Fathom is an online financial analysis and performance reporting tool. Complete with financial KPI analysis, cash flow analysis, profitability analysis, growth analysis, trend analysis, and ‘what if’ analysis.  Fathom plays nicely with Xero which is an online accounting tool that has made accounting easy for the masses.  Using Fathom and Xero together can give you the management information you need when you need it to grow your business.  Below we give you our thoughts on how it can help your business.

If like us you are bored of producing static out of date Management Accounts and Management Information then say hello to Fathom which combined with Xero could revolutionise the way in which you do business.  Throw away the Excel and Word based Management Packs and welcome with open arms real time financial reporting.  Still want paper based documents, or to mess around in Excel?  You won’t after you have used Fathom but if you do feel the need for paper cluttering up your office then you can print to a great looking PDF report or download to Excel with no fuss.

Fathom Set Up

The set up process within Fathom was very easy we had no issues at all and were up and running within seconds.  The design and user interface is clean, crisp and easy to follow.  Each company includes unlimited users so you can give access to as many people as you feel comfortable.  Remote workers can still see exactly how the company is performing regardless of where they are meaning Management’s time is freed up to run the business not spend time running reports and giving status updates.

Fathom KPI and KPI Explorer

The range of KPI’s that you have available in Fathom means there is something for everyone including the ability to enter non-financial KPI data.  Fathom has 40 pre-configured non-financial KPI’s for you to use or look at as a guide for things your business could be reviewing.  You can also add your own KPI’s and anything added can be used in Fathom Benchmarking (see below) to see how you are performing against other businesses in your group or franchise.

Fathom allows you to weight your KPI’s by ranking them between Low, Medium, High and Critical which means if you are pushed for time you only review the key numbers.

Every KPI has an explanation for you to understand what the data is telling you – don’t be made to feel stupid asking your accountant a question, know what you are dealing with and put it to use.  Each explanation in Fathom also gives you the summary information for that KPI.

Set you own KPI targets within Fathom to review and compare how you are doing and easily investigate any problem areas.

Using Fathom you can quickly switch between your monthly, quarterly and annual figures with the click of a button.  Within the KPI explorer you can also put those rankings to great use to sort the data into a format workable for everyone whilst bringing the key data to the front.

Fathom Alerts

Fathom allows you to set up alerts so that you can easily see when your targets are not being met.  Don’t wait until the end of a quarter to find out its all been going horribly wrong.  Turn procrastination into action and save yourself time, money and effort.

Fathom Profitability

Not sure what you break-even is?  With Fathom this key figure is easily represented in graphical format in a way that everyone can understand, digest and use.

Fathom Cash Flow

If you have ever wondered where your cash has gone even though you are making a profit but never truly understood why then Fathom can help you.  Unless you are a financial minded person or accountant you will often not understand why cash does not equal profit.  Why would you?  But it is vital to know what drivers impact cash within your business.  Fathom  puts it into an understandable format for you so that you can see what has an impact on your cash and how.

Fathom Growth

This is for the die hard analysts out there or so we thought to start.  In essence what Fathom growth shows you is how well the business is performing in terms of growth or even decline and the quality of the growth.  Lets face it how many times have we seen companies grow to big to quick and then go under because they were under funded and short of cash?  This tool has made it really simple to understand and there is an easy to understand key available for each quadrant.

The aim with this tool is to understand where it is going right or wrong and do something about it and also monitor the impact of the changes you have made.

Fathom Trend

If you are a fan of more simple straight forward data collection then Fathom Trend is for you.  Select the data you want to see and watch the graphs appear before your eyes with easy to read data tables.  Sometimes in life the best things are the simplest.  Use the scroll on your mouse to easily increase or decrease the months that are being reviewed to really hone in on the information you want to look at.

Fathom Goalseek

This is possibly our favourite tool with Fathom.  Why?  Quite simply because the sort of ‘what if’ analysis you can perform across your KPI’s is simply staggering.  Work that would have previously taken lots of manpower can now be sorted in seconds using a simple slider system and it is so easy to understand.
Where are you now? What is your goal? Simply use the slider to find out what changes you need to make to price, volume, receivable days, expenses etc. to reach your goal.  Use the drivers of your business to help you get to where you want to go.  Once you know what you can/need to do you can then set plans in action to make the improvements and then review how you have got on.

Fathom Benchmarking

If you want to benchmark across, regions or industry types then this is the tool for you.  Fathom have got this spot on for use by companies in a group or a franchise.  Take away all those painful hours compiling data and put it to great use analysing where it is going right and wrong.  Which of your companies are performing the best or worst and how can you use this data to improve the business as a whole.

Along with Fathom Goalseek this is the piece of the puzzle that could really help you identify how to improve or grow your business by benchmarking it against others with your group or franchise.  You have the ability to allow area managers or branch managers to see the companies within their section whilst benchmarking across the whole group.  They will know how well they are performing but can also see where they could be making improvements.

Fathom Benchmarking will enable groups or franchises to reduce the back office burden whilst improving the quality if of the output.

LIKES:  Ease of use, speed of setup, dynamic reports, usability, understandability, benchmarking of groups and especially the Goalseek function.

DISLIKES: Entering targets – would prefer to see an option to import targets and would love to see forecasting and budgeting added especially cashflow then you would not need to add targets (this is just nitpicking but this would be great additional features – I had to find something).

Fathom Conclusion

As you can probably tell we are well and truly smitten with this product and it is probably our favourite Xero add on to date.  It gives you so much knowledge in real time into how a business is performing it is unreal.  From an accountants point of view you can actually help clients be more effective and make better informed business decisions at a reduced price.  That’s right Fathom can help you make more money, reduce costs and quicker then you ever imagined.

This is not just a tool for larger businesses, it is a tool for growing businesses and gives you a real chance to compete with the big boys.  Used in the right way with good advice this tool could give you the competitive advantage you are after.  But remember the data on it’s own is not enough, you need to understand it and use it.

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Confirmation statements - the new annual returns