QuickBooks can do WHAT? Business Performance Dashboard

QuickBooks can do WHAT? Business Performance Dashboard

Many accounting pros have told us that it can be challenging to communicate with clients about the overall financial status of their business. It’s incredibly time consuming to boil down hundreds of rows of data into a report that is easy to understand, and more importantly, act upon. We know this often means sifting through information and manipulating data in a spreadsheet to present key insights about the business. And, only then, if you have time, can you guide your client toward decisions that will impact their overall success.

Only half of small businesses survive their first five years, but with you by their sides, their odds of success double. Your input can be transformative. QuickBooks® is investing in ways to help you have an even stronger influence on business outcomes, and as a result, we are excited to introduce the Business Performance Dashboard.

Business performance is designed to take a client’s data and pull out just what you need — key figures, useful indicators, actionable items, and more — and organize it all into one simple, visually-driven dashboard. What’s more, you can easily export the report to share with a client. It is only available through QuickBooks Online Accountant to spark conversation and strategic recommendations between you and your clients.

What can it do?

Where do I find it?

How do I use it?

Tips and tricks

What can it do?

Business performance calculates key ratios, provides metrics, and visualizes your client’s financial performance, automatically. The formulas and charts are created for you right inside QuickBooks, giving you the crucial data needed to have more influential discussions with your clients that will help them grow and become more profitable.

More important than what the new Business performance tool can do is what it it equips you to do. You can start by reviewing the historical metrics and trends to establish a baseline. Then, use that data to set goals with your client and circle back each period to see how they’re progressing towards those goals.

The Key Metrics section displays five key performance metrics that every business should be watching to maximize profitability:

  • Income
  • Cost of goods sold
  • Gross profit
  • Expenses
  • Net profit

The Trends section has eight visual graphs that show the changes in various key metrics and ratios over time and include:

  • Gross profit margin
  • Net profit margin
  • Income
  • Expenses
  • Accounts payable days
  • Accounts receivable days
  • Current ratio
  • Quick ratio

Each graph shows monthly data from the last 12 months compared to the previous year, along with a link to view the underlying report that contains the data for each calculation. The simplicity of the charts makes it easy to visualize a company’s business cycle and identify opportunities for investment and growth. The new overview also indicates when a company may need to watch spending and conserve cash to get through leaner months.

Business performance gives you the tools you need to up your game and power prosperity with your clients through your expertise and guidance.

Where do I find it?

When you log into a client’s company through QuickBooks Online Accountant, the Overview tab will appear at the top of the sidebar menu. Hover over the tab to see the secondary menu and select Business performance.

Menu  >  Overview > Business performance

Alternatively, you can access the dashboard by selecting the Business performance tab from the main Overview page. You’ll find Business performance in all the QuickBooks Online Simple Start, Essentials, and Plus companies in your client list.

How do I use it?

When it comes to client meetings, business performance is the perfect starting point for reviewing historical performance and crafting future goals. Take some time to explore and figure out which metrics and growth comparisons are most important for your client. Following the steps below will take you sequentially through each section, but you can always go straight to the metric(s) that matters most based on your desired objectives.

Step 1: View Key Metrics

Get a top-level overview for the health of a business’ finances and growth.

QuickBooks Dashboard

TIP: If a metric’s growth has improved relative to the previous period, the circle will appear green. If it has declined, the circle will appear orange.

Step 2: Compare Growth Periods

Measure performance against the previous month, quarter, and year.


TIP: Use the two dropdowns on the right to select the time interval and comparison. Selecting a “Current period” may change the available options in the “Compare to” option. 

Step 3: Track Developing Trends

Follow growth metrics over time and compare them to the same interval last year.

TIP: Click a dot on a chart’s legend to add or remove it from view. Hover over a data point to see its exact value or percentage.

Step 4: Export Chart Data

Save the information as a PDF to share with clients.

Tips and tricks

  1. If a Trend chart title has a dotted blue line beneath it, you can hover over it to learn how QuickBooks calculates that metric. This gives you a quick way to diagnose issues or isolate individual opportunities for growth.
  2. For a more detailed breakdown of the data contained in a specific Trend chart, click “View profit and loss” in the top right. You can also access this information through the Reports tab in the sidebar menu (Reports > Business overview > Profit and loss).

This is just the beginning of our journey to leverage the power of QuickBooks to amplify your role as your clients’ most trusted advisor. Stay tuned to Firm of the Future for more.