Intacct: Financial Reporting & Visual Indicators

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It’s Friday afternoon, 4:50 pm, suddenly you get a Budget vs. Actual Projects Report in your inbox. All you can think about is that it’s almost the weekend (you’re almost home free! And then bam that little envelope email notification). So much has gone on during the week that the last thing you want to do is spend time analyzing a report unless it’s absolutely vital. Now, if you’re on the sending side of this, maybe the report has some really important information and you really want the person you’re sending the report to, to actually pay attention to it. How can you grab their attention? What would make your report stick out? (Especially if they don’t actually open it until Monday). Intacct has been adding cool features to reporting making the ease of reading reports and ability to quickly scan and deduce key information easier – especially so with the addition of visual indicators. (Similar to what you see in KPI’s (key performance indicators) – those little green arrows, red dots, thumbs up, and thumbs down.)

Now you can add these to your reports so the person on the receiving end can quickly look at it and see if a project’s expenses are WAY above budget.

Below is a quick (1.5 minute) video of how you would go about adding these visual indicators.

Also, just a few helpful tips to ensure the visual indicators actually work properly (meaning green arrows showing for revenue above budget, and red arrows for expenses about budget).

  • The Budget Difference must be the “Budget Difference (normalized)” – this is how Intacct knows to show green arrows when Revenue is above budget and red arrows when Expenses are above budget.
  • We’ll have to include the following groups in the report:
    • Income Account Group
      • Revenue Account Group (credit balance)
      • Expense Account Group (debit balance)

This goes hand in hand with the normalized budget difference. Without this top-level group (Income Account Group), the visual indicators will not work properly. (You can then hide this additional Income Report account group so that the title will not be visible on the report).

If you looked at that report you’ll see within a matter of seconds that expenses are above budget. That’s really the whole goal of reporting afterall isn’t it? Being able to see key company financial information quickly on a high level and then being able to dig deeper if you so choose. The ability to have (at the tips of your fingers) an idea of what’s really going on in your company (that feeling of control) without having to wait weeks to build a report in Excel.

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