Small businesses are increasingly using their financial data to make decisions about how to grow and manage their business. Now that Tableau has released its connector for QuickBooks Online (QBO), I am seeing an increase in demand for small business dashboards. I am excited to see this opportunity for small business owners and the accounting community. One of the ways I see using the Tableau connector to QBO is for cash flow management.
As I’m sure we all know, maintaining cash flow is one of the greatest challenges for small businesses. Therefore, it’s only logical that the number one dashboard that I recommend for small business owners is related to cash. A well-designed cash flow management dashboard offers access to real-time data about when, where and how money flows into and out of the business.
The need for a cash flow management dashboard increases for companies managing accounts payable and receivable. Having real-time information about aged receivables and vendor payments that can be extended helps small business owners build a cash cushion.
Here are two cash flow management dashboard examples.
This cash flow analysis was developed by Casey Foote and published to Tableau Public. (Note: To prevent scrolling, you may need to click the hyperlink in this post to open the dashboard in a new window.) This dashboard is useful because it offers a way to view the drivers behind the cash cycle. By clicking on a figure in the table, the details behind the amount appear.
In this example, Edwin Tam created an interactive financial health dashboard. The lower left chart on the page provides profitability and cash flow trends for a “fictitious” business. This dashboard is useful because it helps small businesses understand why profitability and cash balances are not correlating as expected.
Here’s my shameless plug. I offer business analytics services for small businesses. If you are an accountant that wants to learn how to use Tableau and connect to your client’s QBO data, feel free to reach out to me. I am happy to help my peers and am really trying to spread the word about the potential we have to help our clients with these types of dashboards. If you are a small business and are ready to get to work on developing a cash flow management tool for your business, I am looking forward to hearing from you! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the contact me form.