65+ Key Performance Indicators with Descriptions

Article by: Lynne D. Shelton



Type of KPIs Description
Cashflow KPIs Description
Working Capital Measures an organization’s financial health by analyzing readily available

resources that could be used to meet any short-term obligations.

Operating Cash Flow The amount of cash generated by regular business operations.
Cash Rotation (365/cash cycle) The number of times the cash comes back to the organization for a period of

one year.

Cash Flow from Investing Activities Shows the change in an organization’s cash position caused by investments,

gains, or losses.

Cash Flow from Financing Activities Demonstrates an organization’s financial strength. Formula: (Cash Received from Issuing Stock or Debt) – (Cash Paid as Dividends and Reacquisition of Debt/Stock) = (Cash Flow from Financing Activities)
Cash Flow The total amount of money being transferred into and out of an organization.
Cash Conversion Cycle Demonstrates the amount of time it takes for money invested in the

organization to come back to the organization in the form of increased

Accounts Receivable Turnover The rate at which an organization collects on outstanding accounts. Formula:

(Net Credit Sales) / (Average Accounts Receivable) = (Accounts Receivable

Accounts Receivable The amount of money an organization is owed by its customers.
Accounts Payable Turnover The rate at which an organization pays off suppliers and other expenses. Formula: (Total Supplier Purchases) / (Average Accounts Payable) = (Accounts Payable Turnover)
Accounts Payable Shows the amount of money an organization owes its suppliers.
#/% Invoices Past Due Invoices that remain unpaid after their due date.
Cost KPIs
Total Expenses Consists of the total costs an organization incurs during a reporting period

(including marketing, sales, and operations costs).

SG&A The costs of operating an organization—including selling, and general and

administrative expenses—are collectively referred to as SG&A.

Sales Expenses Costs incurred by the sales department—including salaries and commissions.
Marketing Expense Encompasses the total costs incurred by the marketing department, including

advertising, salaries, research, and surveys.

Inventory Turnover The number of times an organization is able to sell off its in-stock inventory in a

given period. Formula: (Sales) / (Inventory) = (Inventory Turnover)

Cost Per Unit The price to produce, store, and sell one unit of a particular product including fixed and variable costs of production. Formula: ([Variable Cost] + [Fixed Cost])

/ (Number of Units Produced) = (Cost Per Unit)

Cost Per Hire The average cost of hiring a new employee, including advertising fees,

employee referrals, travel expenses, relocation expenses, and recruiter costs. Formula: (New Hire Expenses) / (Number of New Hires) = (Cost Per Hire)

COGS (Cost of Goods Sold) Represents the cost of materials and direct labor used to produce a good.
Average Annual Expenses to Serve One Customer This is the average amount needed to serve one customer. Formula: (Total Expenses) / (Total Customers) = (Average Annual Expenses to Serve One Customer)
Customer Acquisition Cost The cost to acquire one new customer
Cost per Click Measures the cost of a pay-per-click advertising campaign (such as Google


Percentage of Cost of Workforce The cost of the workforce as compared to all costs can be measured by summing all salaries and dividing by the total company costs within a given time period. Formula: (Salary Costs) / (Total Company Costs) = (Percentage of Cost of Workforce)
Healthcare Expense per Current Employee The total price of health care costs divided out among all employees provides

an understanding of the comprehensiveness of a company’s health care plan.

Debt KPIs
Type of KPIs Description
Quick Ratio/Acid Test Shows the ability of an organization to meet any short-term financial liabilities, such as upcoming bills. Formula: ([Current Assets] – [Inventories]) / (Current Liabilities) = (Quick Ratio)
Price-Earnings Ratio (P/E) An equity valuation multiple that compares an organization’s share price to its

per-share earnings. Formula: (Market Value Per Share) / (Earnings Per Share) = (Price-Earnings Ratio)

Debt to Equity Ratio Measures how an organization is funding its growth and using shareholder

investments. Formula: (Total Liabilities) / (Shareholders’ Equity) = (Debt to Equity Ratio)

Debt Level The amount of debt that an organization currently has.
Current Ratio Measures the ability of an organization to pay all of its debts over a given time

period. Formula: (Current Assets) / (Current Liabilities) = (Current Ratio)

Bad Debt Debt that is not collectible, and is often written off as an expense.
Investment KPIs
Saving Levels Due to Improvement Efforts Many organizations look at investing in improvements, or merging operations (or even companies). This KPI looks at the dollar value of the savings achieved as a result of these investments.
Return on Innovation Investment Can be calculated by looking at the revenue from new products, or the number

of new products meeting a revenue threshold. This is typically only reviewed by organizations that have created an innovation department or budget.

Inventory Assets The cost of merchandise purchased or manufactured, but not yet sold, may be

a good leading indicator of preparedness for growth or even slowing growth.

Innovation Spending The amount of money that an organization spends on innovation. Some organizations have this budgeted as research and development, and others have different accounting terms. Ultimately, if you use this measure, you are valuing innovation as a key strategic thrust.
Break Even Time The time it takes an organization to break even from its investment in a new

product or process. If the costs are big up front, this measure can help you understand how long it will take to recoup these expenses.

