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If you are forecasting for a new business, we recommend selecting a start date for your LivePlan forecast that reflects when you first begin to experience financial activity, such as spending or sales. This way, any start-up costs you incur as you prepare to open your business are captured in your forecast.
Changing your forecast start date
- In the menu bar on the left side of the browser window, click on the Options tab:
- Find the Fiscal Year Cycle and the 1st Year of Forecast settings and select your start date from the drop-down menus:
Note: For existing businesses, the Fiscal Year Cycle and the 1st Year of Forecast is not the day your business was initially established. Instead, you should enter the first month of either your current or next fiscal year cycle.
- Click the Save Changes button:
Note: when you change the start date of your forecast, you may need to change the date range of your Benchmarks display so that you can still see your forecast data within the Benchmarks tab.
Calendar Year or Fiscal Year?
You can set your LivePlan forecast to reflect either a calendar or a fiscal year. When you set your forecast start date to January, LivePlan will automatically create a calendar year forecast, with each year running from January through December in the same year.
When you set your forecast start date to a month other than January, LivePlan will create a fiscal year structure where each year will run 12 months from its start date. For example, if you start a forecast in June 2022, the fiscal year would run from June 2022 through May 2023.
When you have a fiscal year forecast, the fiscal years are labeled according to the year in which they end. Using the previous example, with a forecast starting in June 2022, the fiscal year would end in May 2023, which would label it Fiscal Year 2023. All financial statements and tables will display that year as "FY2023," as shown below:
What if I need the first year to be a partial year?
LivePlan always includes 12 months of detail for the first year of your plan. If you need to use a calendar year structure (starting in January), but your revenues and costs begin in a later month, you can build your forecast entries so that the initial months are zeroes. To do this, use the Varying amounts over time input for each forecast entry.
In this case, you may also want to change the number of years that have monthly detail in your forecast to have monthly entries available for up to three years of the forecast.
How this change affects your forecast entries
When you change the start date of a forecast that already has existing entries, the start date of every entry will shift accordingly. For example:
- Let's say your forecast initially starts in April 2023, and you have several revenue streams that also begin in April 2023. If you change the start date of this forecast to June 2023, all those revenue streams will now start in June 2023.
- Let's say that your forecast initially starts in April 2023, and you have some expense items that begin four months later, in August 2023. If you change your forecast start date to June 2023, these expense items will still begin four months after the new start date, which moves them to October 2023.
Once you've changed your forecast start date, you can go back and edit your existing forecast items as needed.
How this change affects forecast scenarios
This feature is available to LivePlan Premium users. To learn more about LivePlan Premium, please click here.
Suppose you're using multiple forecast scenarios in your company. In that case, it's important to know that changing the start date of one forecast will automatically make the same change to every other forecast attached to the same company.
If you'd like to create multiple forecasts for the same company with different start dates, it's best to make one or more copies of your company and change the start dates of the copies.
If you want to change the number of years included in your financial forecast, read Changing the length of your forecast
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