Profit Gap: Frequently-Asked Questions

Profit Mastery Analysis at the Click of a Mouse

General
Q: What is Profit Gap?
Q: What are the requirements to get Profit Gap?
Q: Is the Mac OS X version of QuickBooks supported?
Q: What versions of QuickBooks are supported?
Q: I use QuickBooks "Online" -- does Profit Gap support that version?
Q: Our Company does not use QuickBooks. How can I get Profit Gap?
Q: I have not taken Profit Mastery University's course; can I still get Profit Gap?

Purchase
Q: How do I purchase the Product?
Q: Why Monthly and not Quarterly?
Q: What is the difference between purchasing Monthly and Annually?

Required Software
Q: What is the software that I am downloading and installing?
Q: I cannot seem to install the software add-on without my computer Administrator Password. What do I do?
Q: I get warning messages when I install the software – should I be concerned?

Requesting Reports
Q: On my first report, I received a request for my NAICS code – what is that for?
Q: How many reports can a Profit Gap subscriber run each month?
Q: How do I know my data and report request were sent?
Q: When can I expect my report back?
Q: What data is taken from my QuickBooks file?
Q: How is my data protected?
Q: When I prepare to run my second month reports, I see a completely different screen before I upload the data. What is this?
Q: Goals, what are they for?
Q: It appears that my goals were set on my first report. How was that done?
Q: How do I set goals?

Troublshooting
Q. I cannot get the software to run. What do I do?
Q: I keep getting the error message stating my QuickBooks are not open -- but QuickBooks is open. What do I do? 

Understanding the Report
Q: I received my first report and I do not get a lot of what it is telling me. Where can I get help?

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General
Q: What is Profit Gap?
A: Profit Gap is a new service provided by Profit Mastery for students who have either attended a live program or taken PMU online. Profit Gap provides customized reports from your company's QuickBooks Financial data in the Profit Mastery format - all with just a few clicks of your mouse! Our feedback indicates that it can take 30 hours or more to manually calculate all the metrics in the scorecard and that is time few business owners are able to regularly invest. Now Profit Mastery will provide you with a monthly report identifying areas for potential financial improvement for your company.

Q: What are the requirements to get Profit Gap?
A: You will need a PC running Windows XP or later, a copy of QuickBooks with your company's financial data and Microsoft Internet Explorer as your browser. Plus we recommend you take the Profit Mastery University course.

Q: Is QuickBooks for Mac OS X supported?
A: Profit Gap uses software developed by Intuit, supplier of QuickBooks, to extract the required data out of your QuickBooks file. As of this date, Intuit does not support QuickBooks for Mac OS X. Until Intuit develops this software for QuickBooks for Mac OS X, Profit Mastery cannot support Apple MACs

Q: What versions of QuickBooks are supported?
A: All versions of QuickBooks excluding QuickBooks online edition(s).

Q: I use QuickBooks "Online" does Profit Gap support that version?
A: Not at the present time. Work is being done to develop a Profit Gap version for Intuit's QuickBooks on line products.

Q: Our company does not use QuickBooks. How can I get Profit Gap?
A: As of today, Intuit's QuickBooks is the only financial software supported by Profit Gap. QuickBooks dominates the market at a greater than 80% market share of small and medium sized businesses. Profit Mastery will continue to review other financial software packages for inclusion in Profit Gap.

Q: I have not taken Profit Mastery University's course; can I still get Profit Gap?
A: Profit Mastery University's course is strongly recommended as the report is tailored to complement the format, techniques, and terminology taught in the class. Profit Gap will simply be harder to understand and utilize without the Profit Mastery University's course.

Purchase
Q: How do I purchase the Product?

A: You simply go to our Profit Gap web page: http://www.brs-seattle.com/profitgap.html 
Or a direct link to the purchase page here: http://www.brs-seattle.com/profitgap2.html

Q: Why Monthly and not Quarterly?
A: The most successful companies are those that are on top of their financials regularly. Some think Quarterly is enough but in our experience Quarterly is okay for purposes of updating your Investors and Stakeholders. However, to reliably identify and track problems on a timely basis, determine the root cause, incorporate corrective action, and review progress – the process is best done monthly. Best practices suggest prompt action – it does not make sense to wait 90 days to see if your corrective actions are working. Profit Gap gives you the ability to easily identify opportunities for improvement and modify corrective actions in 30 days to see if the new plan is working - versus 90 plus 90 or essentially a half a year.

