Indicators, sometimes called financial ratios, are tools for analyzing a company's finances. They enable you to compare two accounts or sets of accounts from the balance sheet or the profit and loss account, in the form of a ratio. They also let you measure the financial health of a company, and make comparisons from one year to the next or against those of other companies.
To define financial indicators in OpenERP, you should install the module account_report (from extra-addons). When installing the module, the usual financial indicators are registered in OpenERP.
You can consult your indicators, calculated in real time, from the menu Accounting ‣ Reporting ‣ Generic Reporting ‣ Reporting ‣ Custom reporting.
Indicators defined by default in OpenERP are the following:
Indicators of Working Capital : determines if the company can pay its short term debts in normal conditions. It is calculated from (Stocks + Cash + Current Assets) / Current Liabilities .
Financial Ratios : enables you to calculate the company's liquidity. It is defined as follows: ( Current Assets – Stocks) / Current Liabilities .
Fixed Assets : in a going concern, the value of fixed assets are covered in the first place by owners' capital and in the second place by all of the long term liabilities. Ideally, this indicator will be greater than 1.
Calculation of Indicators
Calculating indicators can take quite a while in OpenERP, because you have to analyse the whole company's accounting entries.
So it is best not to calculate all of the indicators at once, but just a small selection to keep calculation time within limits.
Time Analysis of Indicators¶
You can analyze the financial indicators along two axes. You must have a figure calculated at a particular instant of time when you compare accounts, balances and the ratios between them. But you can also calculate a time series to follow the change of a given indicator throughout the life of the company.
To do a temporal analysis of your indicators, you must install the module account_report from the set of modules in extra-addons.
Once this module is installed, you can click on a financial indicator to get a graph of its evolution in time.
Defining your Own Indicators¶
You can define your own indicators in OpenERP using the menu Accounting ‣ Reporting ‣ Generic Reporting ‣ Reporting ‣ Custom reporting.
You should make sure that the accounts that you base indicators on are given unique account codes, because codes are used in the creation of formulae. Create a formula using the syntax indicated in the instructions at the bottom of the form:
Sum of debits in a general account: debit('12345') ,
Sum of credits in a general account: credit('12345') ,
Balance of a general account: balance('12345') ,
Value of another indicator: report ('IND') .
12345 represents the code of a general account,
IND represents the code of another indicator.
So, using this notation, the cash ratio is defined by balance('4', '5') / balance('1') – that is the balance in accounts 4 and 5 divided by the balance in account 1.
Good Management Budgeting¶
OpenERP manages its budgets using both General and Analytic Accounts. You will see how to do this here for General Accounts and then in Analytic Accounts for Analytical Accounts. Install account_budget to be able to do this.
Use the menu Accounting ‣ Budgets ‣ Budgets to define a new budget by clicking the New button.
Even though you can modify a budget at any time to make a revision of it, it is best if you do not do that.
Rather than edit an existing budget document, make a new version so that you can keep your original estimates safe for comparison. This lets you analyze your changing perspectives of the company from revision to revision.
Begin data entry by entering a Name, a Code, a Start Date and an End Date in your new budget. Then you can define the budgeted amounts within that period, one by one. For each, you define:
an Analytic Account
a Budgetary Position : for example Sales or Purchases,
a Start Date and End Date for the use of the budget,
a Planned Amount in the default currency of the chart of accounts.
Once it is completed, you can save your budget.
To print a budget and make calculations of expenditure through budget, use the menu Accounting ‣ Budgets ‣ Budgets. OpenERP then gives you a list of available budgets. Select one or more budgets and then click Print Budgets to create the report for each, in a date range of your choice. The figure Printing a budget gives an example of a budget produced by OpenERP.
You could also use the menu Accounting ‣ Reporting ‣ Generic Reporting ‣ Budgets ‣ Budget Lines. This gives a budgetary analysis report for each budget line.
The Accounting Dashboard¶
You can open the Accounting Dashboard using the menu Accounting ‣ Reporting ‣ Dashboard ‣ Accounting Dashboard.
OpenERP gives you an accounting dashboard that can be presented to your accounting staff as they sign into the system (if you have set it as their Home Page). This dashboard provides an analysis of the company's financial health at a glance.
The description of the different parts of the dashboard, from top to bottom, then from left to right, is as follows:
Customer Invoices to Approve : gives the list of invoices waiting to be approved by an accountant.
Company Analysis : gives the credit, debit and balance of all account types.
Treasury : shows balance per Account
Aged receivables : gives a weekly graph of the receivables that have not yet been reconciled.
In each panel of the Accounting Dashboard, you can click the Zoom button at the top right to investigate the detail of your financial indicators.
The Accounting Dashboard is dynamically integrated, which means that you can navigate easily through the data if you want more detail about certain factors, and edit the entries if necessary.