Finance is a critical function for the success of any business. Having good data to make decisions is important to drive financial performance and ultimately business performance. Collating and creating reports is regularly a manual process in finance teams that takes up a lot of time and effort.

When thinking about what data and reports your finance team, Power BI becomes a key solution. Power BI is Microsoft’s market leading business intelligent and data visualisation solution. It allows you to bring data together from your various systems and databases and create interactive reports that are automatically kept up to date.

4 key Power BI reports for finance

Financial Performance Dashboard

A financial performance dashboard provides a holistic view of your organisation’s financial health. It consolidates critical financial metrics, such as revenue, expenses, profitability ratios, and cash flow, into a single report. This is a great high-level report to give you that board level visibility of all the key performance indicators.

With Power BI’s drag-and-drop functionality, you can easily build visualisations like line charts, bar charts, and gauges to track key performance indicators (KPIs). The ability to drill down into data and change the timescales gives a great way of giving each user the level of reporting they need.

Budget vs. Actuals Analysis

Tracking and comparing budgeted figures against actual financial results is essential for effective financial management. Power BI allows you to create a budget vs. actuals report that provides a clear comparison between planned budgets and actual performance. You can visualise variances through charts and tables, highlighting areas where actual expenses or revenues deviate from the budgeted amounts. This report helps finance teams identify spending trends, manage cost overruns, and make informed adjustments to future budgets.

Cash Flow Forecasting

Cash flow management is a critical aspect of financial planning and control. Power BI can assist finance teams in building a cash flow forecasting report to predict future cash inflows and outflows. By integrating with financial data sources and leveraging built-in forecasting models, you can create visuals that display projected cash flows over a specified period. This report provides valuable insights into cash availability, allows proactive management of working capital, and supports effective decision-making to avoid cash flow challenges.

Financial Statement Analysis

Analysing financial statements is vital for understanding an organisation’s financial position and performance. Power BI offers robust features to build comprehensive financial statement analysis reports. You can generate visuals such as income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements to examine profitability, liquidity, and solvency ratios. By drilling down into specific line items and using filters and slicers, finance teams can conduct detailed analysis, identify trends, and gain a deeper understanding of the financial dynamics of the organisation.

These are just a couple of examples of how Power BI can be used to help finance teams. Any modern finance team needs good data in an easy and automated way and the ability to drill down and query issues to drive action. The ability to easily bring together costs, expenses, income, projects, sales and more into a set of key reports gives finance a better than ever understanding of how your business is operating.

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