Month over Month Dashboard
Month over Month ▲ Dashboard
This is one of my favorite ways to present financial data
Because showcasing current performance isn’t enough
Everything in Finance & Accounting revolves around CONTEXT
A P&L without context in how it relates to your Balance Sheet can be misleading…
Your Revenue without context in how it relates to your gross profit can be irrelevant…
And your performance without context to how it relates to your prior period can be lacking
Here’s how I use this dashboard
➡️ I typically showcase this as one of the first slides in a board deck
This dashboard does a good job of summarizing the key areas of the business
That for me would typically be a number of KPIs on the P&L
As well as a few around cash
and perhaps a few that wouldn’t be found on the financial statements (like CAC, or MRR)
➡️ I then review material changes from last month, and call them out in commentary
Did Revenue grow up 200%?
Did Gross Margin go down by 20%?
Did Cash Burn go up by 80%?
These are all material notes that can add a lot of value to call out in a financial report
➡️ I then supplement this data with other slides
What other slides would I include in a financial report?
A budget to actuals is a key one for me - instead of comparing this month to prior month, you’re comparing this month to what we thought this month would be
Additionally, I like to showcase a summarized P&L, Balance Sheet, and Cash flow at a minimum
What are some key things to keep in mind when creating a dashboard like this?
I can’t stress this one enough.
You can show all of this data via an unformatted plain table, and it’ll lose 90% of it’s value
When you create something that’s visually appealing, you make it a delight to ingest
➡️ Ability to print to PDF
It’s pretty rare to present financial info from excel…it’s not really what excel is meant to do
Instead, most people use a tool like powerpoint
The ability to convert information from excel to a slide deck can add tremendous value - that means designing outputs with the right dimensions
➡️ Showcasing the right amount of detail vs summary
When you’re presenting data, you have a tradeoff…
The more data you present, the less easily it can be ingested (to a certain extent)
The less data you present, the less relevant it is to the key areas of the business
Striking that perfect balance is key
That’s how I use this dashboard in my financial reporting - how do you use dashboards in your financial reporting?
If you liked this post, you'll also like my course on creating awesome financial dashboards for in-depth reporting.