Financial Metrics, Unlocking the Power: Deep Dive into the Numbers That Shape Your Business Success

Financial metrics unlocking the power

Many small business owners either fear or overlook their financial metrics, thinking it's too complex or just for the accountants to handle. This edition of the Friday Financial Freedom Finder will demystify the crucial financial metrics, showcasing their power in driving business decisions, and ultimately leading to long-term business success.

What's included in this weeks edition:

The Importance of Financial Metrics: Why understanding your numbers is not just for the accountants.

Profit Margins Uncovered: How to calculate and interpret gross profit margin, operating profit margin, and net profit margin.

Liquidity Ratios – Stay Solvent: Dive into the current ratio and the quick ratio to understand your business's ability to cover short-term obligations.

Efficiency Metrics – Get More from Less: Turnover ratios like inventory turnover, accounts receivables, and payables turnover to understand how efficiently you're managing assets and liabilities.

Debt Management – Leveraging Wisely: Understand the debt ratio and the equity ratio to gauge how effectively you are leveraging borrowed funds.

Growth Metrics – The Future Beckons: Annual growth rate, customer acquisition cost, and customer lifetime value. See how these can predict your business's future potential.

Putting It All Together – The Financial Dashboard: Tips on creating a comprehensive financial dashboard that puts all these metrics into perspective.

How to Act on What the Numbers Tell You: Practical steps to tweak business strategies based on what your financial metrics reveal.

Case Study: A real-life example of a small business that turned things around by understanding and acting upon their financial metrics.

The Importance of Financial Metrics: Why understanding your numbers is not just for the accountants.

In today's competitive business landscape, understanding the nuances of one's trade is undeniably essential. However, many small business owners often sideline the importance of getting intimately acquainted with their financial metrics. A common misconception is that these numbers and their intricate calculations are the sole realm of accountants and financial experts. But here's the unvarnished truth: these numbers are the pulse of your business, and as a business owner, you should have your finger firmly on that pulse.

**1. A Transparent Mirror to Business Health:**

Financial metrics act as a diagnostic tool. Just as a doctor would gauge a patient's health by examining various vital signs, these metrics provide insights into the health of your business. Whether it's profitability, liquidity, or solvency, each metric offers a unique perspective on how well your business is functioning.

**2. Informed Decision Making:**

Decision-making in business can often feel like navigating a dense forest. Financial metrics light up the path, allowing you to make choices rooted in data and reality. Whether it's about expanding to a new market, hiring more staff, or making significant investments, understanding your numbers can mean the difference between a successful venture and an expensive misstep.

**3. Predicting the Future:**

While we haven't mastered time travel, financial metrics can be the next best thing. They offer foresight. Patterns in metrics can predict downturns or highlight potential growth areas, allowing for proactive strategies instead of reactive panic.

**4. Speaking the Universal Business Language:**

Whether you're negotiating with suppliers, seeking investment, or comparing your performance with competitors, financial metrics provide a universally understood language in the business world. It equips you with the vocabulary to communicate, negotiate, and collaborate more effectively.

**5. Empowerment and Ownership:**

There's an unparalleled empowerment in understanding the intricacies of your business. Knowledge is power. When you understand your financial metrics, you're no longer at the mercy of interpretations from third parties. It allows for direct, immediate insight and fosters a deeper sense of ownership and control.

Delegating the task of number-crunching to accountants is wise. However, leaving the understanding and interpretation solely to them is a missed opportunity. As a business strategist, I've seen firsthand the transformative power that comes from business owners taking charge of their financial metrics. It's not about replacing the accountant but rather about complementing their expertise with your strategic vision. Together, this combination becomes an unstoppable force driving business success.

Profit Margins Uncovered: How to calculate and interpret gross profit margin, operating profit margin, and net profit margin.

In the world of business, understanding profit margins is akin to a sailor knowing how to read the wind. They provide directional cues, signify the health of an enterprise, and offer insights into operational efficiencies. Let's dive deep into the world of profit margins, unraveling their significance and learning how to make them work for us.

**1. Gross Profit Margin:**

This metric provides a snapshot of the financial health of your core business activities, excluding overheads.


Gross Profit Margin = (Gross Profit / Revenue) x 100


Gross Profit = Revenue - Cost of Goods Sold (COGS)


A high gross profit margin indicates that your company is efficiently producing goods or services. Conversely, a low margin could signal high production costs, potentially necessitating supply chain optimizations or price adjustments.

