Episode 12: Financial Intelligence For Business Owners

Read on to gain insight into what financial intelligence is and why it’s such an important skill for business owners.

What is Financial Intelligence?

What is Financial Intelligence?

by Patty Lawrence | TurboCharge Your Business

Financial intelligence is a requirement for business owners and luckily, it’s a skill that can be learned. As a business owner, you need to make sure you’re acquiring these skills to be able to really work on your business and grow your business.

Financial intelligence consists of understanding these four different areas:

  • Basics of financial measurement, including the big three reports you need to run your business: the income statement, balance sheet, and statement of cash flows.
  • Finance and accounting as two disciplines (both art and science!) that must come together and build an understanding of your business.
  • The analysis of your numbers (including profitability, percentages, and other metrics) so you understand the story they’re telling you.
  • The big picture, where you can zoom out, see relationships and patterns, and understand your business in the larger context of the economy, competitive landscape, laws, technology, and changing consumer needs and desires.

All four of these shape the environment of financial intelligence and when you understand them, you can make more insightful decisions towards the goals and targets of your strategic plan, leading your company forward successfully.

Owning Your Numbers

Owning Your Numbers

by Patty Lawrence | TurboCharge Your Business

Owning your numbers means that your transactions are entered into your system in real time. It’s not taking a shoe box and giving it to your outside accountant to update your Quickbooks.


Because if you’re not getting anything in real time, you don’t have your basic reports available to you in a timely fashion. There’s no visibility to where you’re performing, because those numbers aren’t timely. You can’t really own your numbers because you can’t see them as frequently as you need to be able to make decisions in your business.

Remember, the foundational elements of financial intelligence require you to have those big three reports. In order to have those generated from your software, you need to have transactions going in on a daily basis.

It doesn’t matter whether you have someone do it internally or if you outsource, as long as it’s done in a timely fashion every day to get you the insight you need to take your business forward. Once a week isn’t good enough.

When you own your numbers, your company’s financial status is available to you on demand.

And remember: garbage in, garbage out. If your transactions are recorded incorrectly, your reports are going to be useless. If that’s something you’re struggling with, call TurboExecs – we help people uplevel their entire accounting function.

Honestly, the bottom line for owning your numbers is about being able to take control of your own destiny. Don’t leave that in someone else’s hands. Once you give away your power in that way, you’ve given away your ability to impact your numbers. So do yourself a favor within the realm of financial intelligence: take control of your destiny by owning your numbers.

Understanding Your Numbers

Understanding Your Numbers

by Patty Lawrence | TurboCharge Your Business

As a business owner, you need to know what “good numbers” and “bad numbers” are in your business.

What constitutes doing well (and not doing well) in your business?

There are a lot of numbers floating around your business, but how do you discern what’s good and what’s not? How do you know you’re headed in the right or wrong direction?

Part of owning your numbers is having your financial reports available to you on demand, and that translates right into understanding your numbers. If you have analytical horsepower within your financial function (something we offer at TurboExecs), you have a person who can give you the answers to your “why” questions about your numbers. They can explain why your numbers are so low or so high, why numbers have changed against trends and benchmarks, etc.

As the business owner, you just need to keep asking those questions. That’s how you drill down and understand what the drivers are for your performance and operations.

The numbers tell a story about your business. It’s up to you as the business owner to understand that story and change the trajectory of it as needed. You can do that when you’re able to look at the trends and the numbers versus various benchmarks.

Impacting Your Numbers

Impacting Your Numbers

by Patty Lawrence | TurboCharge Your Business

Impacting your numbers means that you, as the business owner, have the ability to make decisions to change the trajectory of your financial performance.

We’ve talked about owning those numbers and understanding those numbers. You have your numbers accessible at all times, and now you have some analytical horsepower inside the business to tell the story behind those numbers.

From there, it’s about impacting your numbers: actually executing decisions based on the reports you get. When you understand the numbers, you know what numbers are good and bad in your business (which will vary year to year or even month to month). So what do you do with that information? What do you do about a bad number?

I hate to say it, but it really depends on the kind of number it is and what makes it a bad number for you. Depending on the number, when you understand what it’s telling you then you can make some informed and insightful decisions. One of those decisions is understanding where you can impact your number, like dialing up or dialing down a lever.

For example, maybe your spending on advertising or marketing is too high. How can you reduce that? What do we need to dial down? Or maybe you’re missing your sales targets. How do you dial up that number? Is there an offer you can put out? Do you have enough bandwidth to take on a new project?

What are those levers that you have access to, to be able to impact those numbers? You have the ability to control your company’s destiny via the levers and knowing the difference between good numbers and bad numbers.

TurboCharge Your Business is a show for business owners who are tired of just working IN the nuts and bolts of their businesses and ready to work ON the business itself from a big-picture, growth-oriented, strategic perspective. Check out more episodes here.

Get more business insights on TurboCharge Your Business

A show for business owners who are tired of just working in the nuts and bolts of their businesses and ready to work on the business itself from a big-picture, growth-oriented, strategic perspective.

Your CPA Shouldn’t Be Your CFO!

Put your name and best email address into the form below, and I'll send you “Why You Aren’t Growing Your Business: 5 Reasons Why Your CPA Shouldn’t Be Your CFO” absolutely free.

You have Successfully Subscribed!