Trust Ledger's Opex Breakdown

Trust Ledger's Opex Breakdown

Managers want relevant actionable information at a glance. We’re competing for their time and we can’t waste it.


We live in a world where countless things are competing for our time and attention. Whether it’s social media, the news, candy crush, or netflix. As we have more and more ways to spend our time, we tend to be more efficient with it. Nobody wants to waste time on something that’s too complicated or that they don’t understand.

For better or worse this trend has made it into the business world. Managers want relevant actionable information at a glance. We’re competing for their time and we can’t waste it.

With efficiency in mind for their clients, Trust Ledger CPA has built a breakdown of OPEX expenses to answer the simple but elusive question of “Where is my money going?”. I know, not exactly edge of your seat stuff, but the way that it’s done perfectly walks the line between simplicity and complexity and serves as an example of getting your client the information they need as quickly as possible. Let’s start with what we’re looking at.

The data

For this particular client, there are 5 main expenses.

We start by graphing all 5 of these metrics directly from Xero into a table. This gives us a month by month breakdown of how much is being spent in each category.

By building a custom metric we can take each individual metric and look at it as a percentage of Total Revenue.

Rather than looking at each expense as a percentage of the total expense amount, we want to focus on the money coming in the door and where it’s going.


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Why this is Really Good Analytics

We’re all about efficiency and narrative when it comes to Really Good Analytics. We want to let the data tell a story and we want that story to be informative and actionable. That’s why we love this table. It quickly tells the story of what are we spending money on and then adds necessary context to how much that really is. That context informs the decision-making process and the actions taken as a result.

This table is also very efficient. By giving all of this information in a compact easy to read table, we can ensure that we’re not wasting any time and getting straight to the information we need.

What we’d like to see next

We love this table, but we always prefer to look at data in a visual format. In the client account, there is a stacked bar graph to show each of the five expenses together. This does a great show of very quickly showing a trend and proportion for each expense on a monthly basis. One suggestion would be to add a bar graph with each of the expenses as bars and total revenue as a line to show the “percentage of revenue” lines visually.

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