Top 12 KPIs For Finance Department

Because Great Financials Run the Show!

Well, well, well, looks like we’re talking about Finance KPIs today! And let me tell you if you’re not tracking your financial performance with some Key Performance Indicators, then you might as well be driving blindfolded. It’s like trying to play a game of darts without a dartboard – you’ll be throwing those numbers all over the place!

But seriously, Finance KPIs are a crucial component of any successful business. They help you measure your financial health, identify areas for improvement, and make informed decisions about the future of your company.

So, if you haven’t already started tracking your KPIs, it’s time to get cracking! And don’t worry, it’s not as painful as a root canal – in fact, it’s pretty darn easy once you get the hang of it.

TOP 12 KPIs For Finance Department

1. Gross Profit Margin

The finance KPI that can make or break a business. It’s like the waistline of a company’s financial health. You want it to be lean, mean, and look good. After all, who wants to invest in a business that’s just flabby and bloated? The Gross Profit Margin is the percentage of revenue that’s left after deducting the cost of goods sold. A high margin means the business is efficient at producing and selling its products, while a low margin could be a sign of trouble. It’s the financial equivalent of a six-pack versus a beer belly.

Use case

Gross Profit Margin is the finance KPI that makes accountants and business owners alike salivate with excitement. It’s like the cherry on top of a sundae, the final piece of the puzzle that reveals just how much profit your business is really making.

But let’s be real, it’s not all just about the numbers. Sure, the Gross Profit Margin is a valuable metric that can help you make informed financial decisions, but it can also tell you a lot about the health of your business. If it’s high, then you’re doing something right. If it’s low, then it’s time to reassess and make some changes.

 How to measure?

(Net sales – COGS) / Net sales x 100%

2. Return on Sales (ROS)/Operating Margin

Return on Sales (ROS), also known as Operating Margin. It’s the perfect way to measure how much bang for your buck you’re getting from your business operations. I mean, who doesn’t love a good bang for their buck, am I right? It’s like going to a fancy restaurant and getting a huge plate of food for a tiny price. You’re getting a lot of value for your money, just like a high ROS means you’re getting a lot of profit for your revenue.

Use case

Return on Sales (ROS) or Operating Margin is a finance KPI that measures a company’s profitability. It’s like the “cool factor” of the business world. You know, like how people rate a restaurant based on the amount of Instagram-worthy photos they can take of their food.

ROS is the financial equivalent of that, but instead of food photos, it measures how much money a company is making relative to its revenue. It’s like the money equivalent of being “fit but not too fit” – you want to be making enough profit to be financially healthy, but not so much that you’re being greedy.

How to measure?

(Earnings before interest and taxes / Net sales) x 100%

3. Net Profit Margin

Net Profit Margin finance KPI, also known as the “money maker” of the business world. This little number is like a personal trainer for your bottom line, keeping it lean and fit. It’s the difference between high-fiving your colleagues and drowning your sorrows in a pint of ice cream. Sure, it may not be as glamorous as other KPIs, but it’s the backbone of financial success.

Use case

Net Profit Margin is a finance KPI that measures the profitability of a company. It’s like a window into a company’s soul, revealing whether they’re making bank or just barely scraping by.

If the Net Profit Margin is high, the company is probably popping champagne bottles in the boardroom. If it’s low, they might be crying into their coffee mugs. But don’t worry, there’s always room for improvement. Just remember, a penny saved is a penny earned, and a dollar earned is even better.

How to measure?

(Net income / Revenue) x 100%

4. Operating Cash Flow Ratio (OCF)

It’s like the financial version of a Breathalyzer test for a company’s financial health. You know, making sure they haven’t had one too many bad investments or spent too much on office parties.

Basically, OCF measures a company’s ability to generate cash from its operations, which is kind of like checking if they can swim before tossing them into the deep end of the financial pool. You don’t want to invest in a company that’s sinking faster than the Titanic, do you?

Use case

Operating Cash Flow Ratio (OCF) is a fancy finance KPI that measures a company’s ability to generate cash from its operating activities. It’s like the financial equivalent of a treadmill test – it shows how fit a company’s finances are.

A high OCF means the company is running on all cylinders and can easily pay off its debts and invest in growth opportunities. On the other hand, a low OCF is like a couch potato trying to run a marathon – it’s not pretty. So, if you’re a finance nerd looking to impress your boss, just casually drop the term “OCF” in conversation and watch their eyes light up with admiration (or confusion).

How to measure?

Operating cash flow / Current liabilities

5. Current Ratio

This financial KPI tells you if your company has enough liquid assets to pay off its current liabilities. It’s like a magic crystal ball that predicts your ability to avoid bankruptcy.

