Keeping an eye on the prize – visibility drives behaviour

Write down your goals. Measure it to manage it. If you don’t believe these statements, scroll right on by, you are NFI. What’s even more important than having your goals written down, and even more important than pouring over beautiful reports in your ivory management tower, is getting some of those numbers out on the shop floor. If you aren’t sharing the data, you aren’t telling your staff what you want to achieve.

In fact, for this first example, we have a free hack that you can implement to getting at least something visible to your employees with an awesome chrome extension.


What to make visible in your XPM practice

Figure out a problem you want to solve.

NEWSFLASH : Different businesses focus on, and are indeed motivated by different goals. Even truer is that these goals change over time. For me to guess (in this post) what you want to focus on at this particular point in your businesses journey, would be about as effective as a Xero Reporting AddOn preparing an industry to take on Advisory roles through static report packs. Example Focuses could be Revenue / Scheduling / Profitability / Customer satisfaction / WIP / Debtors (if it’s Debtors please get Practice Ignition)

So in summary, in this post, we aren’t necessarily talking about what to focus on but rather WHY and HOW.


Why make it visible and why just a few things at that

Out of sight, out of mind & don’t distract with lots of crap

If you want to really focus on something, if you want to achieve something, what do you do? You find a way to constantly remind yourself of your goal. I love working with business owners that get it. They don’t care about big ass shiny dashboards. If someone only wants to focus on the colour palette of their dashboards, I’m out. Effective business owners want 2 – 5 numbers in their staffs face, all the time, tracking to targets. Because they know that’s what drives results.

What does this mean? It’s a DAILY thing, not weekly, not monthly, DAILY.


How to do it

Practical steps to implement your first step towards a data driven practice with minimal investment

  1. Decide on your focus. For this example let’s go with a Daily Revenue vs Budgets.
  2. Find the reports. Doesn’t have to be perfect, (like our dashboards), in fact, I insist, before you invest in an awesome Business Dashboard, just find any report(s) that vaguely aligns with the goal.
  3. Make it visible, make it a focus
    1) If you have remote workers, start a daily 10-minute Zoom, where this report(s) are the first thing or the last thing that gets spoken about OR use GoogleSheets to share your data, the collaboration and ability to comment and @mention is awesome.
    2) If you have an office, get a screen in the office
  4. Watch the numbers improve

If you have an office TV and you want to show a few different reports from different systems, simply install the Chrome Extension Chrome Revolver. What’s great now, is you can flip every few minutes automatically between a Xero report or two, maybe an XPM report page or two and keep your staff’s eyes on the prize, without investing a cent (other than the TV of course)


Real World Xero Practice Example – start with Revenue, adjust budget based on Actuals


I won’t go on here. As an accountant, budgets are second nature, so you do them. Win! What isn’t second nature is having them visible and automatically adjusting them based on actuals. I’d love to claim the credit for coming up with this visual, however, we can only claim the automation glory. Our client was already tracking this data in GoogleSheets when we got involved, but not only is it used heavily in the practice but it’s a crucial component for Data Drive your Xero Practice Part 2 – Forecast your month


Xero Revenue Chart

Systems involved


  1. MRR – from PracticeIgnition (PI)
  2. Xero Revenue  – updated daily
  3. Adjusted Budget by Actuals – Xero budget adjusted with YTD earnings subtracted from remaining budgets
  4. Adjusted Budget by Shortfalls – Xero budget adjusted with YTD shortfalls



So in summary;

Get a focus, get it visible, make sure it stays a focus and watch targets get hit!!!!!!!!


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