**2. Operating Profit Margin:**

Operating profit margin digs a bit deeper, factoring in both the COGS and operating expenses, giving a clearer picture of operational efficiency.


Operating Profit Margin = (Operating Profit / Revenue) x 100


Operating Profit = Gross Profit - Operating Expenses (like wages, rent, utilities)


This metric reveals how well a business manages its fixed costs and is a good indicator of operational efficiency. If two businesses have the same gross profit but different operating profit margins, it suggests disparities in managing operating expenses.

**3. Net Profit Margin:**

This is the grand overview, factoring in not just COGS and operating expenses but also interest, taxes, and any other miscellaneous expenses.


Net Profit Margin = (Net Profit / Revenue) x 100


Net Profit = Operating Profit - (Interest + Taxes + Other Expenses)


A robust net profit margin indicates that a business is adept at managing both its operating costs and its debt, taxes, and other extraneous expenses. It is, in essence, a measure of the overall profitability of a company.

**Harnessing the Power of Profit Margins:**

Understanding these margins isn't a mere academic exercise. They provide actionable insights. For instance, if your gross profit margin is healthy but your net profit margin is lagging, it signals inefficiencies in areas beyond the production phase – perhaps in management, debt servicing, or tax handling.

Regularly reviewing and comparing these margins with industry benchmarks can offer competitive insights. Remember, while profit margins are powerful tools, they work best when viewed in conjunction with other financial metrics. They form part of a broader toolkit that helps business owners chart a successful and sustainable financial course.

**Liquidity Ratios – Stay Solvent: Dive into the Current Ratio and the Quick Ratio to Understand Your Business's Ability to Cover Short-Term Obligations.**

Financial solvency and stability are vital for any enterprise. Whether you're planning to expand, take on more debt, or simply want to ensure you can pay next month's bills, understanding liquidity ratios is crucial. These metrics provide a snapshot of your company's financial health, indicating its ability to meet short-term obligations. Let's explore the most common liquidity ratios: the current ratio and the quick ratio.

**1. Current Ratio:**

Also known as the working capital ratio, the current ratio is a basic metric that measures a company's ability to cover its short-term liabilities with its short-term assets.


Current Ratio = Current Assets / Current Liabilities


A ratio greater than 1 suggests that the company has more assets than liabilities, and, in theory, it should be able to cover its immediate obligations. For many industries, a ratio of 1.5 to 2 is considered healthy. If the ratio dips below 1, it may signal potential liquidity issues in the near future. However, context matters; a very high current ratio might indicate inefficiencies in using resources effectively.

**2. Quick Ratio:**

Also known as the acid-test ratio, the quick ratio is a stricter measure. It excludes inventory from current assets, focusing only on the most liquid assets: cash, marketable securities, and accounts receivable.


Quick Ratio = (Cash + Marketable Securities + Accounts Receivable) / Current Liabilities


This ratio reveals a company's ability to meet its short-term liabilities without relying on inventory sales. A quick ratio greater than 1 is generally viewed as healthy. If the number is less than 1, it suggests that without selling inventory, the company might struggle to pay its immediate bills. For businesses where inventory cannot be quickly converted into cash, the quick ratio becomes especially important.

**Why Liquidity Ratios Matter:**

While profit margins indicate profitability, liquidity ratios shed light on short-term financial robustness. They signal stakeholders, including lenders, investors, and suppliers, about the company's immediate financial position. A strong liquidity position can enhance trust and potentially result in better credit terms and lower interest rates.

It's also crucial for business owners to understand these metrics, especially in volatile markets or industries prone to seasonality. Liquidity ratios can act as early warning systems, helping managers make proactive decisions, such as reducing inventory, accelerating collections, or renegotiating payment terms.

In conclusion, liquidity ratios are essential barometers of a company's short-term financial health. Regularly monitoring these ratios and comparing them to industry benchmarks ensures you're well-equipped to navigate financial storms and seize opportunities when skies are clear.