Q: What is the difference between purchasing Monthly and Annually?
A: You credit card will be billed monthly in both the monthly plan as well as the Annual plan. The Annual plan provides a 15% discount off of the annual price if you commit to 12 months of reports. If you cancel before the 12 months, you have to agree to pay the difference between monthly and annual month fee for those reports that were run.

Reqired Software
Q: What is the software that I am downloading and installing?
A: You are downloading an add-on that Internet Explorer uses to process your report request. Specifically you will be downloading two pieces of software: 1) .NET Framework, a software framework to run the second piece of software, and 2) Profit Gap Data Collector. Once downloaded and installed, Profit Gap Data Collector will be accessed through your Internet browser - Microsoft Internet Explorer.

Q: I cannot seem to install the software add-on without my computer Administrator Password. What do I do?
A: Most computers do not let you install software on them without being the system administrator. You will need your "administrator" or their password to install the software. You will need to have the administrator of your company QuickBooks file open your company's file. When you run the Profit Gap data collector the first time you will see the screen shown below. Check: Yes, whenever this QuickBooks company file is open… On all future runs of Profit Gap you will not need to be the Administrator of the computer nor login as the administrator of the QuickBooks file to be able to run Profit Gap.

Q: I get warning messages when I install the software – should I be concerned?
A: Installable software usually comes in packages that include the file extension of .exe (Executable Files) or .msi (a component of Windows made for installing programs). Files with these extensions can contain Viruses or Malware that could harm your computer. Either Windows and/or your virus protection software on your computer will warn you of such dangers. In this case you should always select "run" on these messages as the Profit Gap software does not contain anything that will harm your computer. Some of the messages you will see are here:
 

Requesting Reports

Q: On my first report, I received a request for my NAICS code – what is that for?

A: The North American Industry Classification System or NAICS is used by businesses and the government to classify business establishments according to type of economic activity. We use this code to find comparative data from other business in the same or similar industry type as your company to provide comparable performance metrics. If you subscribe to the Platinum version of Profit Gap, you will see how your company compares against others within the same NAICS Code. We provide this data to you on all Profit Mastery Scorecard Metrics.

The NAICS data is given as the average 50 percentile, the top 25% or top quartile, and the top 10% - commonly called "best-in-class." This data will help guide you when setting your goals. Our desire at Profit Mastery is for your business to succeed. If you strive for best-in-class, we are confident you will drive home the financial results you desire.

Special note on NAICS Codes: If you do not think the Industry Standards on Scorecard reflect realistic numbers for your business we suggest you look up the NAICS code at http://www.census.gov/eos/www/naics and look at what businesses are with your code. Sometimes the NAICS covers too broad a range of businesses to be as meaningful for your particular business.

Q: How many reports can a Profit Gap subscriber run each month?
A: Profit Gap is a once a month activity. The month we use runs from the 10th of the current month to the 9th of the following month to allow up to 9 days to complete your entries into QuickBooks for the prior month.

Q: How do I know my data and report request were sent?
A: At the end of the process you will see the following window. This assures you that your data was successfully collected and sent to Profit Mastery for processing.

Q:  When can I expect my report back?
A:  48 hours is the turnaround time Monday through Friday. If there is an issue with your report we will contact you at the email or phone number you provided.

Q:  What data is taken from my QuickBooks file?
A:  The Profit Gap Data Collector collects your top level Balance Sheet and Income Statement information for the last 13 months. The Profit Gap Data Collector does not collect personal information such as credit card numbers, bank account numbers, or social security numbers. To see exactly what Profit Gap Data Collector sent to Profit Mastery for processing, you can view the collected financial statements after you have run the Profit Gap Data Collector. Simply check the reports that the Profit Gap Data Collector ran within your QuickBooks application.  

Q:  How is my data protected?
A:  Data at rest: Your data is encrypted with a unique Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256 bit symmetric key with cipher-block-chaining. A second layer of protection using a Rivest Shamir Adleman (RSA) 3072-bit key is also applied.

Data protected during transmission:   Prior to transmission, your data is first protected using the same process described for protecting your data at rest. During transmission your already encrypted data is further protected with a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate that uses RSA 2048-bit, AES-128 bit (with cipher-block-chaining) and SHA1 protection. Support for weak SSL algorithms, such as v2.0 and lower, PCT 1.0 and all ciphers utilizing MD5, RC4 or weak key-lengths have been disabled at the host.

