The Simple Business dashboard by Tiller Labs allows you to quickly gain insights on how your business is performing. Understand your cash flow, income versus expense, income by category group, and expenses by category group all based on a customizable time ranges with readily-available presets.
The dashboard also gives you an at a glance account balance information as well as summary income & expense reporting.
The dashboard comprises six discrete zones:
- Quick income/expense summary (left top)
- Account balances (left bottom)
- Income/expense or inflow/outflow vs. time (center top)
- Income by category group (center bottom)
- Category or group focus vs. time (right top)
- Expense by category group (right bottom)
Quick Income/Expense Summary
The quick income/expense summary is located in the top-left corner of the dashboard. This summary is reported based on the reporting period selected just above the account balances section.
Uncategorized Transactions Alert
If you have uncategorized transactions for the period selected below the cash flow calculation you’ll see a red bar indicating how many transactions and their total are waiting to be categorized. Categorizing transactions is key to an accurate financial picture.
Income and Expense
The income and expense chart shows you your income vs expense totals over the selected time period. Configure the time period below the cash flow calculation. You won’t see any data here until you categorize transactions that occurred during the selected time period.
The cash flow calculation is your income minus your expenses based on the time range selected in the dropdown below the cash flow amount. It’s the numeric difference between the two graphed income and expense values above it.
Current account balances are displayed list in the sidebar’s bottom-left corner. This data is pulled from the Accounts and Transactions sheets. This section is the only section without its own dropdown period selector.
Two balances are shown for each account— Tiller and Bank.
The Bank balance is the last available balance for the account from the Accounts sheet.
The Tiller balance is calculated based on the latest balance history entry for the account and also any uncleared/manual transactions you may have manually entered that are waiting to be reconciled. If your spreadsheet does not include any unreconciled manual transactions, the Tiller balance is not shown.
Income/Expense or Inflow/Outflow vs. Time
In the center top, this chart compares inflows vs. outflows (only looking at the sign of the transaction amount) on a month-by-month basis for “All Transactions” over your selected time range.
If you switch the filter setting to “Categorized Income & Expenses” you will only see data once you have categorized some transactions that occurred during the selected time range. (Uncategorized transactions are not shown when the filter is set to “Categorized Income & Expenses”.)
How to Use It
- Configure the time range using the dropdown option below the chart to change the data set that’s graphed in the chart. If you choose “Custom”, editable start and end date options will appear.
- Configure the filter by choosing All Transactions, which only looks at the amount data, or Categorized Income & Expenses, which charts the data based on how you’ve categorized it (income and expense only) on the Transactions sheet.
Income By Category Group
In the center bottom, the Income By Category Group pie chart shows where your income is coming from within the selected time range. This chart really comes alive if you have income from multiple sources (clients, stores, etc) and you leverage category groups to organize key income categories.
How to Use It
- Refine the income categories for your business on the Categories sheet.
- Organize income categories into groups like “Investments”, “Revenue”, “Acquisition” on the Categories sheet.
- Categorize income transactions.
- Configure the time range using the dropdown option below the chart on the dashboard to update the data that’s included in the chart.
- The Total $ field in the upper right shows the total value of the income pie within the selected time range.
Category or Group Focus vs. Time
In the upper right, the Category or Group Focus chart is a powerful tool for zooming in on certain financial aspects of your business.
How to Use It
- As with the Income vs. Expense chart, you can choose either a time range preset or specify a “Custom” time range. Category Focus includes a powerful filtering capability to show month by month transactions filtered by:
- Configure the data rollup by selecting a Filter.
The Filter dropdown offers the following options:
- By “All”, “All Categorized” or “All Uncategorized”: these options are useful for cashflow analysis and also to see how many transactions have not yet been categorized.
- By Income: show any single income category.
- By Expense: show any single expense category.
- By Group: show all transactions within a category group.
Expense by Category Group
In the lower right, the Expense by Category Group chart is useful understanding your relative spend across key expense category groups for the selected time range.
How to Use It
- Refine the expense categories for your business on the Categories sheet.
- Organize expense categories into groups like “Overhead”, “Payroll”, “Professional Services”, “Travel” on the Categories sheet.
- Categorize expense transactions.
- Configure the time range using the dropdown option below the chart on the Dashboard to update the data that’s included in the chart.
- The Total $ field in the upper right shows the total value of the expense pie within the selected time range.
Business Solution History
Tiller originally released the Simple Business dashboard in the summer of 2018 as part of an integrated small-business offering in the Tiller add-on. This original small-business offering required an install process to implement a number of modifications to a user’s spreadsheet in order to realize a diverse set of functions for business users including:
- The business dashboard
- Report generation (including P&L, category detail & category rollup reports) workflows
- Manual transaction creation & reconciliation workflows
- Bank statement reconciliation workflow
- Business “setup”/configuration sheet for ready-access to business assets & information
- Business-friendly income & expense categories
In the year and a half since the original release, we have realized a few things:
- Many of the “business” functions— like manual transactions & bank statements— are broadly useful (i.e. beyond exclusively business applications)
- The Tiller Labs add-on is a more capable, readily-accessed & centralized home for discovery, use, maintenance of these features
So, we have reconceived the small-business offering.
It is no longer an integrated suite installed and accessed via the Tiller add-on. It has become a collection of a-la-carte solutions and workflows available via the Tiller Labs add-on to both business and non-business users.
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