**Efficiency Metrics – Get More from Less: Turnover Ratios to Understand How Efficiently You're Managing Assets and Liabilities.**

Understanding your company's operational efficiency can be the distinguishing factor between growth and stagnation. Efficiency metrics, particularly turnover ratios, offer a deep dive into how well a business manages its assets and liabilities. By examining inventory turnover, accounts receivables turnover, and accounts payables turnover, you can garner invaluable insights into your company's financial operations.

**1. Inventory Turnover:**

This metric reveals how frequently a business sells its inventory over a specific period, usually a year.


Inventory Turnover = Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) / Average Inventory


A higher inventory turnover rate generally suggests that a company efficiently manages its inventory, implying strong sales or effective inventory control. Conversely, a low ratio might indicate overstocking, slow-moving products, or weak sales. The ideal turnover rate varies by industry, but regular benchmarking can help pinpoint inefficiencies in the procurement or sales process.

**2. Accounts Receivables Turnover:**

This ratio measures how effectively a company manages its credit sales and collections.


Accounts Receivables Turnover = Net Credit Sales / Average Accounts Receivable


A higher ratio reflects prompt payment from customers or an efficient collections process, while a lower ratio might indicate issues with credit policies or challenges with customer solvency. If the ratio is dropping, it might be time to revisit credit terms or enhance the collections strategy.

**3. Accounts Payables Turnover:**

This metric provides insights into how a company manages its payments to suppliers.


Accounts Payables Turnover = Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) / Average Accounts Payable


A higher turnover rate suggests that a company pays its suppliers rapidly, which might enhance supplier relationships but can strain cash flows. Conversely, a lower rate indicates slower payment, which could lead to strained vendor relations but also signifies efficient use of available credit. Like other ratios, industry benchmarks and historical comparisons are key to understanding the nuances.

**Why Efficiency Metrics Matter:**

These metrics are akin to the health check-ups we all need. While liquidity ratios tell you about your immediate financial health and solvency, efficiency metrics provide insights into the everyday operational robustness of your enterprise. Are assets like inventory being converted into sales effectively? Are customers paying on time? Is your company utilising supplier credit efficiently?

For small business owners, grasping these efficiency metrics is tantamount to having a clearer picture of the daily pulse and rhythm of their operations. It enables timely interventions, strategic pivots, and nuanced decision-making. After all, in the world of business, knowledge isn't just power; it's profit.

**Debt Management – Leveraging Wisely: Understanding the Debt Ratio and Equity Ratio to Gauge Your Borrowed Funds' Effectiveness.**

Debt can be a double-edged sword for small businesses. On the one hand, borrowing funds can fuel expansion, support cash flow, and enable significant investments. On the other, excessive debt can lead to financial fragility, especially if not managed prudently. To navigate this balancing act, understanding metrics like the debt ratio and the equity ratio is paramount.

**1. Debt Ratio:**

This metric provides a snapshot of the proportion of a company's assets financed through debt.


Debt Ratio = Total Debt / Total Assets


The resulting figure is a percentage, with higher values indicating a greater degree of financial leverage. A debt ratio of 50%, for instance, means half of the company's assets are financed through debt. A higher ratio might signal greater risk, especially if revenues or cash flows become erratic. Yet, it also signifies a company's confidence in its ability to generate returns on its investments. Lower ratios indicate more conservative financial structures but might suggest underutilisation of available financial tools.

**2. Equity Ratio:**

This ratio offers insights into the proportion of a company's assets funded by equity, highlighting the financial buffer against liabilities.


Equity Ratio = Total Equity / Total Assets


Like the debt ratio, the equity ratio is a percentage. A higher equity ratio suggests a company has a significant cushion against financial adversities, reducing the risk of insolvency. However, it might also indicate missed opportunities to leverage borrowed funds for growth. Conversely, a lower ratio implies higher leverage but also signals higher risk.

**Balancing Debt and Equity – Why It Matters:**

The intertwining of debt and equity represents a company's financial structure. While no universally "right" mix exists, understanding where your business stands and comparing it to industry benchmarks can offer valuable insights. Leveraging borrowed funds can amplify returns on equity, but it also intensifies the risks. Conversely, a strong equity base provides stability but might limit the potential for higher returns.

For small business owners, the key lies in understanding the inherent trade-offs. Debt can be an effective tool to accelerate growth, but it comes with strings attached in the form of interest payments and contractual obligations. Equity, although devoid of such immediate costs, represents ownership dilution.

