In this article:
If you've started LivePlan through the Dashboard, and connected a new company file with your accounting solution, then you'll see that LivePlan has also used your accounting data to create a starting forecast.
This starting forecast is just that - a starting point. You'll want make your forecast more strategic by making some adjustments and additions.
Below, you'll find a checklist of the updates you'll want to make to this starting forecast. Each item has links to more detailed instructions.
Step 1: Update the Revenue entries
This video explains how to update the Revenue section of your forecast so it reflects revenue growth over time.
You might also want to add some new revenue streams - maybe you're planning to add a new product or service in an upcoming year. If that's the case, please see Forecasting your revenue streams.
Remember to adjust your mapping afterward:
Step 2: Update the Direct Cost and Expense entries
You'll also need to make some adjustments to the Direct Cost and Expense pages of this starting forecast. This video explains:
You may want to add some additional entries as well. These pages should be helpful:
If you do add entries, be sure to adjust your mapping as well:
Step 3: Add Personnel entries
Your salaries and wages from your accounting solution will be mapped to LivePlan, but you'll need to add Personnel entries to your forecast. This video has more details:
Note: If you haven't selected Payroll Expenses as the detail type for your payroll expenses in QuickBooks, then your payroll will be imported to the Expenses tab of LivePlan as an expense line item. It’s best in that case to delete the personnel line items from the Expenses tab, and re-enter them in the Personnel tab. Then, you can adjust the mapping between QuickBooks and LivePlan.
These articles cover personnel entries in more detail:
Step 4: Add future Asset entries
You may plan to purchase some durable goods, like equipment or furniture, that will carry value in your business over time. These should be represented on the Assets page of the forecast.
If you already have some assets on hand as you begin your forecast, then you'll need to represent their current value in the Starting Balances entry. The video below shows you both options:
These articles offer more details on entering assets:
Step 5: Add Financing Entries
Next, you'll want to create entries on the Financing page to represent any loans, investments, or lines of credit in your forecast. You can create entries for financing you already have in place as of the start of the forecast, or new financing you plan to take on later. The links below will help you:
Step 6: Taxes, Dividends, and Cash flow assumptions
Finally, you'll need to configure a few automated calculations in your forecast. And, if you want to forecast a payment back to investors, set up a Dividend entry. These articles offer details on these entries:
Optional: Adjusting the mapping to your accounting solution
If you've made changes to the forecast categories, you may need to go back to the Dashboard and adjust the mapping between LivePlan and your accounting solution. These pages will help you with that:
- Adjusting the mapping between QuickBooks and LivePlan
- Adjusting the mapping between Xero and LivePlan
Optional: Adjusting the starting balances of your forecast
After LivePlan syncs with your accounting solution, you'll see that LivePlan has used your accounting actuals data to automatically add starting balances to your forecast. The software will insert a month at the start of your forecast for these initial amounts. If you wish to adjust any of these starting balances you can find instructions for doing so at the link below.