Once you've connected your QuickBooks Online or Xero account with LivePlan, you're ready to start the mapping process. Mapping involves connecting specific accounts from your accounting tool with specific categories in your LivePlan forecast. Once these are mapped together, you can compare your actuals and forecast side by side in the Dashboard.
Note: Your actuals from your accounting tool will populate the Dashboard tab. The Forecast tab is populated with projections you enter.
We're often asked how to map classes or sub-accounts from your accounting software to the LivePlan forecast. To begin answering that question, it's helpful to point out that accounting and forecasting are very different things:
- Accounting is specific, detailed, and transactional.
- Forecasting is broad and conceptual.
With that said, classes and sub accounts can be very useful for analyzing your accounting actuals, but that amount of detail can quickly become unwieldy when building your forecast.
You can absolutely map all of your classes and sub-accounts to your LivePlan forecast, but the forecast itself isn't currently configured to create sub-sections or dependencies. Instead, when you build your forecast, we recommend taking the detailed structure of your accounts and condensing it down to a smaller number of meaningful categories that represent your business on a broad scale.
Then, in the mapping process, you'll be connecting your larger number of accounts and sub-accounts to a smaller number of forecast categories. (LivePlan allows you to map more than one account to a single forecast category.)
With this mapping in place, LivePlan can generate a meaningful comparison between your forecast and actuals. But your forecast remains leaner, and this gives you much more flexibility to plan for future growth.
Note: We'd like to hear from you. We're in the process of incorporating classes into the mapping processes. If you use classes in your QuickBooks Online account and would like to talk with our development team about your needs for this structure in the LivePlan Dashboard, please contact us to schedule a call.