In the end, effective debt management is about balance. It's about leveraging borrowed funds judiciously, ensuring that every pound borrowed can generate a return that justifies the associated risks. After all, in the dynamic world of business, it's not just about how much you borrow, but how wisely you use it.

**Growth Metrics – The Future Beckons: Predicting Your Business's Potential with Annual Growth Rate, Customer Acquisition Cost, and Customer Lifetime Value**

When small business owners think of growth, it often conjures up images of increased revenues, expanding market share, and perhaps even new locations or product lines. While these are certainly signs of growth, understanding how and why this growth is happening is equally essential. That's where growth metrics come in. These metrics not only measure the current pace and quality of growth but also act as predictors of future potential. Let's delve into three of the most pertinent growth metrics: Annual Growth Rate, Customer Acquisition Cost, and Customer Lifetime Value.

**1. Annual Growth Rate (AGR):**

AGR helps businesses measure the pace at which they are expanding or contracting over a year.


AGR = (Revenue at End of Year - Revenue at Start of Year) / Revenue at Start of Year


AGR provides a snapshot of how much your business has grown over a year. Positive growth indicates expansion, while a negative rate could signal contraction. However, it's vital to contextualise these numbers. For example, a very high AGR might be unsustainable or indicate that the business started from a small base, while moderate yet consistent growth could denote stability and steady market acceptance.

**2. Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC):**

CAC is a metric that highlights the resources you expend to acquire a new customer. It encompasses advertising, marketing, sales efforts, and more.


CAC = Total Cost of Sales and Marketing / Number of New Customers Acquired


A lower CAC means you're acquiring customers economically, which is usually positive. However, if the CAC is too low, it might mean under-spending on marketing, leading to missed opportunities. Conversely, a high CAC can erode profits unless these customers bring in substantial revenues over time.

**3. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV):**

CLV estimates the total revenue a business can expect from a single customer account. It helps in understanding the long-term value a customer brings, juxtaposed against the cost of acquiring them.


CLV = (Average Sale per Customer x Gross Margin Percentage) x Average Number of Repeat Sales


CLV gives an insight into the long-term profitability of customers. A higher CLV indicates that customers continue to buy and are satisfied with the value they receive. When CLV exceeds CAC, it indicates a healthy and sustainable growth trajectory. If CAC starts outstripping CLV, it might be time to re-evaluate your growth strategy and spending.

**The Interplay of Growth Metrics:**

Understanding the individual metrics is vital, but their true power emerges when they're viewed in tandem. If your AGR is robust, but it's driven by an unsustainable CAC, future growth could be at risk. Similarly, a strong CLV might justify higher acquisition costs, especially if these customers promote organic growth through referrals or increased market credibility.

For small business owners, growth isn't just about chasing bigger numbers each year. It's about ensuring that this growth is profitable, sustainable, and aligned with the business's long-term vision. By harnessing the insights from growth metrics, entrepreneurs can navigate the tumultuous waters of expansion, ensuring their ventures not only grow but thrive.

**Putting It All Together – The Financial Dashboard: A Comprehensive Overview for Your Business's Financial Health**

In the vast sea of numbers, ratios, and percentages, it's easy for small business owners to feel overwhelmed. While each financial metric offers valuable insights on its own, their collective interpretation provides a holistic view of a business's financial well-being. This is where the concept of a financial dashboard comes into play.

A financial dashboard is like the cockpit of an airplane; it presents the most crucial information in an organised, easily digestible format, enabling informed decision-making. So, how can you create an effective financial dashboard that captures the essence of all these metrics and brings clarity to your financial narrative?

**1. Begin with the End in Mind:**

Before diving into the design, ask yourself, "What are my business goals? What financial insights would help me get there?" Your dashboard should reflect the answers to these questions, highlighting metrics that directly influence your strategic decisions.

**2. Prioritise Key Metrics:**

While it might be tempting to include every conceivable metric, less can often be more. Focus on those metrics that are most pertinent to your business model and industry. For a retail business, inventory turnover might be paramount, while a service-based business might prioritise customer acquisition cost and lifetime value.

**3. Use Visual Elements:**

Graphs, charts, and colour-coded indicators can transform complex data into easily understandable visuals. For instance, a line chart can track the annual growth rate over several years, while a pie chart can provide a breakdown of expenses.

