It is enlightening when we heighten our awareness levels to notice all of the “buried” money in our budgets. Through a seemingly odd confluence of events during the holidays a few weeks ago, I had an eye-opening experience about personal finances that can be applied to all businesses. I was spending time thinking about isolating and tabulating key performance indicators (KPIs) for current and potential clients, reading about how people could better track their spending, and getting together with friends to share meals and catch up. So how did all of this add up to moment of clarity? Let me explain.
I met two friends for lunch and decided to cover the bill myself. The total–with a holiday-style tip–was $100. So I dropped the required cash on the table and walked out, not caring to retain a copy of the bill or receipt.
Later that day, I was sitting around thinking about the optimal KPIs for a specific client, when I read a brief article summarizing a few of the interesting results of the Principal Financial Group’s 4th Quarter Well Being Index. It stood out that 24% of respondents indicated that they had blown their budgets in 2015 on eating out, and 6% on purchasing coffee.
I thought about how tricky it could be for someone to track spending on food and coffee. I just spent $100 cash at a restaurant, but walked away without a receipt. And how many times do we all just generally forget or misplace personal dining receipts? How many times do we pay cash for a sandwich? Or mix gas with a newspaper with a drink and snack on a mini-mart receipt? How do we account for paying for others, like wives, family members, friends, and dates? The point is that if we took the report seriously, and decided to apply it to our personal lives, we would need to carefully uncover all of the buried data before we could calculate and evaluate the numbers.
There are scores of excellent articles out there that can help you as a company leader choose which two or three KPIs would yield clarity in your business. But what I learned in my recent experiences is that you need to properly comb through your books in order to be able to get to them.
At Sumus, we have a team that is able to see the big picture and suggest the right KPIs, but we also have the experience and skill to be able to scrutinize your financial records in order to dig deeply into the numbers to produce the reports. What is the point of knowing what you are trying to figure out if you lack the method to do so? We can help you sort out everything because we know where to look, and how to look.