For more information visit: https://apps.profitmastery.net/Account/DataProtection.aspx

Q: When I prepare to run my second month reports, I see a completely different screen before I upload the data. What is this?
A:  For your first month report, we do not ask you to set goals. To simplify the process, Profit Gap sets goals for you on the first report by taking your last month's performance and improving the number by 20%. In some cases it is 20% larger and in others 20% smaller. There is an exception to this 20% standard for Current and Quick Ratio where we set the goal to 1 if you are more than 20% away from 1.  Being at less than 1 on the Current and Quick Ratio can be considered a serious problem.

We then send that data back to your profile stored on our secure server for use on your next month. When you enter the system to request your second monthly report, you will see on the window after your select "Run Your Monthly Report," a table of data. All of the columns include information to help make your decisions on how to set your goals. To set your goals, you simply overwrite the data in the relevant cell.

Examples are shown in the chart immediately below:

Q: Goals, what are they for?
A: It is critical that all businesses have financial improvement goals. The Profit Gap goals that you set are for the 14 metrics found on the Scorecard. The goals are included in the Profit Gap report processes that identify potential Cash and Profit Impacts relative to your actual performance against your goals. These impacts will be shown on the Roadmap and Profit Mastery Assessment (PMA) pages of the report.

Q: It apperas that my goals were set on my first report. How was that done?
A: Profit Gap sets goals for you on the first report by taking your last month performance and improving the number by 20%. In some cases it is 20% larger and in others 20% smaller. The exception to the 20% is the Current and Quick Ratio that we set to 1 if you are more than 20% away from 1. Being at less than 1 on the Current and Quick Ratio can be considered a serious problem.

Q: How do I set goals?
A: That is completely up to you, though we can provide some guidelines. We recommend you look at your last Profit Gap Report. Here are some suggestions:

1) Against industry standards (data available in Platinum only):

a) If you are below the Average 50%, set your goal at the industry standard of 50%.
b) If you are better that the Average 50%, but lower than the Top 25%, set your goal at the Top 25%.
c) If you are better than the Top 25%, but less than the Top 10%, set you goal at the Top 10%.

2) Against your own performance:

a) 10% better than the best of the last 3 months.
b) Equal to the best you have done over the last 13 months.
c) 10% better than the best you have done over the last 13 months.

Trouble-Shooting

Q: I cannot get the software to run. What do I do?
A: We have a diagnostics tool built into profit Gap that will determine if you have all the software required to run Profit Gap. This tool can be found when you are logged into your profit Gap account under your name. Select your User ID in the upper right corner of the browser, then Help then Profit Gap System Checker.

This will be your next screen. Select "Run Profit Gap System Checker."

You when then get this screen. Select "Run Check."

If everything is installed correctly you will get this screen:

If the software is not installed, you will get this screen and you will need to reload the software. (Profit Gap will only install what is missing.)

Select the blue “Found Here” button:

 

Q: I keep getting the error message stating my QuickBooks are not open and QuickBooks is open. What do I do?

A: The Data Collector is being prevented from communicating with QuickBooks for one or both of the following to reasons:

On the very first report for a company file, the QuickBooks administrator for that company file must open the company file. Only the administrator can allow an external program from connecting with QuickBooks. For a Profit Mastery agent that may run the reports for their client companies, this has to be done on each company on its first report.

If you are logged into QuickBooks as the administrator, you will get the following screen from QuickBooks. Select “Yes whenever the QuickBooks company file is open” as shown below.


If the prior screen does not show up in QuickBooks, the Preferences to allow an external application from communicating with QuickBooks is most likely turned off.

To set the preferences you go under QuickBooks Edit menu with the company file open (as the administrator) and select preferences… Under the left column, select “Integrated Applications.” Then in the middle of the window select the Company Preferences tab and uncheck the “Don’t allow any application to access this company file.” Then select OK and run the data collector again. You now should get the QuickBooks – Application with No Certificate. Select the “Yes whenever the QuickBooks company file is open” and the data collector will run.

Understanding the Report

Q: I received my first report and I do not get a of what it is telling me. Where can I get help?

A: There are several areas you can get help. Here are some excellent places:

1) Retake the Profit Mastery University Class. http://www.brs-seattle.com
2) We have downloadable .pdf explanations for each page of the Profit Gap Report. Check the .pdf links at the bottom of each page of the report.The link is marked "Tutorial."

3) Here is a link to a complete explanation of the entire Profit Gap Report: http://www.brs-seattle.com/ProfitGuard-tutorial.pdf
4) Profit Mastery now has "Agents" who are experts at interpreting your Profit Guard reports. We suggest you contact Profit Mastery so you can find an Agent who can help you: http://www.brs-seattle.com/contact-us

 

 

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