Entering expenses

In the Expenses section of the forecast, you’ll estimate your regular monthly, yearly, and even one-time operating expenses—rent, utilities, insurance, marketing costs, office supplies, and so on. The expenses entered here are short-term; that is, they are typically used up within the period they are paid. For example, paying rent in January provides value in January but not in February or beyond. 

If your company is just getting started, you can include any one-time or short-term start-up expenses in the early months as you get up and running. If you need help with what to add, the LivePlan Assistant can suggest Expense entries based on your company description. 

Expense AI Suggestions.png

For more information on using LivePlan Assistant, please see this article.

Common expenses you should not include here

There are quite a few special expenses covered elsewhere in the forecast, so you want to avoid adding any of those to the Expenses page. 

The table below indicates where to enter the most common special expenses:

Special expense Where to enter it in the forecast
Raw materials Direct costs
Manufacturing labor Direct costs
Inventory Cash flow assumptions
Salaries/personnel expenses Personnel
Loan payments/interest Financing
Major purchases (capital equipment, vehicles, long-lasting assets) Assets (or Financing if you took out a loan for a purchase)
Dividends/distributions Dividends

(For more, see What is the difference between direct costs and expenses?)

Adding an expense

  1. Click the Forecast tab in the left sidebar, then click Expenses:
    forecast tab expenses highlighted.png
  2. Click the Add Expense button:
  3. Enter a name for the expense:
  4. Indicate what kind of expense it is:
    Note: Identifying your rent and marketing expenses here will allow LivePlan to display them in the Benchmarks and the Dashboard properly.

  5. Indicate how you want to enter the expense:

    • If you choose Constant amount, enter the amount you'll spend on this expense per month or per year:
      Then indicate when the expense should begin:
    • If you choose Varying amounts over time, enter how much you will spend in the months in which you'll spend it:
    • If you choose Percent of overall revenue, indicate the percent of your total revenue that should be allocated to this expense, and also show when the expense will begin:
    • If you choose One-time amount, indicate the amount you'll spend and when you'll spend it:
    • If you chose Percent of specific revenue stream, select the revenue stream to which the expense is related. Indicate the percentage of this revenue stream that should be allocated for this expense, along with the date that the expense will begin:
  6. Click Save & Close.

Editing or deleting an expense

To edit or delete an expense entry, click on the entry name or the pencil icon:

  • To edit the expense, click on the name of the expense, listed in green, and make any desired changes, and click Save & Close when you're finished. For more details, see How do I edit or delete forecast items?
  • To delete the expense, locate the trash can icon in the lower-left corner of the overlay. Click on it, and then click Delete:
    confirm delete forecast item.png

Where does this entry appear in the financial statements?

Your expense entries appear in an itemized list in the Profit and Loss table as Operating Expenses:


The expenses do calculate in the Balance Sheet and Cash Flow table but not explicitly. Instead, your expenses are used to calculate your available cash, which appears in the Assets portion of the Balance Sheet:


In the Cash Flow, your expense entries calculate into the lines shown below:


Changing an expense to a direct cost

If you have created a line entry for an expense and need to move it to the direct cost category, you can move the line item from one page in the Forecast to another using the Change Item option. 

  1. From the Forecast section, go to the Expenses page
  2. Click the box of the line entry that you’d like to move
  3. Select Change Item from the menu that appears at the bottom of the screen
  4. Then Confirm the change 

You’ll see that the line entry is now on the Direct cost page of your forecast and can be edited and adjusted there. 

Changing expense to direct cost

More on forecasting:

Preparing a forecast

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