As a chief financial officer (CFO), the weight of your company's fiscal wellbeing most likely rests on your shoulders. 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 supercharge your financial initiatives. Here, we’ll explore the dynamics of reports for CFOs, look at CFO reporting tools, and consider real-world examples of both CFO dashboards and reports.
Let’s get started.
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 Example
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-word CFO dashboard example—our specialist CFO-centric dashboard report, to be precise:
**click to enlarge**
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, and satisfaction levels — both customer and employee.
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.
By including this cohesive mix of visual information, every CFO, regardless of sector, can gain a clear snapshot of the company’s fiscal performance within the first quarter of the year. Here, 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.
Top 7 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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
7. Customer satisfaction
Continuing our satisfaction KPIs, 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.
“Torture the data, and it will confess to anything.”— Ronald Coase
What A CFO Dashboard Or Report Should Focus On?
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) Financial 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 dashboard 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.
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.
It’s clear that if you want to streamline your performance as well as your business’s, embracing the superior analytical abilities of CFO-based data dashboards is essential.
When it comes to finances, you cannot afford to miss a beat. If you work with the best tools for the job, you will reduce costs, boost profits, and streamline the operations of your business like never before. The future is now, the future is executive dashboards — don’t get left behind.
If you would like to power up your financial data analytics with modern solutions such as datapine, sign up for our free 14-day trial, and see what we can do for you.