Over the course of the last 12 months, we have provided many Calxa tips and tricks that you can use to enhance use of the software. In the bustle of the day-to-day you may have missed some of these. So, each Christmas we finish the year by bringing you a summary of our best Calxa Tips. We give you the 12 Calxa Tips of Christmas.
1. Enhance your Budget Formulas with Metrics
With budget formulas, it’s easy to do things like setting your Cost of Goods Sold account as a percentage of your wages or setting this month’s budget as an increase on last month. But what if you want to do something more complex? Like calculate sales from the number of products you sell times the price.
That’s where you’ll find Metrics useful.
- Switch the Layout in the Budgets & Actuals screen to Metrics by Month
- Add Metrics for the drivers of your budget, whether they are products, services, prices or people.
- Add, or import, monthly budgets for each Metric
- Switch the Layout back to Accounts by month
- Select the row for which you want to set the budget. The easiest way to do this is to click on the account name.
- Click Formula. On the left side, select Metrics and one of your drivers, an operator such as Times, and then another Metric on the right.
- Set the formula to Live so it automatically recalculates and then apply.
- Now your budget will automatically update when you adjust the underlying Metrics.
See these examples of using Metrics with payroll budgets and driver-based sales budgets.
2. Use Budget Layouts for a New Perspective
We’ve all grown up entering a budget in a grid with accounts down the left and months across the top. Most of the time that’s a useful way to do it and makes perfect sense.
But, there are other options! If you’re budgeting for departments or cost centres, change the Layout on your budget to Business Unit Trees. Now, expand the left column and select a single account (wages is a common use for this tip). Your budget rows will now be your business units and you can edit all of them for this single account.
Shift the wages budget from one project to another while still maintaining the overall total. Or, set a formula on all projects at once.
- Select, for example, your Superannuation account.
- Select all the rows.
- Click Formula and you’ll see the Business Unit option in the data source is set to Selected Business Units. Leave that as it is.
- On the left side of the formula, select your wages account(s).
- Choose Times as the operator and on the right side, select a number and enter 0.1.
- Except, if you’re really clever, you would have read Tip #1 and set up a Metric for the Superannuation Rate and chosen that on the right side so that it’s easy to update each year as the rate changes.
3. A Favourite Calxa Tip – Invite Your Advisor for Free
Make use of the Free Advisor option. Invite your external accountant or bookkeeper or one of our partners to help you with your Calxa setup and review. We won’t count them towards your subscription capacity (that’s why we call it Free!).
4. Add Flexibility with Business Unit Trees
The whole point of using jobs, tracking categories or classes in your accounting system is to give you flexibility in your reporting. Often, you want to report on just one of them and that’s easy – just select it in your report filters. Sometimes you want to report on all of them and that’s easy too: just pick the All Active option in your report filters and it will give you the detail for each plus the summary.
But, sometimes you need something more complex than that. You want all the branches in one region and all the branches in another region. Or you want the marketing department from each of your companies.
This is where Business Unit Trees shine:
- Create a new tree.
- Add Headers for, for example, Marketing, Sales and Production.
- On the left side, if you’ve used the same name in each, they’ll be grouped under Shared Departments and you can just drag them onto the headers on the right.
- If not, search at the top of the left column and anything matching your search will display. Select all and then move them to the header you choose on the right.
When you report on Business Unit Trees, the report will include business units included in that tree that are also in the organisation or organisation group you have also selected. Give it a try and see what you can achieve.
5. Edit Budgets in Full Screen
Sometimes on a small screen, or a large one where you are displaying more than 12 months, it’s best to use the full screen mode. You’ll find it at the top of the set of icons on the right-hand side of the budget editor. You’ll also find options here to export and print your budget.
6. Adjust Time of Your Daily Sync
As you know, Calxa automatically synchronises the data from your accounting system overnight each night. But were you aware that you can change the time that happens? We try and schedule it for outside working hours but that could be 8pm. If you regularly work late, then just set it for midnight or some other time.
If you have regular workflows to send daily reports and you want to make sure the sync happens first, just set the sync to an earlier time than your workflows. In Organisation Sync (under either Report Tools or Organisation Settings), use the ellipsis menu on the right to find the Daily Sync Settings.
7. Quick Starting Budget with Budget Factory
This Calxa Tips probably has the most impact. Use the Budget Factory to quickly populate cost centre and organisation budgets based on prior year actuals. The Budget Factory is also useful for any bulk copy operations. For example, copy a read-only accounting system budget into a Calxa budget. You can now edit the content and add Balance Sheet budgets. Alternatively, you can use this to copy your ‘Approved Budget’ for the year into your ‘Current Forecast’. It’s a good way to keep good practices to help you from creating a new budget version each year.
If you want to update your forecast budget to show actuals to date and then the budget for the rest of the year, first make sure your forecast budget is set as the main budget (Budget Tools, Budget Manager). Then, in the Budget Factory, set the Source to Actuals for the current year, the budget to your forecast budget. Because we don’t have a full year of actuals, we’ll populate the rest of the year with your main budget. Then you can go and make further changes to that budget.
8. Add Budget Comments
Add comments to your budgets to record any assumptions on values. You can add comments to an individual cell, an entire row or column or any range. Because you can view your budgets from different perspectives in Calxa, the comment is applied to each selected cell, each account for each month. Add the Budget Comments report to your bundle to document your assumptions to your readers.
9. Super-Charge your Reports with Account Trees
This certainly would have to be our ‘wow’ Calxa Tip all round. Use Account Trees to manage the rows in your reports, or when Consolidating Organisations.
Most of the time, we suggest you work with Headers rather than Categories. We’ll generally create the categories you need. These are the ones like Income, Cost of Sales and Expenses and come with their own running totals like Gross Profit and Net Profit. Within each category you can create Headers to group and summarise the accounts, providing your readers with the level of detail they need to make good decisions. We came up with 7 Uses for Account Trees but there are many more!
The time to use a Category is when you want to exclude some reports. Create one with ‘Show in Reports’ turned off and drag the unwanted accounts there. Use this if you want to report on a subset of accounts for a department or project.
Or, it might make sense to add an extra Category after Net Profit to show Income Tax, with a running total for Net Profit after Tax. Another example would be the Balance Sheet in the layout of Assets = Liability + Equity.
10. Create Your Own KPIs
Create customised KPIs to highlight the numbers that are vital to your organisation. Some KPIs are relevant to almost everyone but sometimes you need something specific to your industry.
11. Handing Over Calxa Tips
Are you leaving your job and handing over to someone else?
Transfer Ownership of your subscription so they have full access.
If they are the appropriate person to maintain payments, change the billing contact as well. Then point them in the direction of our learning resources.
- Our Getting Started Webinars are a good place to start.
- The online Help Centre is stocked with both videos and help notes.
- And, of course, they can get in touch with us if they get stuck.
And don’t forget Calxa for your reporting needs in your next role!
12. All Calxa Tips End with Report Bundles
And Bundle, Bundle, Bundle! In other words, we give you lots of choices in reporting, but you should only need to make those choices once. Find the template you want, configure it to show the information you need and then add it to a bundle. Now you can quickly run it every month thereafter, or schedule delivery to your inbox. If you find you are regularly editing your report configuration, talk to our team to figure out some better options.
We hope you are going to put some of these Calxa Tips and Tricks into action and save loads of time. That is our gift from us to you. Keep safe this holiday season.