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Tuesday Tech Tip, March 18, 2014 Print E-mail
Tuesday, 18 March 2014 12:49

Using Key Performance Indicators in Sage and QuickBooks

Earlier this month we discussed using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)  to look deeply into your business processes.  Now we can use your existing accounting software to ask some of those KPI questions.  The top two financial software packages in use by small and medium businesses are Sage and QuickBooks. 

If you are using Sage, there are a couple of tools that can help you begin your accounting assessment.  The standard one is called Excel Integrated Reporting, which is part of the Sage Line 50 version 13.  The only hard part is setting up the connection (in your older versions of Sage.)  However, there is a great instructional on how to set up the connection using open database connectivity and connecting the excel sheet to the database.  There are some canned reports that will reveal many of the answers you are asking.  To get started, check out:

Another reporting mechanism for Sage comes from, an accounting developer interested in helping people get the most out of their software.  He developed a Sage Dashboard that can be integrated into your Sage 50 product.  You can watch how it is used here: and you can request a copy to install by emailing your request to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it "> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

As for the QuickBooks software, take a closer look at QuickBooks standard reports to see what you are overlooking as far as data collection.  You may see other pieces of business data that you want to start tracking.  There are many other reports that are developed by outside companies to delve into the KPIs of your company.    A comprehensive set of tools comes from BizTools.  You can take a closer look at what they offer here:

Keep asking those questions of your business, and look into the tools you already own, but may not be putting to thorough use.

Tuesday Tech Tip, March 11, 2014 Print E-mail
Tuesday, 11 March 2014 16:59

Pipeline, Employee Growth…NOW WHAT?

These past couple of months you have been thinking about how to design your pipeline and use the proper technology to support it.  You have looked at how you can use your staff to support the growth and keep them happy and productive.  So how do you bring it all together?

This is perhaps my most favorite activity – DATA ANALYSIS!  I know, it sounds boring – but it’s actually quite awesome.  You take a whole lot of data you have floating through your company and you extract the key performance indicators – or as some call it KPIs.  You are looking at how your company is performing by focusing on key indicators in your data.  Suddenly, you are armed with the information you need to make powerful changes within your organization.

There was a great article on LinkedIn called The 75 KPIs Every Manager Needs To Know  by Bernard Marr that lists out the kind of questions that you can ask to tease out your performance indicators.  He recommends picking out the most interesting and going from there.  Here there are:

To measure financial performance:

1. Net Profit

2. Net Profit Margin

3. Gross Profit Margin

4. Operating Profit Margin


6. Revenue Growth Rate

7. Total Shareholder Return (TSR)

8. Economic Value Added (EVA)

9. Return on Investment (ROI)

10. Return on Capital Employed (ROCE)

11. Return on Assets (ROA)

12. Return on Equity (ROE)

13. Debt-to-Equity (D/E) Ratio

14. Cash Conversion Cycle (CCC)

15. Working Capital Ratio

16. Operating Expense Ratio (OER)

17. CAPEX to Sales Ratio

18. Price Earnings Ratio (P/E Ratio)

To understand your customers:

19. Net Promoter Score (NPS)

20. Customer Retention Rate

21. Customer Satisfaction Index

22. Customer Profitability Score

23. Customer Lifetime Value

24. Customer Turnover Rate

25. Customer Engagement

26. Customer Complaints


To gauge your market and marketing efforts:

27. Market Growth Rate

28. Market Share

29. Brand Equity

30. Cost per Lead

31. Conversion Rate

32. Search Engine Rankings (by keyword) and click-through rate

33. Page Views and Bounce Rate

34. Customer Online Engagement Level

35. Online Share of Voice (OSOV)

36. Social Networking Footprint

37. Klout Score


To measure your operational performance:

38. Six Sigma Level

39. Capacity Utilisation Rate (CUR)

40. Process Waste Level

41. Order Fulfilment Cycle Time

42. Delivery In Full, On Time (DIFOT) Rate

43. Inventory Shrinkage Rate (ISR)

44. Project Schedule Variance (PSV)

45. Project Cost Variance (PCV)

46. Earned Value (EV) Metric

47. Innovation Pipeline Strength (IPS)

48. Return on Innovation Investment (ROI2)

49. Time to Market

50. First Pass Yield (FPY)

51. Rework Level

52. Quality Index

53. Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE)

54. Process or Machine Downtime Level

55. First Contact Resolution (FCR)


To understand your employees and their performance:

56. Human Capital Value Added (HCVA)

57. Revenue per Employee

58. Employee Satisfaction Index

59. Employee Engagement Level

60. Staff Advocacy Score

61. Employee Churn Rate

62. Average Employee Tenure

63. Absenteeism Bradford Factor

64. 360-Degree Feedback Score

65. Salary Competitiveness Ratio (SCR)

66. Time to Hire

67. Training Return on Investment


To measure your environmental and social sustainability performance:

68. Carbon Footprint

69. Water Footprint

70. Energy Consumption

71. Saving Levels Due to Conservation and Improvement Efforts

72. Supply Chain Miles

73. Waste Reduction Rate

74. Waste Recycling Rate

75. Product Recycling Rate


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