Painting a Picture with Performance Reporting (SF Magazine)

The Joy of Finance curates and summarizes the best finance and operations content for busy folks. You can sign-up for the newsletter here.

Moving from Traditional to Performance Reporting

Reporting is like a window, offering a detailed view into how successfully a business is performing. Traditionally, this assessment is driven by profits, losses, and cash flow. While valuable, these aspects of a business don’t account for things like:

  • Business relationships
  • Operational assessments
  • Sales and marketing

What is Performance Reporting?

Performance Reporting

Driven by technological innovation, performance reporting is considered more agile than its traditional counterpart. Put simply, traditional reporting displays the “what” regarding business outcomes, whereas performance describes the “why.”

The goal of reporting should be to present an in-depth account of how a company is performing by incorporating multiple financial and non-financial business components. There are several vendors who now offer solutions that converge planning, budgeting, and analysis into a singular, comprehensive picture.

Selecting a Vendor

Beyond a needs assessment, you must identify what kinds of functions and features best fit your organization.  This includes identifying what reporting information is most relevant, how a solution might integrate with your company’s workflows, which processes can be automated, and the costs vs. benefits.

Not sure about selecting a vendor? Read this for a couple of ideas to start with.

Benefits of Performance Reporting

In addition to providing more detailed information to encourage better decision making, performance reporting can positively impact your business by:

  • Saving finance professionals time from needing to sift through swaths of data to verify information
  • Hastening the flow of discussion and approval around budgeting
  • Promoting interaction between departments, which establishes accountability and gives management a clearer picture of how business is operating
  • Creating context surrounding the data


Read the full article “Painting a Picture with Performance Reporting” here.