Someone asked me recently how to conduct month-end reporting for an agency. I responded that someone in the agency, most likely the controller or CFO, should assemble a report for owners and perhaps even key non-owner employees to review. Then, with the materials in hand, hold a meeting and review your numbers.
It’s always been my opinion that giving more key people access to agency financial information, as well as data regarding agency operations, finances, P&L, etc., translates to the agency—in fact, everyone in the organization—becoming more successful.
I know many owners are not keen on sharing all of this information, but I sense a change taking place in agencies where much more information will be available to key people on a regular basis.
What does this monthly “owner’s package” look like? Following is my overview.
Owners Monthly Report
ALL REPORTS SHOWN BY-MONTH AND YEAR-TO-DATE.
1. Balance Sheet – How does the business look from January 1 to the present date? Check profits against goals, payroll against AGI, watch your debt/liabilities against assets, check trends, look at collections, and so on.
2. Agency P&L statement – Look at four columns—this month, budget, year-to-date, budget. Review your financial status to make sure you are on track for a profitable year. If you stay on top of these numbers, you can make adjustments on the fly to push harder for new business, ask current clients for more work, proactively propose new projects, tighten up collections, or, if necessary, reduce overhead.
3. Work-in-progress report – Examine your billable incurred hours that are not yet billed, and any spec’ hours that have not closed so cannot be billed. Where possible, project anticipated hours for the coming month.
4. Lost hours report – Lost hours are those hours you have written off permanently. There should be very few of these! If you regularly have many hours of “slippage,” you need to make some operational adjustments to improve billing hours capture.
5. Individual hours productivity report – Recognize billing “stars.” Discuss goals and tactics for improvement. This can be an indicator of potential employee problems, so keep a sharp eye on changes in individual productivity.
6. AGI by client (overall ranking) – Who are your biggest billing sources? Are any accounts TOO big? (No single client should account for more than 25% of your AGI.) It doesn’t hurt to also review continuing profitability of each account.
7. AGI by account team – Which clients give you more projects and opportunities? Can your other account teams improve their AGI by testing sales and relationship tactics used by Team 1? Talk with teams that are trending downward or not producing anticipated revenue.
8. New business pipeline document – Which prospects are “hot”? Who are you pursuing? Check on any presentations or meetings that your team is currently preparing for. Discuss newly qualified leads and approach strategies.
9. Review your best work of the month – Talk about your successes. Discuss projects that didn’t meet your criteria for “the best we can do.” What lessons can be applied to new projects and accounts?