Are Your Reports Working For You?

by | Apr 20, 2016

If you’ve ever spent an hour (or more) playing office bingo in yet another useless meeting or struggled to understand why your business isn’t making money even though sales are up, then you’ll know the frustration that can come with trying to get an accurate picture of a business’s position. You can have access to all the data in the world, but without structure and context behind it, you’ll be left floundering.

Ever read a report where you couldn’t seem to find the relevance? Many businesses today suffer from information overload and get stuck in useless reporting cycles. To counteract that, here are our top three steps to make your reports work for you.

  1. Know what you’re working towards

Stop thinking of them as summaries or data dumps, and instead, approach all your reports as a decision-making tool. Rather than trying to twist and turn random facts into something useful, starting with a goal in mind first, will set you off on the right track.

When you know what you want to achieve, structure your reports and research to steps that will help you meet your goals. You’ve probably put off writing a business plan at least once in the life of your business. No one wants to do it, but writing out your long-term business goals is well worth it in the end. You don’t have to spend a year creating a fancy document; a couple of pages will do the trick. When you know what the journey should look like, and what roads you want to travel, you’ll know what details are relevant and what’s irrelevant.

  1. Use the information

Don’t be one of those businesses that bury their head in the sand when it comes to facts and figures. Are you getting good ROI on that advertising? How fast is that stock moving? Which reports are giving you information that you need to make decisions to move towards your goal, and which ones are just useless noise? Is the data coming from something you can influence, or is it controlled by an outside source you cannot control? If you can’t change it, do you need to adapt your business or is it of no consequence? Cut down on time wasted with irrelevant facts and figures and focus in on what matters to your business goals.

  1. Act on the facts

So now you know what’s going on in your business, and what needs to change (or doesn’t). Once you’ve ascertained your actual position, it’s important to set up plans for when you should act on particular ideas, and when it should simply be watched or set aside for now. It’s a good idea to set yourself upper and lower boundaries along with recommended steps, so that when you next evaluate the same report you’ll have a plan in place ready to go. When you do take action, record what and when it was. Taking notes will help enhance the report’s relevance and usefulness and give you direction on how the report aligns with your business goals.

In a nutshell, set your goals, gather the information you need to acquire those goals, and then action with useful steps. Do this and you’ll be on your way to a more successful business.

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What our clients are saying...

I have had many a chat with Sophie on the networking circuit. Sophie has a strong profile and reputation within business circles and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her to any soho needing direction, support and encouragement. I have a passion for educating small business myself and wholeheartedly support Sophie in her endeavour to actively reduce costs for those who may be unintentionally making uninformed decisions relating to business management. Many business owners are unnecessarily outsourcing tasks which are misdirected or can be achieved inhouse.

Gai Hook
Virtual Sales Strategy

2017-10-13T09:32:05+00:00

Gai Hook
Virtual Sales Strategy

I have had many a chat with Sophie on the networking circuit. Sophie has a strong profile and reputation within business circles and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her to any soho needing direction, support and encouragement. I have a passion for educating small business myself and wholeheartedly support Sophie in her endeavour to actively reduce costs for those who may be unintentionally making uninformed decisions relating to business management. Many business owners are unnecessarily outsourcing tasks which are misdirected or can be achieved inhouse.
I’ve worked with Sophie as a contributor to Confessions of a Mumpreneur – a fantastic book that she dreamt up, edited and produced. Apart from producing fabulous books that help so many others realise their entrepreneurial dreams, Sophie is an astute business person who is making her mark on her own terms. Watch this space – I’m sure we’ll see and hear a lot more from Sophie Andrews in the years to come.

Jennifer Dalitz
Gender Diversity expert, Career Coach, Award winning blogger on women, work & leadership @ www.TheSheEOBlog.com

2017-10-13T09:50:01+00:00

Jennifer Dalitz
Gender Diversity expert, Career Coach, Award winning blogger on women, work & leadership @ www.TheSheEOBlog.com

I’ve worked with Sophie as a contributor to Confessions of a Mumpreneur – a fantastic book that she dreamt up, edited and produced. Apart from producing fabulous books that help so many others realise their entrepreneurial dreams, Sophie is an astute business person who is making her mark on her own terms. Watch this space – I’m sure we’ll see and hear a lot more from Sophie Andrews in the years to come.
I got to know Sophie through my previous employer where Sophie still handles the bookkeeping side of things. While we worked together I have found Sophie very accurate, punctual and very pleasant to work with. And recommend her highly.

