Within a single LivePlan company, you can create up to ten different forecasts. You can use these forecasting scenarios in a number of ways. For example, you can create forecasts for the best, average, and worst case scenarios for your company. Or you can explore scenarios for adding staff, increasing marketing expenses, opening a new office, etc. You could even create forecasts for several divisions (or locations) of the same business.
With this feature, you can also delete an unwanted forecast and start over with a new one if you need to.
Note: When you have multiple forecasts attached to one company, any change of start date or number of years of monthly detail will affect all of the forecasts attached to the company. If you need to create two forecasts with different start dates, we recommend making a copy of the company instead.
Creating a new forecast
When you set up a company, it will have one default forecast. To create a new forecast, click on the forecast menu located near the top-left of your LivePlan window.
You can keep this original forecast as the only one in your company, or you can create up to nine more forecasts.
There are three ways to create a new forecast:
- By copying an existing forecast
- Starting one from scratch
- Importing your accounting actuals to build a starting forecast automatically
Scroll down for instructions on all three options.
Copying an existing forecast
You can create a new forecast using an existing forecast (within the same company) as the starting point:
- Click on the forecast selection menu, and then click the Create New Forecast button:
Choose Copy an existing scenario:
- Select the scenario you want to copy:
- Finally, name the new scenario:
- Click Save & Close.
- The scenario you just created will be selected as the active scenario, and it will appear at the top of the scenario selection menu:
- To switch back to the Original scenario, click on the scenario selection menu to view a dropdown of your available scenarios:
Note: The selected scenario will be used to populate the Pitch financials, Forecast, Benchmarks, and Dashboard tabs. You can change the active scenario at any time.
Starting a new scenario from scratch
If you want to start with a clean slate, you can create a new scenario that is empty:
- Click the Create Scenario button:
- Choose Start from scratch:
- Name the new scenario:
- Click Save & Close. The scenario you just created will be selected as the active scenario, and it will appear at the top of the scenario selection menu. Once you enter data into it, this scenario will populate the Pitch financials, Forecast tables, financial statements, Benchmarks, and Dashboard.
Creating a new scenario from your recent accounting data
If you use QuickBooks or Xero as your accounting solution, you can import your actuals into LivePlan. The most recent year of actuals can then be used to automatically build a foundation for new scenarios.
- Click the Create Scenario button:
- Choose Use accounting data:
Note: If you have not yet connected LivePlan to your accounting solution, you will see the note above. In this case, you can click the Go to the Dashboard link to complete the connection, and then return to the Forecast tab to create a new scenario.
- If you have already connected LivePlan to your accounting solution, you will be prompted to name your new scenario. Click Save & Close to complete the set-up:
Note: With the automated starting forecast feature, LivePlan uses the most recent year of accounting data to build a starting forecast. The definition of "most recent year of data" is based on the start date you've set for your forecast. If you've set your forecast to start in January 2022, for example, LivePlan will use accounting data from January - December 2021 to build your starting forecast.
If your forecast start date is set prior to the current month and actual results are available for the current and/or prior months from your accounting provider, then LivePlan will use actual results from any available months where it is available to build your starting forecast.
Switching to another forecast scenario
The active scenario for a company is shown at the top of the scenario selection menu. The numbers from the active scenario will populate all areas of your LivePlan company (the Pitch financials, Forecast tables, financial statements, Benchmarks, and Dashboard).
To switch the active scenario, click on the scenario selection menu, and choose a different scenario:
Changing the name of a scenario
- Select the scenario you'd like to rename from the scenario menu (if it isn't already the active scenario).
- Then, choose Edit:
In the overlay, edit the scenario's name:
Note: The name can be up to 60 characters long.
Click Save & Close.
Deleting a scenario
At some point, you may discover that you no longer need one of the forecasts in your company. To delete a forecast, follow these steps. Please note: deletion is permanent, and a deleted forecast can't be recovered.
- Select the scenario you'd like to delete from the menu, then choose Delete:
- Click Confirm:
- Click Save & Close.
- If the deleted scenario was currently the active scenario, an overlay will appear asking you to select another scenario to work on. Choose the desired scenario, and then click the Go to Scenario button:
Printing a plan with multiple forecasts
When you have multiple forecasts attached to a plan, only one of them can be included in a download of the plan. You can activate any one of your forecasts before downloading the plan for printing.
LivePlan doesn't currently have functionality for including several forecasts in the same plan. If this option would be helpful to you, please contact us and let us know more about your needs.