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Smart Reporting powered by Fathom FAQs

Learn the answers to frequently asked questions about Smart Reporting from Fathom.

Evaluate your business performance, monitor trends, and identify improvement opportunities with Smart Reporting powered by Fathom.

Note: Want to use this feature? You can upgrade to QuickBooks Online Advanced.

About Smart Reporting

Smart Reporting is a management reporting and analysis solution. It provides a variety of tools for in-depth analysis and metrics on how your business is performing.

You can import:

  • Chart of Accounts (General Ledger, Balance Sheet, and Profit & Loss (Income) Statements).
  • You can manually bring information outside of chart of accounts as long as it’s numerical and monthly. This is tagged as “non-financial KPIs” in Smart Reporting. (e.g. number of Employees, Sales through Vendor X, month over month)

You can't import:

  • Anything that isn’t a line item in the Chart of Accounts
  • Transaction Data: Customer data, Vendor data, Product data, Invoice data, Bank transactions, Inventory inflow-outflow, etc.
  • Transaction-based, Projects, Job, HR data, Tax information or any tax-oriented reports.

Import limitations:

  • You can only import 8 years of data to Smart Reporting, but 5 years is recommended for the best possible performance.
  • Chart of Accounts has a maximum of up to 3,000 accounts

You can use Smart Reporting on iPads, tablets, and computers with the following operating systems:

  • Windows 8, Windows 10
  • Mac OS X

You can use Smart Reporting with the following modern web browsers:

  • Google Chrome (preferable)
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Safari

Yes, Below are the possible component types you may need.

  • Snapshots of any of the analysis tools for the period selected.
  • Charts, graphs, tables (many are pre-created, but can also be customized with any metric or available comparison).
    • Maximum of 6 series in a trend chart.
    • Maximum of 20 segments in a pie or donut chart.
    • Maximum of 6 columns in a custom table.
  • Financial statements (many classic views are available, but can also be altered).
    • Maximum of 6 columns in a custom financial statement.
  • Financial trends: 6-month P&L and 12-month financial results, budget, rolling 12 months, and forward projection (actual + budget) are available.
    • 6-month selection: You can include up to 12 months when you edit columns.
    • Others: This is only available in landscape version, and the columns can’t be edited.
  • KPI trends: 6-month, fiscal year, and rolling 12-month KPI results are available.
    • 6-month selection: You can include up to 12 months when you edit columns.
    • Others: This is only available in landscape version, and the columns can’t be edited.
  • Key numbers (any metric – KPI, line item, header – presented alone).
  • Free form text.
  • Placeholders: rich text that references your financial data (e.g. automatically display this month’s revenue instead of typing out the number manually).
  • Observations: if-then and if-else statements that reference metric results, and can be customized.

All components are filterable by class, location, and division if imported.

  • Reports for non-classic periods: Weekly, Daily, 13-month reports
  • Any reports related to transactional-level data
  • Job-costing or project-based reporting
  • AR or AP Aging reports

We do our best to bring all the features possible, but as of now, it's not yet available. But worry not. It's planned for future development.

However, Budgets and targets can be used to project forward in trend charts.Budgets and forecasts generated outside of Smart Reporting can be imported and used in Smart Reporting for variance analysis and for setting KPI targets automatically. Budgets can also be used for full year projections by combining actual results and budgets to project full end of year results (as mentioned in the ‘Forward Projection for this FY’ Excel Report). Finally, budgets and targets can be used to project forward in trends charts.

Smart Reporting doesn't provide Cashflow forecasts. Cashflow forecasting, specifically, is not a planned capability in Smart Reporting.

That said, it's possible to use the Goalseek Tool to plan for a goal result for a Cashflow KPI (Operating Cash flow, Free Cashflow, Net Cashflow). For any of those metrics, a user can select the desired end cash flow result, and make a plan for how to achieve that result in the next period.

Tools available in Smart Reporting

  • Several predefined charts ready to use
  • Metrics available: any KPI, any summary account on the P&L or B/S, and any account on the CoA
  • Up to 2 axes of measurement (e.g. $ and % metrics both on the same chart)
  • Up to 5 metrics on one analysis
  • Timeline in view: can zoom out to all time or in to monthly level at most granular
  • Can select from 13 pre-set metrics
  • Can’t create a goal outside of those designated metric options

Waterfall visualization of incoming and outgoing cash using the indirect method from Revenue down to Operating, Free, and Net Cash flow.