**4. Ensure Real-time Updates:**

Financial landscapes can change rapidly. Opt for dashboards that offer real-time or near-real-time data updates, ensuring that you're always making decisions based on the latest information.

**5. Categorize Metrics:**

Divide your dashboard into sections like liquidity, efficiency, growth, etc. This not only makes it visually appealing but also allows for quick cross-referencing, providing a clear picture of how different financial facets interact.

**6. Incorporate Benchmarks:**

While it's essential to track your metrics, understanding how they stack up against industry benchmarks can offer valuable context. This comparative analysis can spotlight areas of excellence and those needing improvement.

**7. Ensure Accessibility:**

In today's digital age, it's crucial that you can access your dashboard on various devices, be it a laptop, tablet, or mobile. Cloud-based solutions can offer this flexibility, ensuring that you're always a tap away from your financial insights.

**8. Regularly Review and Revise:**

As your business evolves, so will its financial priorities. It's crucial to review your dashboard periodically, adding new metrics that become relevant or removing those that no longer serve a purpose.

A well-crafted financial dashboard can be a game-changer for small business owners. It demystifies the world of financial metrics, offering actionable insights in a user-friendly format. By integrating all the key metrics – from liquidity and efficiency to debt management and growth – a dashboard becomes the go-to tool for strategic planning and informed decision-making. So, invest time in building this tool, and watch as it transforms numbers into narratives, guiding your business towards sustainable financial success.

**How to Act on What the Numbers Tell You: Practical Steps to Tweak Business Strategies Based on Financial Metrics Insights**

Interpreting financial metrics is only half the battle; the real challenge lies in acting upon these insights. Your numbers can offer a wealth of knowledge, but without action, they're merely data points. Let's dive into how you can turn these numbers into actionable strategies for your business's growth.

**1. Understand the Story Behind the Numbers:**

Before making any decisions, ensure you have a clear grasp of what each metric signifies. For instance, a declining current ratio might indicate liquidity issues, while a rising customer acquisition cost could hint at marketing inefficiencies.

**2. Prioritise Areas of Concern:**

With a multitude of metrics at your disposal, it’s vital to pinpoint where immediate action is needed. For example, if your debt ratio is soaring, addressing your company's borrowing habits should be a priority.

**3. Set Clear Objectives:**

Based on what your metrics reveal, define specific, measurable goals. If your net profit margin is shrinking, for instance, you might aim to reduce unnecessary expenditures by a set percentage within the next quarter.

**4. Brainstorm Solutions:**

For every problem your metrics spotlight, there are numerous potential solutions. Gather your team and brainstorm. If inventory turnover is low, could you launch a promotional campaign? Or might it be more effective to renegotiate supplier contracts?

**5. Test and Monitor:**

Once you’ve implemented changes, continuously track the relevant metrics to gauge their impact. For example, after adjusting a marketing strategy, keep a close eye on both customer acquisition cost and customer lifetime value.

**6. Seek Expertise When Needed:**

While you know your business best, sometimes an external perspective can offer invaluable insights. If a particular metric is consistently problematic, consider consulting an expert in that domain.

**7. Adjust and Iterate:**

The business landscape is ever-evolving, and so are best practices. As you make changes based on your financial metrics, remain flexible. If a strategy doesn’t yield the desired results, don’t hesitate to pivot and try a different approach.

**8. Educate Your Team:**

Your financial metrics don’t exist in a vacuum – they're often the result of collective efforts. Ensure that your team understands the importance of these numbers and the role they play in influencing them. This can foster a sense of responsibility and alignment towards business goals.

**9. Celebrate Wins:**

When your metrics indicate positive outcomes from your strategies, take a moment to acknowledge and celebrate. It not only boosts morale but also reinforces the importance of data-driven decision-making.

**10. Stay Updated:**

The world of finance and business is dynamic. Stay abreast of industry benchmarks, emerging best practices, and new tools or methodologies. This ensures that your strategies remain relevant and effective.

Your financial metrics are like signposts, guiding you on the journey of business growth. However, recognising these signs is only the beginning. By diligently acting on these insights and continuously refining your strategies, you can steer your business towards sustainable success, ensuring that every decision is rooted in a deep understanding of your company's financial narrative.

