Welcome to ‘My key KPI’, our weekly content series where we ask CFOs and FDs about a key metric or KPI they use in their day-to-day work.
The aim is to understand how different finance professionals, across a broad array of industries and sectors, use data to inform their decision making.
This week’s edition speaks to Steve Phillips, the recently appointed CFO of GovGrant, an R&D consultancy.
My key KPI: Rolling LTM (last twelve months)
“In a small business,” explained Steve Phillips, “you don’t have the luxury to sit in the finance function and just add up the numbers.
“My role is as a strategic counsel to the rest of the business. I support operations and sales, all elements in the business, really.” All of GovGrant’s 40 employees rely on Phillips to give them the information needed to grow.
“I push myself to convert the finances into plain English with actionable points,” he said.
An example of this is rolling LTM. This isn’t a metric per se, but a time frame used by Phillips to evaluate GovGrant’s performance during the preceding 12-month time period.
“Not just the last quarter or the last month,” added Phillips. “A quarter tells the story at a particular moment - but it’s really about LTM. If you plot it on a graph, you see the direction of travel for all the key metrics.
“It’s particularly relevant to seasonal businesses, but it’s holds true for all businesses really. In December, for instance, people go away. You can look at that particular month, and see it’s way off. But plotted over LTM, it fits into a broader picture.”
Historically, GovGrant was all on spreadsheets but now the company uses Microsoft Dynamics. “It’s our core engine that drives all the activity in our business. It also allows us to slice and dice the business as we see fit.”
About Francois Badenhorst
I'm AccountingWEB's business editor. Feel free to get in touch with comments, tips, scoops or irreverent banter.