Think of it like having enough cash in your wallet to pay for that late-night taco truck run. If you don’t have enough cash, you’ll have to go through the hassle of finding an ATM, and who wants to do that when there are delicious tacos waiting to be eaten?

Use case

It’s the financial KPI that lets you know if a company has enough current assets to cover its current liabilities. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? I mean, who doesn’t love talking about liquidity ratios over dinner?

But fear not, my financially-minded friend. The Current Ratio is actually quite useful. It’s like having a life raft on a choppy financial sea. You want to make sure that your company can stay afloat, and the Current Ratio can help you do just that.

How to measure?

Current assets / Current liabilities

6. Working Capital

Ah, the exciting world of working capital marketing KPIs. Is there anything more thrilling than analyzing cash flow trends and inventory turnover ratios? It’s enough to make your heart skip a beat. But hey, who needs roller coasters when you’ve got financial metrics?

In all seriousness, working capital marketing KPIs are a vital part of any business’s success. They help you keep track of your cash flow, identify areas for improvement, and make informed decisions about your marketing strategies. So let’s raise a glass to these unsung heroes of the business world. May your days be filled with endless spreadsheets and your working capital never runs dry? Cheers!

Use case

Working capital and marketing KPIs – two things that go together like bread and butter, or like a cat and a laser pointer. If you’re in the business world, you know that tracking your working capital and marketing KPIs is essential. It’s like keeping an eye on your bank account and your waistline – you don’t want either of them to get out of control.

But let’s be honest, tracking KPIs can be about as exciting as watching paint dry. That’s why it’s important to find humor in it all. So, grab yourself a cup of coffee (or something stronger, depending on your KPIs), and let’s dive into the wonderful world of working capital and marketing KPIs. Trust me, it’s more exciting than it sounds.

How to measure?

Current assets – Current liabilities

7. Quick Ratio/Acid Test

The measuring stick of a company’s financial health. It’s like the litmus test for sourness in lemonade, only instead of lemons, we’re squeezing numbers. This KPI is a favorite of marketers because it gives them a quick and easy way to see if a company can pay its bills without relying on inventory sales. It’s like knowing if your friend can afford to split the check at dinner, without having to peek at their wallet.

So, if you want to impress your boss with your financial savvy, just toss out a casual “Hey, have we checked our Quick Ratio lately?” and watch the admiration roll in.

Use case

A marketing KPI that’s so acidic, it can dissolve any financial problem in its path faster than a lemon wedge in a gin and tonic.

Seriously though, this KPI measures a company’s ability to pay off its short-term debts using only its most liquid assets. It’s like trying to quench your thirst with a shot of lemon juice instead of a tall glass of water – sure, it’s quick and effective, but it’s not always the best solution.

So if you’re a marketer keeping an eye on the Quick Ratio or Acid Test, just remember to take it with a grain of salt (or a sugar rim, if that’s your thing) and consider the bigger financial picture. After all, sometimes it’s better to sip slowly and enjoy the journey rather than rushing for a quick fix.

How to measure?

Quick assets / Current liabilities

8. Gross Burn Rate

Ah, the Gross Burn Rate marketing KPI, or as I like to call it, the “how much money we’re setting on fire” metric. This little gem measures the amount of cash your company is burning through on marketing expenses, and boy oh boy, can it add up quickly.

It’s like watching your budget go up in smoke, but hey, at least you’re getting some brand awareness, right? Just make sure you don’t get too caught up in the flames and end up burning your whole company down. Remember, sometimes it’s better to market smarter, not harder.

Use case

Well, well, well, if it isn’t the good old Gross Burn Rate, the KPI that puts the “gross” in “gross margin.” You see, dear friend, this KPI is all about how much cash a company is burning through each month, and I don’t mean in a cozy campfire kind of way.

Nope, we’re talking about money going up in flames faster than a 4th of July fireworks display. But hey, it’s not all bad news. With Gross Burn Rate, you can track how efficiently a company is using its resources and whether it needs to slow down the spending spree. So, let’s just hope they don’t burn through all their cash like a college student during spring break.

How to measure?

Company cash / Monthly operating expenses

9. Current Accounts Receivable (AR) Ratio

The bane of many a finance professional’s existence. This KPI is like that one-party guest who just won’t leave – it sticks around, always making its presence known.

But in all seriousness, the Current AR Ratio is an important metric that measures a company’s ability to collect payments from its customers in a timely manner. Think of it as the financial equivalent of trying to catch a greased pig – the higher the ratio, the harder it is to get a grip on those elusive dollars.

So, if you want to stay on top of your company’s financial health, keep a close eye on that AR Ratio – and maybe invest in some pig-catching gloves while you’re at it.