% Investment in… Used for measuring investments in different lines of business. You might

measure the percentage of your investment in organic products vs. total investment in products overall. Formula: (Amount of Investment) / (Total Capital Spent) = (Percentage of Investment)

# of Key Capital Investments that Meet or Exceed

ROI Expectations

Can be based on the plan for investments, or on the results of past

investments. Useful for organizations that invest in many capital projects

Profitability KPIs
Sales Growth The change in an organization’s sales from one reporting period to another.

Formula: ([Current Sales] – [Past Sales]) / (Past Sales) = (Sales Growth)

ROI (Return on Investment) Shows the efficiency of an investment. Formula: ([Gain from Investment] –

[Cost of Investment]) / (Cost of Investment) = (ROI)
ROE (Return on Equity) The amount of net income an organization generates compared to the amount

of shareholders’ equity. Formula: (Net Income) / (Shareholders’ Equity) = (ROE)

ROA (Return on Assets) Indicates how profitable an organization is relative to its total assets. Formula:

(Net Income) / (Total Assets) = (ROA)

Return on Capital Employed Measures an organization’s profitability and the efficiency with which its

capital is employed.

Program Profitability Tracks the profitability of an individual program.
Operating Profit Margin Measures income after variable costs of production are considered. Formula:

(Operating Income) / (Net Sales) = (Operating Profit Margin)

Net Profit Margin The percentage of an organization’s revenue that is net profit. Formula: (Net

Profit) / (Revenue) = (Net Profit Margin)

Net Profit The amount of money an organization makes after taking out all expenses and

other costs. Formula: (Income) – (Expenses) = (Net Profit)

Gross Profit Margin The percentage of revenue that is profit after the cost of production and sales

is considered. Formula: (Gross Margin) / (Revenue) = (Gross Profit Margin)

Gross Profit An organization’s profit after the cost of production and sales is considered.

Formula: (Revenue) – (COGS) = (Gross Profit)

Type of KPIs Description
Economic Value Added (EVA) An estimate of an organization’s economic profit.
Average Capital Employed Shows profitability compared to investments made in new capital.
Customer Lifetime Value The net profit an organization anticipates gaining from a customer over the entire length of a relationship helps to determine the costs/benefits of acquisition efforts.
Customer Lifetime Value / Customer Acquisition


The ratio of customer lifetime value to customer acquisition cost should ideally

be greater than one, as a customer is not profitable if the cost to acquire is greater than the profit they will bring to a company. Formula: (Net Expected Lifetime Profit from Customer) / (Cost to Acquire Customer)

Human Capital Value Added (HCVA) By taking all non-employee related costs away from the revenue and dividing

the result by the number of full-time employees, one can deduce how  profitable the average worker in an organization is. Formula: ([Revenue] – [Non- Employee-Related Costs]) / (Number of Full-Time Employees) = (HCVA)

Revenue KPIs
Sales Volume The amount of sales in a reporting period, expressed in the number of units
Sales Forecast Accuracy The proximity of the forecasted quantity of sales to the actual quantity of sales.
ROI of R&D The revenue generated by investing money into research and development. Formula: ([Gain from Investment] – [Cost of Investment]) / (Cost of Investment)

= (ROI of Research & Development)

Revenue per FTE (Full time employee) Demonstrates how expensive an organization is to run. Formula: (Revenue) /

(Number of FTE) = (Revenue per FTE)

Revenue Growth Rate The rate at which an organization’s income is increasing. Formula: ([Current

Revenue] – [Past Revenue]) / (Past Revenue) = (Revenue Growth Rate)

Revenue The total income an organization receives. Formula: (Price of Goods) x

(Number of Goods Sold) = (Revenue)

Operating Income The profit from operations after removing operating expenses. Formula: (Gross Income) – (Operating Expenses) – (Depreciation & Amortization) = (Operating Income)
Net Income The amount of sales after subtracting discounts, returns, and damaged goods.

Formula: (Revenue) – (Expenses) = (Net Income)

EBT (Earning Before Taxes) Shows how much an organization has made after considering COGS, interest, and SG&A expenses, before taxes are subtracted. Formula: (Revenue) – (COGS) – (Interest) – (SG&A) = (EBT)
EBITDA Measures revenue after expenses are considered and interest, taxes,

depreciation and amortization are excluded. Formula: (Revenue) – (Expenses Excluding Interest, Tax, Depreciation & Amortization) = (EBITDA)

Average Annual Sales Volume Per Customer This is the average amount of sales per customer, expressed in currency.

Formula: (Total Sales) / (Total Customers) = (Average Annual Sales Volume per

Asset Utilization Total revenue earned for every dollar of assets an organization owns. Formula:

(Total Revenue) / (Total Assets) = (Asset Utilization)

Share of Wallet Measures the portion of a customer’s total spending that goes toward the

company’s products and services.

EBIT An indicator of a company’s profitability with expenses removed and interest

and tax excluded. Formula: (Revenue) – (COGS) – (Operating Expenses) = (EBIT)