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The best financial analysis and reporting software for small business

The best financial analysis and reporting software for small business

Benjamin Billy

Working with many small businesses, we’ve seen what has worked (and not worked) for small business financial reporting, so in this blog post, we share the findings from a review of the Top SME Cloud Solutions for Financial Analytics. 

To keep this super accessible, we’ve broken down the solutions into three categories, depending on your reporting needs:

  1. Small Business Accounting - “Just Show Me The Numbers”
  2. Automated Financial Reporting - ‘’Give Me My Financial Statements, Monthly”
  3. AI Powered Data Analytics - “Help Me Understand What’s Driving My Business”


1. Visualise your basic KPIs within Small Business Accounting software

Who is it for?

If you’re a sole trader or a very small business, online accounting software should be more than enough to help you visualise basic financial KPIs. 

What will you get? 

Standard built-in dashboards will enable you to visualise your core financial metrics in a simple form. 

Xero Dashboard
Xero Dashboard
Quickbooks Dashboard
Quickbooks basic financial KPIs view
MYOB Dashboard
MYOB Advanced Dashboard


Best cloud accounting solutions on the market? 

  • Xero is the leading platform in Australia with an ecosystem of app partners that will enable you to enrich the capabilities of the software. 
  • Quickbooks is the world leader with a strong domination in the US and also several hundreds of add-ons options. 
  • MYOB is catching up after having been predominantly a desktop app, and now having a competitive cloud offering. 
  • Another similar option in this list would be Freshbooks with a solid presence in the US.

When have you outgrown these solutions?

When you need to report on your business performance, be it to internal stakeholders, your board or investors, then the basic cloud accounting solutions won’t enable you to easily generate and circulate complete financial reports.


2. Automate your financial reporting and planning with small business financial reporting Apps

Who is it for? 

If you are a little bigger and looking for a simple way to generate beautiful financial reports on a regular basis, you can opt for financial reporting apps. 

What will you get? 

Financial reporting apps are typically available in the cloud accounting tools add-on marketplaces, like the Xero marketplace.

They will enable you to connect your accounting software accounts, for example your Xero account through an integration with Xero, and generate beautifully looking financial reports like P&L, Balance Sheet and Cash Flow, with the ability to schedule automatic sends to business stakeholders, investors or clients. They will require some time to setup and customize to your needs after you have connected them to online accounting tools.

Those apps have been built by accountants and former small business owners that wanted to provide a dedicated reporting and planning solution for small business accountants. 

Best financial reporting apps on the market? 

The best apps would typically have specific advanced functionalities to make you save time with forecasting, cash flow management or budgeting. 

  • Futrli is focused on optimising small businesses cash-flows 
  • FathomHQ allows you to project profitability scenarios
  • Spotlight Reporting has a wealth of options to customise your automated financial reports.
Futrli Cash Flow
Futrli Cash Flow prediction


FathomHQ Profitability
FathomHQ - Profitability Projection


Spotlight Reporting Dashboard
Spotlight Reporting Dashboard Layout set up


When have you outgrown these solutions?

These solutions haven’t been designed to help with deep, custom data analysis. So if you have no need to dig deeper these options will be super useful. However, if you find yourself or your team constantly going back into your accounting software to extract your raw data and analyse it in Excel, this is a good signal that you need a solution that will help you find DEEP business insights.


3. Get started with Small Business Analytics, using AI to access automatically generated insights

Who is it for? 

You will find value in this option if you’re a small to medium size business with some level of complexity: annual revenue over $2M, multiple offices or business lines, significant clients or suppliers base etc. You are capturing quite a lot of data in your accounting software and want to look for hidden gems in your data that would make your business more profitable. 

What will you get? 

You need a way to uncover actual business insights, understanding drivers of your business and easily look at any area within your data. You also need a turnkey solution that won’t take months to set up or train with.

Best Small Business Analytics software on the market?

You will only find one analytics tool in this category that doesn’t require months of training and developing advanced skills to be able to use: this tool is Hyper Anna. 

Hyper Anna is powered by AI end to end and doesn’t require any set up or training. It’s been built by data scientists to democratise data analytics and allow business professionals to access insights. Unlike the previous solutions presented, Hyper Anna is coming from the Enterprise space, providing enterprise-level analytics to small businesses.

Hyper Anna App connects to your accounting software in one click, automatically understands the specificities of your accounting data and proactively looks for relevant insights.

Hyper Anna Discover
Hyper Anna Discover - 1-click set-up to access an Executive Summary of your business performance

Hyper Anna provides insights on all your KPIs, enabling you to understand the latest changes that impact business performance. Hyper Anna will also automatically detect Anomalies and Outliers so that you are never caught off-guard with an increase in a particular expense account, or a decrease in revenue due to a particular client. 

You can also directly ask questions to look for insights in any area of your business. Hyper Anna will answer with graphs and narratives, just like an analysis report from a good data analyst or management accountant.

Hyper Anna Search
Hyper Anna Search - Asking a question and getting a detailed and relevant answer in seconds

The extra magic that Hyper Anna will provide you with is systematically getting to the why. For any change in your business, Hyper Anna uses AI to run a root-cause analysis in real time and tell you exactly what happened, thanks to the “What Caused This” button.

Hyper Anna Top Insights
Hyper Anna Top Insights - Anna’s AI proactively looks for explanations to any changes in the data and surfaces it in What Caused This

When have you outgrown this solution?

The good news is Hyper Anna will continue to cover your analytics needs, no matter how big you are. As you grow and scale, the Hyper Anna Enterprise Edition will enable you to connect any type of data (financial and non-financial) through simple csv upload or database connection.


Conclusion

Whether you are a solo business owner or a more established small-medium business, you will find financial analytics software helping you manage your accounting, reporting and analytics needs, enabling you to grow in a scalable way.


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