report to the CEO or about a CFO report to the board of directors, the berry ratio is a KPI that will prove very effective.

Berry ratio is a part of the CFO dashboard that compares gross profit to operating expenses. Here, the development is depicted through a 1-year period

The berry ratio is a CFO KPI that visualizes and quantifies the ratio of gross profit in relation to operating expenses. By tracking as well as benchmarking this on a regular basis, you can provide an accurate snapshot of the business’s overall financial health —something you will need to maintain indefinitely.

5. EVA:

EVA, or economic value added, is a fundamental part of financial reports as it provides a precise estimate of your company's economic profit that is surplus to the required return of the company's shareholders.

Economic value added (EVA) shown on a gauge chart and expressed by the amount of 3k dollars

EVA is a metric that not only offers a wealth of information but is also likely to be in hot demand for any modern CFO.

6. Employee satisfaction:

Employee satisfaction is as important as customer satisfaction, and the best software for CFOs will always include this CFO metric somewhere in the mix.

Employee satisfaction is illustrated through the NPS over a 12-month period and trend indicator

Whether you're talking monthly or daily reports for CFOs, employee satisfaction is something you must monitor closely as it will affect performance and productivity, which, in turn, will have a significant financial impact on the business. As mentioned, satisfaction metrics are not "hard" financial metrics, but important for each modern CFO that needs to obtain a birds-eye view of the overall organization.

Your Chance: Want to build your own CFO dashboard completely free?
We offer a 14-day free trial. Benefit from professional CFO reports!

7. Customer satisfaction

Our next example is a customer service KPI aiming to monitor satisfaction rates through the Net Promoter Score. Customers are the beating heart of any business, and especially important for CFOs since the financial health of a company is completely reliant on customers. If they're not satisfied, the business can suffer huge financial losses.

The net promoter score is illustrated on a gauge chart with additional percentage of promoters, passives, and detractors

8. Payroll headcount ratio

CFO dashboard metric example showing payroll headcount ratio of 0,02

An effective way of identifying and reducing unnecessary labor costs, the payroll headcount ratio offers a clear indication of how many workers are engaged in the payroll process compared to your total number of employees. By keeping this CFO analytics dashboard low, you will maintain consistently high levels of productivity while earning a healthy ROI for your staffing efforts.

9.   P/E Ratio

Fundamental CFO KPI example tracking the P/E Ratio of a business divided in quarters for a two year period

One of the most powerful investor relationship CFO KPIs, the P/E ratio provides a definitive view of your Earnings Per Share - or company valuation - in comparison to others in your industry. Naturally, the parameters will vary depending on your industry or business model, but by tracking this metric regularly, you can take the right strategic measures to enhance your company’s investability.

10. Working capital

Working capital depicting details of current assets and current liabilities as one of the financial graph templates for showing short-term financial health

One of the CFO dashboard KPIs that every top-level financial leader should have in their analytical toolkit, working capital is a powerful means of benchmarking your business’s overall financial health. Rather than a chart or ratio, this most powerful of CFO dashboard metrics presents prime fiscal numbers in a logical, digestible format. Here, you can see a breakdown of costs and liabilities as well as a quick-glance calculation of your company’s working capital at any given time. It’s a swift and efficient way to examine general financial performance and take appropriate strategic action if required.

11. Cash conversion cycle

A CFO graph depicting the cash conversion cycle in a specific time frame.

Developed to show how quickly your business can convert its resources into profits or cash, the CCC metric is an essential element of any effective CFO dashboard. Working with this powerful KPI, you can benchmark your performance against previous financial years, accurately gauging the efficiency of your various fiscal processes. The aim here is to create a steady rise or gain, taking action to formulate cashflow-centric management strategies if you witness any sharp spikes or falls in your CCC numbers.

12. Budget variance

CFO dashboard KPI tracking the budget variance of a company

One of our most practical CFO financial metrics, budget variance offers an objective glance at how realistic and accurate your budget really is, accounting for every operational variation from natural disasters and fluctuating business conditions to poorly planned forecasting, ongoing labor costs, and beyond. This comprehensive breakdown of actual costs to the projected budget is an incredibly effective means of tweaking or optimizing your various financial initiatives for ongoing growth and consistent financial health.

Your Chance: Want to build your own CFO dashboard completely free?
We offer a 14-day free trial. Benefit from professional CFO reports!

The Top 5 Benefits Of Using A Modern CFO Report

Top 5 benefits of using a modern CFO report: 1. Effective reporting & risk management, 2. Operational efficiency, 3. Cohesion, collaboration & communication, 4. Strategic innovation & decision-making, 5. Sustainable growth & profitability

Now that we’ve delved into the inner workings of modern CFO dashboard KPIs and explored the practical value of these dynamic fiscal reporting tools, it’s time to shine a light on the benefits. Let’s take a look.

1. Effective reporting & risk management

First and foremost, a modern CFO report template is a robust and reliable means of effective financial reporting and risk management.

As a CFO, mitigating continual financial risk is a top priority - a responsibility that can make or break a business. By working with cutting-edge business dashboards, making swift, secure, and informed decisions becomes intuitive rather than daunting.

Serving up a cohesive mix of deep-dive past, predictive, and real-time data, CFO dashboard examples and reports will help you identify any potential issues or inefficiencies with ease, empowering you to nip them in the bud before they harm the financial health of the business.

2. Operational efficiency

In a sense, increased operational efficiency means reduced operational costs. The sheer scope of visual data served up by a CFO dashboard tool means you can keep an accurate handle on every core financial process across the business.

