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How to make smarter decisions with insights from your business data

As a business owner, you make dozens of decisions every day – some big, some small – and each one might hold consequences for your success. Some of your decisions more than likely come from your gut, your instincts, and your business experience. But, with software, it’s also incredibly easy to accurately collect and analyze your business’s data, and it’s more important than ever to incorporate this data to generate insights that inform your decisions.

QuickBooks® Enterprise offers advanced, easy-to-use reports that provide the insights you need with just a few clicks, readily available any time you need them.

QuickBooks Enterprise also includes reports specific to particular industries, such as construction, manufacturing, or retail. Using templates, Enterprise uses your data to auto-fill these reports, saving you the hassle and the time of manually inputting data. It also includes a set of bundled reports, each designed to address specific facets of your business. These bundled reports and the templates work together to make it easy for you to drill down to the data you need and put it to use.

Here’s a quick list of some of the advanced reporting found in QuickBooks Enterprise:

  • Job costing
  • Sales profitability by customer dashboard
  • Paid invoices by sales rep
  • Sales by item forecasting
  • Inventory stock by item

We’re going to take a closer look at a few of these: job costing, sales profitability, and inventory stock by item.

Manage costs to increase profitability

Construction jobs can easily spiral out of control when it comes to budget. Materials and labor costs, alone, can vary widely per job, and if you find yourself in a time crunch, it might be easy to lose sight of these skyrocketing costs.

For 18 years, Southern Services Equipment, Inc. (SSE) has used QuickBooks Enterprise to manage their business’s reports and data, including job costing, payroll, and accounts receivable. In a recent part of their journey, they’ve seen revenue increase from $3 million to $12 million in just three years.

With four employees using QuickBooks Enterprise’s features for their daily operations, SSE is able to more closely track the costs of their projects, giving their project managers real-time tracking reports to show if they are on budget.

QuickBooks Enterprise’s job costing feature uses data from past jobs, invoices, and client and vendor billing, and then allows you to build out job costs based on these numbers. You can use this as a comparison tool for job costing. Having both a micro and macro view of job costs makes it easier than ever for construction managers to see how their costs stack up to previous projects and prevent misquoting new ones.

Easily understand payments coming in and going out

Accounts payable and accounts receivable are two important factors to your business. Accounts receivable covers all of the payments you receive, primarily from customers and clients. By using QuickBooks Enterprise, it’s easy to send invoices, track outstanding invoices, and follow up to secure payment. By having a dashboard of everything important happening with accounts receivable, your team can work to get paid faster and more efficiently.

The same philosophy can be applied to accounts payable. Whether it’s a scheduled payment, regular payment such as rent or a loan, or a payment to a vendor or supplier, you want to be sure that your accounts are paid in full and on time. It keeps you in good standing and builds the foundation for a good working relationship. Using the same principles as accounts receivable, accounts payable gives you the chance to keep your own accounts in good stead.

QuickBooks Enterprise gives you the ability to filter your dashboard for accounts receivable and accounts payable by a variety of options, including:

  • Total revenue generated
  • Total time spent
  • Total expenses
  • Total outstanding invoices

These numbers can be broken down by client, job, or timeframe. It’s also possible to take a look at profitability across different geographies. This is important if your business operates in multiple areas, especially across wide regions. Costs for jobs will vary by location, and you want to be sure your pricing is competitive, but in line with the local market.

By taking all of these factors into account, and using the robust reporting and tracking features available, QuickBooks Enterprise will provide you with a total snapshot of the current state of your job costs, profitability, and cash flow.

Manage your inventory from one central location

Maintaining your inventory is essential to keeping your business profitable by not wasting assets. One of the key areas of inventory loss is human error — simply miscounting what is actually on hand. There’s also the chance that you might suffer from supplier fraud or need to reconcile your inventory when you receive damaged goods. And, of course, there’s always the chance of theft, either from customers or employees.

By automating your inventory process and keeping the records centrally located, it’s much easier to track down errors and make updates to correct the counts. You also want to be sure that you can use the system to easily reorder supplies you need. Dashboards that update in real-time are essential, so you’ll also have a singular snapshot of your supplies on hand. And, if you use other systems that relate to your inventory, such as a point-of-sale system, integrating the two is key to keeping an accurate measure.

Enterprise has a suite of automated inventory reports that you can run on a regular basis to better manage your inventory. These reports are customizable as well, so you’ll never have to deal with data that doesn’t directly help your business model. The available reports are:

  • Inventory valuation summary
  • Inventory stock by item
  • Assembly shortage by item

Additionally, QuickBooks Enterprise can move beyond inventory management to include sales order fulfillment and inventory transfers, and with the shipping manager integration, you can print mailing labels for all of the major shipping companies right from Enterprise.

Better insights from using better data

Making decisions based on your business’s data will lead to better insights, better decision-making, and, in general, better business. As demonstrated in this article, QuickBooks Enterprise’s Advanced Reporting has all of the tools you need to make your business more profitable, organize your billing and payment processes, and keep track of your inventory. Each of these features makes it easier for you to get more done, make more money, and still make the time you need to grow your business.

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