Use case

This metric is like the detective of your financial statements, always on the lookout for clues about your cash flow.

Basically, the Current AR Ratio shows how much money your customers owe you compared to the amount of money you’re actually collecting. It’s like a report card for your accounts receivable performance. Are you a straight-A student or are you flunking out?

By keeping an eye on this KPI, you can make sure that you’re not letting too much cash slip through your fingers. So if you want to keep your cash flow healthy and your business running smoothly, keep an eye on that Current AR Ratio. It may just be the key to unlocking your financial success.

How to measure?

(Total accounts receivable – Past due accounts receivable) / Total accounts receivable

10. Accounts Payable (AP) Turnover

Accounts Payable (AP) Turnover is a financial metric used to measure how quickly a business pays off its suppliers and vendors. It is a crucial component of a company’s financial analysis as it reflects the efficiency of its payment process.

The AP Turnover ratio is calculated by dividing the total cost of goods sold by the average accounts payable balance during a given period. The resulting number represents the number of times a company pays off its accounts payable during the period in question.

Use case

A high AP Turnover ratio indicates that a company is paying its suppliers quickly, which can help build trust and positive relationships with vendors. However, a very high ratio can also indicate that a company is not taking full advantage of its credit terms, which can lead to cash flow issues.

On the other hand, a low AP Turnover ratio can indicate that a company is taking too long to pay its bills, which can strain relationships with vendors and potentially harm the company’s credit score.

How to measure?

Net Credit Purchases / Average accounts payable balance for the period

11. Average Invoice Processing Cost

The Average Invoice Processing Cost is a financial KPI that measures the average cost of processing a single invoice. This metric is important because it can help businesses identify inefficiencies and opportunities to reduce costs in their accounts payable processes.

To calculate the Average Invoice Processing Cost, you simply divide the total cost of processing invoices (including labor, technology, and other expenses) by the total number of invoices processed during a given period of time.

Use case

Businesses use this KPI to determine the true cost of their accounts payable processes and to identify areas for improvement. By analyzing this metric, businesses can identify cost-saving opportunities, such as implementing automation or outsourcing certain tasks.

In addition, the Average Invoice Processing Cost can help businesses benchmark their performance against industry standards and best practices. This allows them to compare their costs and efficiency to other businesses in their industry and identify areas where they may be falling behind.

How to measure?

Total accounts payable processing costs / Number of invoices processed for the period

12. Days Payable Outstanding (DPO)

Days Payable Outstanding (DPO) is a financial metric that measures the average number of days it takes a company to pay its suppliers and vendors. In other words, it shows how long a company takes to pay its bills. DPO is an important KPI because it provides insight into a company’s cash management practices and its relationships with suppliers.

A high DPO may indicate that a company is taking longer to pay its bills, which could strain relationships with suppliers and potentially affect future pricing and terms. On the other hand, a low DPO may suggest that a company is paying its bills too quickly, which could impact its cash flow.

Use case

Days Payable Outstanding (DPO) is a financial metric that measures the average number of days it takes a company to pay its suppliers for goods and services received. In other words, it calculates the amount of time it takes a business to convert its accounts payable into cash.

DPO is an important metric because it can indicate how efficiently a company is managing its cash flow. If a business has a high DPO, it may be taking too long to pay its suppliers, which can strain relationships and even lead to supply chain disruptions. On the other hand, if a business has a low DPO, it may be paying its suppliers too quickly and leaving itself short on cash.

How to measure?

(Accounts payable x 365 days) / COGS

 In conclusion, financial KPIs are crucial tools for measuring the health and performance of a business. By analyzing key metrics such as profitability, liquidity, efficiency, and solvency, business owners and managers can make informed decisions about their operations, identify areas for improvement, and track progress over time.

While there are many financial KPIs to choose from, it’s important to focus on the ones that are most relevant to your business and goals. By regularly monitoring and analyzing these metrics, you can stay on top of your finances, make data-driven decisions, and ultimately, drive long-term success.

We have researched and shared KPIs for other domain professionals like Sales, Marketing, Finance, HR, IT, etc. Let’s check Operations KPIs.

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A learner, dreamer, and passionate about modern tools and technology like Excel 365, Power BI, SQL, HR Analytics, Six Sigma, WordPress and Visuals to name a few. Total Experience 15+ years including more than a decade of experience in S&P Global and ongoing 4+ years of experience with fast-growing startups & few MNCs. Clients served: Startups, MSMEs to a few of the Big 4 Consulting firms. Trained more than 2500 professionals in the last 4 years on various skills (Analytics, Content, WordPress, Finance, Entrepreneurship, etc). Last but the most important - mother of an awesome kid!


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