Don’t Like Numbers? Go Visual!

by | Feb 11, 2015

Whether or not math was one of your favorite subjects in school, keeping up with the books can be difficult, time consuming and even boring. That’s why many business owners, especially creative types, turn to a bookkeeper or accountant to do their books and keep up with their finances and other paperwork.

Just because you’ve brought in a professional, however, you still can’t abdicate all responsibility for your finances. It’s still your business, after all, and you should always have an accurate understanding of how well your business is performing. If you are uncomfortable with numbers and spreadsheets you can still get a handle on your finances by turning your figures into a format that you are comfortable with and that’s easy for you to use.

Why a Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Oftentimes it’s easier to understand the meaning of numbers and other abstract concepts when this type of information is presented visually.  This is especially true for those of us with a creative streak as we tend to think holistically and in terms of an overall view of things rather than focussing on specific, details and individual steps.

Just as a picture can be better at expressing an emotion than mere words, it can be easier to understand our finances when we translate the numbers into images. The use of colors, illustrations, charts, graphs, pictures and even videos allow us to see and understand the big picture.

How to Use Images to Get a Better Handle on Your Finances

1. Take advantage of your software features. One of the easiest ways to get a better understanding of your figures is to use the features of your software to turn your numbers into visually appealing charts and graphs. This is especially helpful if you want to compare two sets of figures, such as your income versus expenses for a specific period of time, or your sales revenue minus your advertising expenses.

Use bright, contrasting colors when you create graphs or charts, so that you can easily see at a glance whether or not you’ve reached your goals. This will also help make your results more meaningful and memorable to you as well.

2. Create a vision board to help you define your financial goals and maintain your motivation. A vision board is an easy to use visual aid to help you define your financial goals and maintain your motivation.

A simple vision board can be created by using a poster board or other large piece of paper as your background and then pasting images on it that represent your specific financial goals.

Software that allows you to clip and edit images will allow you to create a virtual vision board. You can also use a pubic site such as Pinterest to create boards and pin images to represent your financial dreams and goals. Just be certain to use the private setting on these boards if you aren’t quite ready to share your plans with the world.

3. Steps to take when creating a financial vision board. Regardless of which format that you use, the following tips can help you create a useful vision board.

When figuring out your specific goals for your vision board, it’s a good idea to ask yourself some questions, such as, “what do I want to achieve, or where do I want to be in the next one to five years?”

Choose images that represent the answers to your questions, so that you have a clear picture in your mind of your specific goal or dream. Next, take some time to figure out the individual steps that you need to take to reach these goals.  You may also want to use images for each of these steps.

As time goes on you can also add images to the board that measures your progress towards your goal.  Most of us find that it’s harder to deviate from our plans when we have a clear vision of what we want to achieve and the steps that we must take to reach our objective. This is a particularly useful tip if you have a difficult time controlling your spending and staying within your budget.

You can make certain that your goal remains at the forefront of your mind by posting your vision board in a prominent place where you will see it frequently throughout your day.

4. Vision boards are also good for planning and maintaining focus on other areas of your business.

Creating a vision board can be really beneficial for more than just helping you understand how to reach your financial goals. You can even use this same concept when developing your company’s mission statement, general brainstorming and when making other types of plans such as creating and tracking your marketing strategies.

5. Don’t forget other types of visual aids such as multi-media or videos.  If you need to share your financial results and goals with a large group of people, you may want to turn to multi-media to help yourself and others have a better understanding of the numbers involved with your business finances and plans.

PowerPoint presentations that include sound with your charts and graphs, and highly focused videos can also help you to present financial information and business plans in a way that is easier to understand and remember.

Do you find that graphs, illustrations and other visual aids make it easier for you to understand your personal finances or your business performance? Why not share your experiences with our readers in the comments section below?

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What our clients are saying...

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.
I’d been stalking Sophie for a while since I saw some of the great work she did at Ideas Book. What she’s up to at the SOHO Agency is equally impressive and I’m delighted to have someone working in this space who I feel so confident referring onto others. Keep being brilliant Sophie!

Robert Gerrish
Founder and Director, Flying Solo

2017-10-13T09:30:45+00:00

Robert Gerrish
Founder and Director, Flying Solo

I’d been stalking Sophie for a while since I saw some of the great work she did at Ideas Book. What she’s up to at the SOHO Agency is equally impressive and I’m delighted to have someone working in this space who I feel so confident referring onto others. Keep being brilliant Sophie!
Sophie is an incredibly savvy business owner, for whom I have great respect. She has always been very clear and detailed in her instructions, is always very focused on her business objectives, and displays a business model that you can aspire to as a small business owner. I have no hesitation is recommending her work at The Accounts Studio.

Kristy Smith
Director, Virtual Elves Outsourcing Solutions

2017-10-13T09:30:59+00:00

Kristy Smith
Director, Virtual Elves Outsourcing Solutions

Sophie is an incredibly savvy business owner, for whom I have great respect. She has always been very clear and detailed in her instructions, is always very focused on her business objectives, and displays a business model that you can aspire to as a small business owner. I have no hesitation is recommending her work at The Accounts Studio.
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.