Think HBR

Two little words that will lead you to greater business success

Jason Bartlett
DFK Crosbie
How to use your own live data for successful business planning and strategy.
As a small to medium business owner, chances are you want to grow your business to achieve your goals and ultimately enjoy the fruits of your labour. Technology is certainly on your side. Today’s accounting software makes the financial tedium of running a business a walk in the park compared to even a few years ago.
But have you caught on to the power of using your live data to influence your business planning and strategy?
Live data is the raw information that’s fed into your accounting system on a daily basis. It includes all of your incoming and outgoing banking transactions along with your trade liabilities.
Your live data gives you an up-to-date overview. There’s no more waiting around, putting off decisions or changes until your financials are complete for last year or last quarter. Any problems or inefficiencies in your business are identified early rather than being left to fester for months, or even worse a full year. You can look ahead rather than always playing catch up and that strategic approach is what will help you reach your business goals.
If you’re not already in the groove of using today’s accounting technology to benefit to your business, this is certainly your starting point. Get your business advisor to steer you in the right direction. Once you and your team settle into things, you’ll be marvelling over the ease-of-use and time saved. Be assured these systems are a wonderful tool for any small to medium enterprise.
Next you need to make sure your business has a regular health check, otherwise known as management reporting. This is simply the information you need to run your business better, factoring in your live data and every other accounting insight. If you’re already a successful business owner, you’ll know this isn’t something that happens once a year at tax time. It’s a strategic, quarterly exercise—at the very least half yearly—that allows you to look at your business from the outside in. Your systems, profits and goals can be assessed and adapted if need be, remembering that your business and personal goals cannot be completely separated.
One usually funds the other!
The peace of mind that’s wrapped up in regular management reporting is far too valuable to ignore. People often tell me it allows them to sleep at night because they’re not left wondering how their business is tracking. And they have a proper strategic plan that covers off potential cash flow pressures, resourcing issues and market fluctuations.
As a key part of your reporting process those two little words— live data—become a no-brainer once you understand what they offer you and your business.
For further information contact DFK Crosbie on (02) 4923 4000, email or visit
Jason Bartlett Jason Bartlett
is a chartered accountant, strategic business advisor and Partner at DFK Crosbie, based in Newcastle. For more than 25 years Jason has been helping business owners succeed in reaching their goals. He specialises in large building and construction businesses, and unique businesses in non-typical industries.