July 2016

Brexit – the importance of sound Management Information

However you voted and whatever your view of the future, one thing is clear – prompt and sound quality MI has never been more important, yet the majority of UK businesses are missing a trick as they don’t have it. The norm is to fly by the seat of the pants, with information limited to sales, order book and bank balance and not always all three.

But what about profitability? The usual missing gap is profit & loss reporting, crucially by sectors of the business. For instance our company is two quite separate services: book-keeping with management accounts; payroll with auto enrolment. They are different in many ways, particularly in their profit margins. Mix them up and the picture is cloudy – which is causing the improvement or deterioration? The only way to know and be in a position to action the right area is to split the reporting. Do you?

Before you spring into action, just check that you’ve covered an important word above – quality. There’s no point in expending energy, time and cost to produce unsound information. That’s worse than useless, it’s potential misleading and possibly even dangerous. It’s all or nothing - either it's fit for purpose or don’t bother.

Yet achieving fit for purpose is not difficult, it’s simply a matter of finding the right skills. And if you don’t have them then outsourcing is the answer, simple really.

If we may use this word then make sure that you are in “control” of your business. Your MI will therefore need to include regular forecasts.  During transition it will be worth looking out for assistance as we head into uncharted waters. This will of course apply especially to exchange rates which are bound to be volatile for some time.  

Brexit has brought a lot of uncertainty but also opportunities. You can remove a critical part of your own uncertainty by producing top quality MI – this will be the biggest step you can take to improving your profitability whatever Brexit produces.