A guide to the Performance Benchmarking report

This article explains what data the Performance Benchmarking report displays once you’ve set up the report.

The Performance Benchmarking report provides a visual overview of your business’s financial performance over time and shows how it compares to similar businesses, provided you've chosen to opt in and share your data.

Please note that in order to ensure there’s enough data to provide a meaningful comparison, the Performance Benchmarking report is only available to businesses in the UK that have used FreeAgent for at least six months. You’ll need level 7 access or above to your FreeAgent account to access this report.

Accessing the Performance Benchmarking report

Navigate to the ‘Accounting’ tab at the top of the screen and select ‘Reports’ from the drop-down menu.


Select ‘Performance Benchmarking’ from the ‘High Level’ section.


What the Performance Benchmarking report shows

The Performance Benchmarking report displays your operating profit for each quarter, broken down into your quarterly income and quarterly costs. If you’ve been using FreeAgent for more than one year, there will also be comparisons to your business’s performance from the previous year.

The quarter dates used to generate your report are specific to your business and directly correlate to your business’s accounting dates.


Operating Profit

The ‘Operating Profit’ chart displays your operating profit, which is your income minus day-to-day running costs, for each quarter. Please note that your operating profit figures exclude costs for depreciation, Income Tax and Corporation Tax.


If you would like to see individual figures for a quarter, hover over the bars on the chart to see the figure for the quarter.


To learn more about your operating profit, you can access your Profit & Loss report by selecting ‘View profit & loss report’ in the bottom right of the ‘Operating Profit’ panel.


Breaking down your operating profit

You can also view a breakdown of the income and costs which make up your business’s operating profit for each quarter as outlined below.


Quarterly Income

The ‘Quarterly Income’ chart displays the total income that your business has earned for each quarter.

To learn more about the income that your business has earned, you can access your turnover in the Show Transactions report by selecting ‘View sales transactions’ at the bottom right of the ‘Quarterly Income’ panel.


Quarterly Costs

The ‘Quarterly Costs’ chart displays the total day-to-day running costs that your business has incurred for each quarter.


To learn more about the costs that your business has incurred, you can access your Spending Categories report by selecting ‘View spending categories report’ at the bottom right of the ‘Quarterly Costs’ panel.


Similar business comparison

If you've chosen to opt in and anonymously share your data to see how your business’s performance compares to similar businesses, and there is enough data from similar businesses to provide a meaningful comparison, you’ll see how your operating profit, quarterly income and quarterly costs compare to those businesses. The data values of the similar businesses will appear as an orange line graph on the charts.

You’ll be able to see the comparison to similar businesses for the previous three completed quarters. Please note that the comparison value for the current quarter will not show on your report until after the end of the quarter.


On the right-hand side of the ‘Operating Profit’ graph, you’ll see your most recently completed quarter’s profit, the profit for the same quarter last year, and the most recent profit of similar businesses for the most recent quarter.


At the bottom of the report, you’ll see an overview of the information used to identify similar businesses. This will show your business location, business category and the number of similar businesses who have opted in to share their data.


You can update this information if you need to.

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