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Genius Sheets - How Fast Is Your Business Going?

dashboard genius sheets google sheets kpi tools quickbooks online Feb 06, 2023

And how much gas is in the tank?




You know I have never been a fan of any of the so-called “KPI” (Key Performance Indicator) or “Dashboard” tools out there. They are either very limited or very difficult to use. 


But when Trevor Lee reached out to me and showed me Genius Sheets, my gears started grinding. In fact, you could say they went into overdrive!


You see, Genius Sheets lets you dynamically pull in any data from any financial statement in QBO (QuickBooks Online) and drop it into a spreadsheet (Google Sheets or Excel).


My very first thought, of course, was variance analysis for financial forecasting, but then I started thinking about other possible uses.


As long as you have basic spreadsheet skills, and especially now that we can pull in real time data without having to export and copy and paste data, it comes down to this…


If you can conceive it, you can create it. 


As I said, I’ve never been a fan of any of the KPI or dashboard tools. 


Some of them look really nice, but I immediately question how useful they actually are. Even if you show it to your client, and the client reacts with “ooh”s and “aahs, will they look at it again? Will they take any action based on the data?


I think not. Not in most cases, anyway.


And the reason for that is that it’s too much to look at. 


I would argue that the nicer it is, the more pretty colors it has, the harder it is to decipher what needs attention and what, if any, action needs to be taken. 


Your Car’s Dashboard


When I think of the term “Dashboard” the first thing that comes to mind is my car’s dashboard. 


What does it tell me? Just a few things. Probably the two most important things my car’s dashboard tells me are how fast I am going and how much gas is in the tank.


In terms of your business…


Your income statement is how fast you're going.

Your balance sheet is how much gas is in your tank.


For Dashboard purposes, I’ve learned to rely on two numbers:


Cash in the bank

Net 30 day sales


The first job is to study these numbers until you get a clear sense of where they need to be for you to be okay. 


In other words, I can tell you the exact amounts that mean, when each of those numbers above exceeds a specific threshold, I am okay. Anything below that and it’s time to hustle (more than usual). Go far enough above that threshold and I hit a second threshold for cash in the bank. 


This second threshold is when I start transferring money to a reserve that I don’t touch. When the balance exceeds that threshold by at least $10K and payroll has just been paid, then I transfer $10K to savings. 


If you have significant accounts receivable, then you probably want to add that into the picture. That is sort of like your RPM! The faster you can turnover your receivables, the better it is for cash flow. 


In this video, I am going to show you how to use Genius Sheets to pull this data into Google Sheets and automatically keep track of your last thirty days’ sales and cash in the bank. Then we’ll set our threshold, and graph it all for a nice visual. 


This is the perfect dashboard. It’s simple and it’s realistic because it’s easy to understand and easy to know what to do with the information. 


If sales are down, cash will be impacted next. This means we want to look at what we can do to drive more sales. Same with cash, of course. 


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