  • Is not / Does not include: Traditional Cash flow statement

Includes any KPIs selected in Step 4 of the Setup (default, or custom)

  • Can sort to view only subsets: On Track, Off Track, KPIs with Alerts
  • Trend Comparison includes: targets, comparisons to last period and the same period last year
    • Applicable to QTD and YTD
  • Drill down
    • Includes: current period results, KPI descriptions & formula (if relevant), changes from prior period, changes from the same period in prior year, relevant rolling average, and level of importance of the KPI (Applicable to QTD and YTD).
    • Does not include: transactional drill down (customer-level, etc.)

Types of KPIs:

  • Financial: predefined default KPIs
  • Account-watch: tracking any account on GL individually
  • Non-financial: monthly & numerical information outside of the CoA (imported in Step 1)
  • Formula KPIs: custom calculations (details below) using basic math operations

Formula KPIs can:

  • Be any unit of measure (including custom)
  • Include numbers as part of the formula (e.g. “ x 100” for a percentage result)
  • Include any account on the Chart of Accounts
  • Include any non-financial data imported in Step 1
  • Include any header created in Step 3 of the Setup
  • Include any classification (verified in Step 3 of the Setup)
  • Include any previously created KPI (e.g. for a formula within a formula)
  • Use variables filtered by class, location, or division (if applicable)
  • Reference prior period results for a given variable
  • Reference current number of days in a period
  • Reference tax or interest rates (designated in Step 2 of the Setup)
  • Reference WACC (with Cost-of-Capital % designated in Step 2 of the Setup)
  • Be created as aggregates (e.g. summative, average, or balance designation)

Other questions about Smart Reporting

Charts & Graphs

  • Base metrics:
    • Any KPI – default, custom, non-financial, etc.
    • Any account on Chart of Accounts
    • Any summary financial
    • Any header created in the Chart of Accounts (in Step 3 of the Setup)
  • Comparative metrics (depends on the base metric):
    • Target or Budget
    • Same period last year
    • Rolling average


  • Current period, 2 prior periods, and this period last year.
  • Budget for the current period, up to 3 periods prior, YTD, rest of year, full year.
  • Variance (% or $) for this period vs last, vs budget, same period last year, YTD vs Budget.
  • Common size: this period to 3 periods prior, budget, this period last year, YTD, budget YTD.
  • Other: YTD, YTD last year, Rolling 12 months, Rolling 12 months average, Projection (YTD actual + budget).

We report on traditional periods of month, quarter, or year. If their data is up to current date (in Step 1 of the Setup), then we can also report upon Month-to-Date (MTD), Quarter-to-Date (QTD), and Year-to-Date (YTD) ranges.

Within any business, there are numerous transactions that take place each month, each with unique data on the customer, vendor, product, invoice, etc. The ending result of all of this activity is a “balance” in each account at month end, which is a summary of the activity or money in that account.

Smart Reporting has multi-company features of Consolidation and Benchmarking (comparative reporting between companies).

General classifications (Revenue, Expense, Other Expenses, Cost of Sales, Current Assets, Liabilities, etc.) are designated the same way as they are in QuickBooks Online Advanced. These flow into calculations for subtotal amounts, such as Total Expenses, or Gross Profit. Smart Reporting does not directly pull across subtotal summary accounts, or parent headings, but calculate subtotals and enable header creation.

You can create custom headers for account groupings (e.g. all marketing related expenses under the header of Marketing Expenses). You can create a maximum of 2 levels of headers: header, and sub-header. The same account can’t be placed in multiple groupings (can’t be placed under two different headings, such as “Marketing expenses” and “Staff Costs”).

The fiscal year (start of fiscal year) is defined in QuickBooks Online Advanced. You can’t change the fiscal year in Smart Reporting.

The following reports are usually present, though some require additional data (e.g. a budget, classes) to be imported to run.

  • Financial results: Excel version of P&L and B/S, with an option to select the desired level of detail (summary, detailed), period length, and final period to review.
  • Financial results [in the Smart Reporting excel import format]: complete chart of accounts along with classifications (verified in Step 3 of the Setup) and balances on the entire Chart of Accounts, month over month.
  • Detailed financial variance: traditional variances in $ and % form vs. budget, same period last year, YTD, and YTD budget.
  • Budget [in the Smart Reporting excel import format]: complete budget with account names and balances, month over month.
  • The forward projection for this FY: month over month actual results, and then budgeted results for future months extending until fiscal year end, and year-end results projected.
  • KPI results: month-over-month results for every KPI (default, custom, non-financial).
  • Financial results by [location/class/division]: P&L and B/S showing side-by-side divisional results, along with the total for the selected period if classes/locations/divisions are imported.

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