For the management of an IT service provider, it is fundamental to recognize at an early stage whether the company is operating economically. But how do I recognize economic efficiency and on which levels do I want to evaluate it?.


There are many key figures that can play an important role for the corporate management and from which you can read the profitability. Certainly, empirical values from past years also play an important role.

For example, you can look at the average hourly rate, which is the result of all hours worked and the equivalent value of all billable services. If this is above a certain value, for example 70 EUR, you are on course. The billing ratio must be included in this consideration, because only when the ratio of billable hours to non-billable hours is high enough (e.g. 80%) do I know that enough revenue is being generated for the business to be successful.

To better determine success, a contribution margin can also be calculated: The incurred (variable) costs are subtracted from the turnover. As soon as the difference is positive, one speaks of a positive contribution margin, which can be used for covering of further overhead costs (e.g. rent, administration, ...). As soon as these overhead costs can be covered completely, the company is in the profit zone.

New Finance Dashboard in foreknown 2.0

No matter if the average hourly rate, the billing rate or the contribution margin is relevant for you: The new "Finance Dashboard " in release 2.0 provides you with all figures automatically and at a glance! At the same time, you can query the data not only at the company level, but also per business unit, order, employee, and external provider in an up-to-date manner.

If you have the new "Controlling" role in foreknown, you can see all key figures of your company on the Finance Dashboard.

Overview - Finance Dashboard

Individual time periods can be selected, e.g. the current or previous month, but also the current year. Subsequently, you receive the corresponding values for the following key figures:

  • Revenue (Orders): Displays the current, billable services and additional services of all orders for the period under consideration.

  • ø Hourly Rate: Provides the average hourly rate for the period under consideration. This is calculated by dividing the revenue from services by the hours worked.

  • Billing Rate: Shows the billing rate for the period under consideration. This is calculated from the ratio of hours worked to billable hours for all booked activities.

  • Order Ratio: Represents the ratio of total booked activities (internal, from customer orders) versus those from customer orders.

  • Costs: Shows the costs incurred for the period under consideration from personnel costs, external provider costs and other costs (licenses, hardware, ...).

  • Contribution margin: Calculates the contribution margin resulting from the difference between turnover and costs.

In addition, if business units are maintained in foreknown, all described key figures can be viewed for each business unit. These key figures already provide a comprehensive basis for the management to recognize whether the company is on course.

However, if this is not enough, the management also needs the possibility of diving deeper into the key figures. Therefore, another dashboard can be called up for each business unit.

Overview - Business Unit - Dashboard

All the key figures described can also be viewed for each business unit. But that is not enough. Three additional views provide even more detailed key figures:

  • Order view: All orders that have been assigned to the business unit and have services in the selected period under consideration are listed in a table and show the turnover, the costs for employees, external providers and other costs and the contribution margin.

  • Employee View: All employees assigned to the business unit during the period under review are displayed with personnel costs, turnover generated per employee, and a contribution margin.

  • External Provider View:** All external providers (e.g. freelancers, external employees) who were assigned to the business unit during the period under consideration are displayed with an hourly cost rate, the turnover generated per external provider and a contribution margin.

And if this is not enough for you, you can of course switch to the order or team controlling to get even more details.


With the new release 2.0 of foreknown we have reached a significant milestone. In addition to the described company and business unit dashboards with the various key figures, we have also created over the last few releases all the foundations for maintaining business units, personnel costs, external provider costs and the complete recording of working hours and activities, in order to be able to offer contribution margin calculations in particular at all the levels described.

With the help of the new key figures, it is now very easy to evaluate the profitability of your company from many angles, in order to answer the question at the end: "Is my company on course".