Reports and early warnings

Synergist reports

Steven Clark, Financial & Commercial Manager of 40-strong agency Tayburn, told us about their previous system:

“It used to take me two weeks to do the month-end every month. It was laborious to do the billing, the accounting entries, create the reports and have many, many meetings to chase the information we needed.”

“Synergist makes it so much easier. My month end has been cut in half to 5 days, to get the billing sorted, check the accounting links, generate the reports and meet up with team members to talk things through.”

The MD of Yorkshire digital marketing agency HMA told us about how Synergist helps drive through efficiencies:

“For example, it has helped us to automate reporting. Before Synergist we used to spend hours and hours on producing reports.”

“It also gives everyone in the team easy access to every aspect of jobs, time, even marketing notes. Everything’s just there. It means that all the reports are available to everyone, so if ever the Synergist Super User is not in the office they all still have access to it.”

5 Essential Reports


"There are just five reports that are considered essential in running an agency."

1. Profitability report

It shows financial performance by client, project and job over a chosen period, detailing gross revenue or net profit as needed.

See at a glance which of your clients are profitable for you, and which are not. At times of contract renegotiation it is hugely helpful to know exactly how profitable a client has been for you. And see what went right and what went wrong. Sometimes busy jobs don't turn out as profitable as you expected.

2. Staff utilisation report

Staff Utilisation is the analysis of the time that staff members spend on billable work.

It is one of the two key drivers of profitability.

The Staff Utilisation Report shows the hours that staff members were available for the period selected, compared with the hours worked on chargeable and non-chargeable jobs, and gives analysis against targets.

3. Project health reporting and alerts

It reports on the status of your projects and jobs, comparing time and costs incurred vs the budget.

Proactive alerts of jobs running over budget give clarity to those still working on the job.

It focuses their minds on meeting the budget while there's still time to retrieve a situation that might have otherwise drifted.

4. Work In Progress report

Work in Progress is work that has not yet been completed but has incurred costs such as staff time, purchases and materials.

The report shows the state of Work In Progress (WIP) at a certain cut-off date selected by the user.

It selects the requested range of job phases and can be further filtered by client, account handler and many other options.

5. Forecasting report

The following are forecastable:

• Resource planned work, by person, role or team.

• Summarised capacity by role.

• Open opportunities and/or revenue forecasts shown against a timeline, typically by client and account handler.

• Estimated gross and net profit can be shown, and opportunity weightings.

Flagging up and communicating problems

Communicating is a key part of the role

The person in charge of production has to be at the centre of the process and be able to alert account managers when a project suddenly needs attention.

Deep Sangar, Production Manager of 30-strong digital and creative agency Clevercherry, told us:

"It flags up problems early on.

"At the end of every day I generate a report that shows all the key information, which I use to email the account managers with updates, slippages, etc.

"At a quick glance I can see everything. 

"It makes it easier than ever for me to work with the account managers and work out what we need to do to keep on track."

Early warnings

Sara Blannin, Finance Director of 54-strong environmental consultancy ECUS, told us:

"Synergist gives us early warning of issues, so we can tell from phase tracking where we might have project creep. That’s essential for good communications and solving problems before they escalate."

What's the main benefit of early warnings? You might say profitability, but you could equally say keeping clients happy. Sara Blannin:

“It has helped raise client service levels."

The Agency Works

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Providing on-site demonstrations, training, experience and consultation.