Filling in the GAAP with Statistical Data and KPIs
Gaining deep insight into your operation requires access to more than GAAP financial data.
Including operational data in your reports and key performance indicators (KPIs) provides you with information that can help you identify trends, monitor your performance over time and against industry norms, and make more informed business decisions. Incorporating non-financial or statistical data in financial reports is a simple concept but elusive to realize. Why? Because many accounting applications don’t support it. Sage Intacct does. Here’s how.
What is a statistical account?
Statistical accounts in Sage Intacct allow you to capture and include statistical or operational data in financial reports. Statistical data is simply non-financial data that is important to your business. Common examples of statistical data are the number of employees or number of days in the month, square footage, sales rep, sales region, or employee hours.
While financial reports can show you how much profit the company made last quarter, add statistical or operational data into the mix and you can see how that profit shook out by region, department, employee, product line, and dozens of other attributes.
Why is it so tough to include statistical/non-financial data in reports?
Traditionally it’s been challenging to include operational data in reports because it requires that the software collect the attribute along with every transaction. So, for example, if you want to track the costs and sales associated with a trade show, you’ll need to be able to tag every transaction with the correct trade show. Since most legacy ERP applications don’t support this, companies either bloat their chart of accounts with additional segments to track the data or resorted to using Excel for all their reporting needs — or both.
How does Sage Intacct make it easy to track and report on statistical data?
Sage Intacct supports statistical accounts and it also supports dimensions. Think of dimensions as a way to tag transactions with a piece (actually many pieces) of operational data. The software allows you to update statistical accounts with dimension data. Say you are tracking Employee Count in a statistical account. You’d establish Employee as a dimension and when you enter a new employee into the dimension field of a transaction, the statistical account’s count gets updated too.
Can you give me some more examples?
Let’s say you run a professional services business. It’s easy enough for any accounting package to track revenue in the form of project billings. But what if what you’d really like to see is how many hours have been logged on a project by an employee or how many hours you’ve budgeted to a project. Or more — maybe you’d like to see your average revenue per hour billed and utilization rates and compare these values across time, projects, customers, and budgets.
Or imagine that you own a busy hotel. You could track the number of rooms occupied nightly in a statistical account and then report upon that statistic in a multitude of ways — average daily occupancy, occupancy by month, year, or property, for example.
One more example — say you run a nonprofit organization and want to know how much revenue you collected per attendee at the last benefit event. Or you want to track how many individuals your organization helped last year —by fund, grant, or geographical region. Or maybe it’s the number of volunteers contributing time to any given program and how that varies from month-to-month. Statistical counts, along with dimensions, can help.
How can I use the data?
Sage Intacct provides powerful reporting capabilities where financial information from the general ledger can be instantly combined with nonfinancial data to create real time dashboards, KPIs and metrics measuring what is really going on in your business.
Statistical accounts are a powerful tool that delivers insight beyond the GAAP numbers. We invite you to learn more by viewing our recorded webinar: Sage Intacct — Statistical Data and KPIs.