Dianna Holwerda
Client Service Manager, John Sergeant Associates Pty Ltd

2017-10-13T09:55:05+00:00

Dianna Holwerda
Client Service Manager, John Sergeant Associates Pty Ltd

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I was recommended to The Accounts Studio at a networking event and have been working with them for the last 2 years. The team have all been very approachable and available – two things essential when it comes to understanding your accounts! I now no longer have the stress every three months of getting my BAS correct and even better I have a clear understanding of where my company is financially! Thanks Sophie and TAS team!

Eleni Mitakos
Galmatic Pty Ltd

2017-10-13T04:16:02+00:00

Eleni Mitakos
Galmatic Pty Ltd

I was recommended to The Accounts Studio at a networking event and have been working with them for the last 2 years. The team have all been very approachable and available – two things essential when it comes to understanding your accounts! I now no longer have the stress every three months of getting my BAS correct and even better I have a clear understanding of where my company is financially! Thanks Sophie and TAS team!
I have really enjoyed working with you guys and look forward to a successful 2013. From the moment we started with TAS I have seen value. The figures are accurate, you are accessible (and approachable!) and most of all – you are cool people!

Chris Du Plessis
Managing Director, Origin Meat Pty Ltd

2017-10-13T04:20:03+00:00

Chris Du Plessis
Managing Director, Origin Meat Pty Ltd

I have really enjoyed working with you guys and look forward to a successful 2013. From the moment we started with TAS I have seen value. The figures are accurate, you are accessible (and approachable!) and most of all – you are cool people!
"Sophie is so professional – careful, attentive and punctual – she has made managing my accounts not just easier, but a whole lot less stressful"

Fast Ed
TV Chef from Better Homes & Gardens

2017-10-13T04:23:15+00:00

Fast Ed
TV Chef from Better Homes & Gardens

"Sophie is so professional – careful, attentive and punctual – she has made managing my accounts not just easier, but a whole lot less stressful"
Sophie has been a tremendous support and guiding light for my business. I have continually succeeded when acting on her advice and by using her services. Her products are fantastic and her ideas and accuracy is out of this world. I would never hesitate to recommend Sophie’s services and I would invite anyone to contact me for a referral.

Belinda Grundy
GM, Property Styling Online and BG Property Styling

2017-10-13T09:21:50+00:00

Belinda Grundy
GM, Property Styling Online and BG Property Styling

Sophie has been a tremendous support and guiding light for my business. I have continually succeeded when acting on her advice and by using her services. Her products are fantastic and her ideas and accuracy is out of this world. I would never hesitate to recommend Sophie’s services and I would invite anyone to contact me for a referral.
Sophie has the spirit of the Entrepreneurial Business Owner! Whether she is running a successful single family website, creating a product for small business owners or running her own bookkeeping agency she is always right on track as to what small business needs. If you want to speak to someone who not only knows what business owners are going through-she also does something about it- then don’t miss out, connect with Sophie! She is someone who can not only think outside the square- she has true strategic thinking; which is often spoken about but is rarely truly placed into action.

Sue Heins
Councillor at Warringah Council

2017-10-13T09:25:16+00:00

Sue Heins
Councillor at Warringah Council

Sophie has the spirit of the Entrepreneurial Business Owner! Whether she is running a successful single family website, creating a product for small business owners or running her own bookkeeping agency she is always right on track as to what small business needs. If you want to speak to someone who not only knows what business owners are going through-she also does something about it- then don’t miss out, connect with Sophie! She is someone who can not only think outside the square- she has true strategic thinking; which is often spoken about but is rarely truly placed into action.
Sophie is an amazing business woman. She is able to take the complexities of business and break them into manageable pieces for small and home based business owners to work with. She’s clever, creative, supportive and very generous. She’s the reason that so many small businesses are doing so well. If yours is a small or home based business then Sophie is someone you need to know.

Anne Maybus
Writer and Content Creator, Clever Streak

2017-10-13T09:26:35+00:00

Anne Maybus
Writer and Content Creator, Clever Streak

Sophie is an amazing business woman. She is able to take the complexities of business and break them into manageable pieces for small and home based business owners to work with. She’s clever, creative, supportive and very generous. She’s the reason that so many small businesses are doing so well. If yours is a small or home based business then Sophie is someone you need to know.
Sophie is efficient, direct and gets the job done. She responds quickly, keeps me updated and has a way of simplifying things and making my life easier. She is all about efficiency and that’s what makes it great to work with her, I highly recommend her to anyone who wants someone to efficiently look after their books and she is great value for money too.

Adam Dobson
Strategic Resourcing Manager

2017-10-13T09:28:24+00:00

Adam Dobson
Strategic Resourcing Manager

Sophie is efficient, direct and gets the job done. She responds quickly, keeps me updated and has a way of simplifying things and making my life easier. She is all about efficiency and that’s what makes it great to work with her, I highly recommend her to anyone who wants someone to efficiently look after their books and she is great value for money too.