**Case Study: Turning the Tables with Financial Metrics – A Small Business Success Story**


"GreenScape Solutions," a small gardening and landscaping business, was nestled in the heart of Yorkshire. In its initial years, the company saw steady growth. However, by its fifth year, despite increasing sales, the profit margins seemed to be thinning, and cash flow became unpredictable.

**The Problem:**

At a glance, the business appeared to be thriving with an expanding clientele and a growing team. But the bank account told a different story. Month-end reviews consistently raised questions: Why, with more contracts than ever, was the business barely breaking even?

**The Deep Dive:**

Determined to diagnose the issue, the owner, James, decided to dive deep into the company's financial metrics. Here's what he discovered:

1. **Operating Profit Margin Decline:** While gross profits were healthy, the operating profit margin had decreased. It was apparent that operational costs, including wages and equipment maintenance, had grown disproportionately to revenue.

2. **Inventory Turnover Sluggishness:** An examination of their inventory turnover revealed that the business held onto gardening tools and supplies longer than necessary, tying up cash that could be used elsewhere.

3. **Extended Accounts Receivables:** Their accounts receivable turnover ratio indicated that clients were taking longer than usual to settle their bills.

**Taking Action:**

With a clearer understanding of the underlying issues, James strategised:

1. **Cost Review and Negotiation:** To address the eroding operating profit margin, James undertook a thorough review of all operational expenses. He renegotiated contracts with suppliers, consolidated orders to gain bulk purchase discounts, and streamlined operations to cut down on overtime wages.

2. **Inventory Management:** To improve inventory turnover, GreenScape adopted a just-in-time inventory approach. They began purchasing supplies based on confirmed contracts rather than anticipated demand. This reduced storage costs and freed up cash.

3. **Client Payment Terms:** To hasten accounts receivable, James introduced early payment discounts and tightened credit policies. He also shifted some of his larger clients to milestone-based billing, ensuring regular cash inflow during longer projects.

**The Outcome:**

Six months post-intervention, GreenScape Solutions was back on track. Their operating profit margin saw an uptick of 12%, inventory costs reduced by 20%, and cash flow became more predictable. Not only did the business return to healthy profitability, but James, with his newfound appreciation for financial metrics, felt more in control and equipped to handle future challenges.

**The Takeaway:**

GreenScape’s turnaround is a testament to the power of understanding and acting upon financial metrics. It’s not always about working harder; sometimes, it's about working smarter. In the complex landscape of business, letting the numbers guide you can often be the difference between stagnation and success.

**Closing Thoughts: Harnessing the Power of Your Financial Metrics**

In the intricate tapestry of running a business, numbers and metrics weave the underlying structure. They are the unsung pillars holding up the edifice of success. For many business owners, especially in the small business sector, financial metrics can sometimes appear as cold, distant figures, detached from the daily hustle and bustle of business operations. But in truth, they pulsate with life, narrating the story of where your business has been and where it could be headed.

Understanding these numbers is akin to acquiring a new language—the language of your business's heart and soul. Every beat, every rhythm, and every fluctuation tells a tale. And for the dedicated business owner, it becomes an empowerment tool. It's the difference between navigating in the dark versus having a well-lit path.

You needn't be a seasoned accountant to appreciate or act upon these metrics. Instead, view them as your business's health indicators. Just as we wouldn't ignore signs of personal health issues, these metrics provide early warning signs, opportunities for enhancements, and affirmations of successful strategies in your business.

Regular reviews are not merely a routine but a ritual of respect towards your venture. They're a commitment to ensuring the ship you captain sails on calm waters and can weather any storm. Whether it's a monthly deep dive or a quarterly analysis, make it a non-negotiable appointment in your calendar.

In conclusion, it's a call to embrace, not evade. To dive deep, not deter. Your financial metrics are not just lifeless numbers on a spreadsheet; they are the dynamic DNA of your business. Know them, understand them, and let them guide you. Because in these numbers lies the roadmap to not just survive, but thrive and achieve the success you envisaged when you first embarked on your entrepreneurial journey. So, dear business owner, take the reins, steer with confidence, and let your metrics illuminate the path to unparalleled success.

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About the Author

Annette Ferguson 

Owner of Annette & Co. - Chartered Accountants & Certified Profit First Professionals. Helping online service-based entrepreneurs find clarity in their numbers, increase wealth and have more money in their pockets.