Financial Reports that Make a Difference

by | Sep 19, 2022

The Problem

Dave Carlson, President and Chief Operating Officer of Summit Technology

As President and COO of Summit Technology, I know this business inside and out and which KPIs are most important to our short and long-term goals. As a business owner, I need regular and accurate reports to help drive the decisions I make and a way to communicate with external and internal personnel.

As President and COO of Summit Technology, I know this business inside and out and which KPIs are most important to our short and long-term goals. As a business owner, I need regular and accurate reports to help drive the decisions I make and a way to communicate with external and internal personnel.

I manage all the financial reporting for my business in Reach myself. I love having the control as the business owner to create the metrics that drive our business towards its goals.

I needed a good way to report on the financials of our business. I wanted quarterly and monthly reports in every department all wrapped up in an organized PDF. There was no way to generate the data points we wanted through QuickBooks, so we started looking for reporting solutions that were more powerful and customizable. No one else understands this business quite like I do, so it can be a lot of extra work to bring an outside person up to speed on what I need enough to make an impact. I wanted software that I could learn and manage myself, as the business owner, instead of relying on an accountant to provide me with reports that were outdated by the time I received them.

I tried other reporting software that was either very limited in the metrics I could create or limited the number of data points the report was generated from. Other solutions felt impossible to learn and manage or were crazy expensive. At one point, we even tried to design our own.

The Value

I use some indispensable apps in my business but Reach Reporting is by far the most significant time and cost saver for us as a company.

I saw the value in the software right away and loved that I could manage it without a background in accounting. It’s pretty simple for me to create the metrics I want and build and customize all the reports and dashboards I need.

I went through the training on the website in the knowledge center, which only took about 2 hours, and found learning and implementing it incredibly simple and the most powerful tool I’ve ever seen for financial reporting for a small business. Especially at the price point!

Without hiring an accountant or financial analyst, we’ve been able to report on very specific and essential metrics for our business by quickly and easily creating the metrics I want. It’s a huge time saver. Not needing to explain what I need to a 3rd person, such as an accountant, saves me time and hassle.

It’s accelerated our growth because now we have better data, resulting in better decisions. We know what our margins are in real time. We can change course more rapidly. Typically, we’d have to wait 90 days to determine if we made or lost money on a deal. Now we know within days.

I get asked all the time when I produce reports to venture capital companies or banks, “Who is your accountant?” My response is, well… “We don’t have one. I automate it all myself!”

Reach can produce the reports we need without needing an in-house accountant if our data is going into QuickBooks properly. The built-in templated reports in Reach make me look like a rockstar!

Some groups, like our VC groups, have a very specific format they want to see their data in. Every month it would take me 8-15 hours to create the nightmare of a spreadsheet they needed. In about 4 hours, I made a Reach dashboard with the same metrics they wanted to see and was able to customize it in the same coloring and format they requested. But the best part is that I was able to save it as a template to use over and over. What used to take me 8-15 hours to create every month now takes only a few minutes. All the data is connected and accurate and already done. Reach enabled us to automate all of our reports in a fraction of the time.

Shorten Reporting Cycle

It used to take an entire month to report on the previous month, close out the books, submit it to my board, and have a meeting about it. We can do it in 5 days now, and even that’s a stretch. If we wanted to, we could close our books by the end of the month. The only hold up on that report is the outsourced payroll department sending us the information that needs to go into QuickBooks.

Creating and Reaching Goals

I created dashboards specific to our industry that I incorporate into our reports. A metric I made that has been hugely beneficial shows where our recurring revenue sits every month. A goalline shows how far from our goal we are. I can see the trends over time, making it easy to communicate them to the board and stakeholders, and hugely beneficial for me to refer to them at any given moment.

Our expenses have dropped 40% in the last nine months!!!! AND at the same time, we have grown revenue by 45%.

Reach has significantly impacted increased revenue because of the time it saves us and the overhead cost of not needing an accountant on staff.

We have three central departments here. I created dashboards for each of those departments specific to their needs. They can assess their dashboards whenever they want. Departments having access to their costs, expenses, and gross margins in real-time is hugely beneficial. HUGE! It makes an enormous impact when decisions need to be made by having access to the metrics they need to see and can understand instead of the P&L out of QuickBooks. Trying to make decisions from there is much harder.

We use Reach internally too. We send a separate report to employees that allows them to see the effect expenses have on their department. Since we started sharing these reports, we’ve been able to stay in the black because now more people can see that data. Relevant data is clear, simple, and accessible.

Support Made a Difference

The development team has been fantastic to work with. I’m not an accountant, but I’ve been able to get help with any questions I’ve had either through the knowledge center or by reaching out to support. They do their best to understand my pain points as a business owner and work with me to help me find solutions. I appreciate the emails they send that let me know about new features that are coming out. We don’t have that personal level interaction with most vendors.

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