Armed with the ability to quickly benchmark your success against previous months or years while mapping out your performance in a number of key areas, you can ‘trim the fat’ away from inefficiencies related to budget variance, capital, share value, reporting, labor management, and more. In turn, you will make the business more profitable, accelerating its financial growth year after year.

3. Cohesion, collaboration & communication

Any CFO report worth its salt is customizable, interactive, and displays essential fiscal metrics in an accessible way.

Moreover, by offering 24/7 access to dashboard data across multiple devices, an online reporting software can empower financial decision-makers to develop strategies and monitor metrics wherever they are in the world.

This universal access to powerful information will improve collaboration and communication, boosting productivity across the board. This is one of the cornerstones of consistent professional growth and evolution.

4. Strategic innovation & decision-making

CFOs have to make big decisions, often on the spot. While once upon a time, senior financial leaders had to wade through droves of static spreadsheets and fiscal figures, today, it’s possible to drill down into relevant information and view it at a glance.

By gaining a panoramic snapshot of every one of your business’s critical financial operations and interacting with visualizations of a host of dynamic metrics, it’s possible to make informed real-time decisions with complete confidence. These are the kind of strategic choices that will benefit the growth of your business while avoiding potential financial calamities.

In addition to gaining added vision that will make you more effective in your role as a CFO, saving time and improving personal efficiency will give you more space to develop innovative initiatives and strategies to further boost the fiscal success of your business.

5. Sustainable growth & profitability

Expanding on our last point, gaining untapped access to a wealth of dynamic fiscal information means that you can tackle every one of your CFO responsibilities with razor-sharp efficiency.

By saving time on sifting through numbers and metrics and working with a wide range of benchmarkable insights gained with professional data analysis tools, you will preserve your business’s financial health, keeping redundant costs to a minimum while discovering ways to improve revenue and attract valuable investors. 

As a result, you will ensure sustainable business growth while boosting your business’s profitability.

“The ability to focus attention on important things is a defining characteristic of intelligence.” - Robert J. Shiller, Irrational Exuberance

What a CFO Dashboard or Report Should Focus On

What a CFO dashboard or report focus on: 1. Goals and outcomes, 2. Financial KPIs, 3. CFO-centric design, 4. Cutting-edge analytics tools

CFO-centric dashboards and CFO report templates work cohesively to deliver metrics and insights that will optimize your business's key financial activities in every area. To ensure you get the very best results from your analytical efforts on a sustainable basis, here’s what your CFO report or dashboard should focus on:

1. Goals and outcomes

First and foremost, your CFO KPI dashboard, or CFO dashboard tool, should contain your ultimate financial aims and goals. These organizational benchmarks will form the foundations of your analytical efforts, so it’s important that you take the time to consider them in detail. In this case, financial analytics software might help.

Sit down in a collaborative environment with your financial staff or other senior executives and discuss what you would like to achieve with your CFO KPI dashboard.

Do you want to drive down particular operational costs? Do you want to gain a better return on investment from your external investments? Do you need to monitor your payroll in more detail? Take the time to make these decisions, and you will be able to tailor your CFO dashboards for business intelligence.

2. Actionable KPIs

When it comes to CFO-centric reporting, working with the right interactive KPIs is essential. Once you have set your aims, goals, and outcomes, you will be able to select CFO dashboard KPIs that will help you optimize your efforts.

CFO KPIs offer a digestible visual representation of what matters most. By placing your focus on the right key performance indicators, you will be able to evolve your business efforts exponentially.

Apart from looking at sales, costs, and other relevant financial data, CFO’s also need to monitor the performance of other non-financial areas such as employee satisfaction in order to ensure the business's financial health. For this reason, your CFO dashboard should include a mix of actionable KPIs that will give an accurate picture and facilitate decision-making in all relevant areas.

3. CFO-centric design

One of the best things about modern data dashboards is the fact that you can tailor them to your preferences.

By customizing your dashboard and focusing on best design practices, you will make your data pop and ensure that everyone within the business can squeeze every last drop of value from the company’s financial data.

Our guide to dashboard design will steer you to chief financial officer report success.

4. Cutting-edge analytics tools

For true analytical success, it’s vital that you focus on working with the right tools for the job. For reaching a chief financial officer report success, here are the attributes your BI reporting tools should possess:

  • The ability to tailor and customize your reports to your needs and preferences.
  • Easy to navigate functionality accessible from one central location.
  • Visual, dynamic KPIs that will help you form long-term strategies and make decisions at a glance.
  • Accessibility from a multitude of devices (including mobile) 24/7.
  • Excellent user help and support.

By focusing on these key areas and working with the right tools, you will ensure that your CFO data analytics are a success from the outset.

Your Chance: Want to build your own CFO dashboard completely free?
We offer a 14-day free trial. Benefit from professional CFO reports!

Key Takeaways Of CFO Dashboards 

We’ve explored the likes of a typical CFO monthly report template and CFO report example, journeyed through a range of dynamic CFO KPIs, glanced at the analytical benefits of modern business reporting, and there’s no denying it: as a chief financial officer, digital dashboards are your friend.

It’s clear that if you want to streamline your performance while accelerating the growth of your business, embracing the all-encompassing power and unrivaled analytical abilities of CFO-based data dashboards is no longer an add-on – it’s essential.

When you’re talking about your company’s finances, you cannot afford to miss a single beat. Your future depends on it. If you work with the most innovative tools for the job, you will lower costs, enhance profits, and streamline the operations of your business in ways you never thought possible. The future is now, the future is executive dashboards – don't get left behind.

If you’re ready to embrace the power of modern analytics and would like to level up your company’s financial management initiatives with modern solutions such as datapine, sign up for our free 14-day trial and see what we can do for you.