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Month over Month Dashboard


Month over Month Dashboard

Month over Month ▲ Dashboard


This is one of my favorite ways to present financial data


Why?


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?


➡️ Design


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.



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