The LivePlan Dashboard creates a side-by-side comparison of two important sets of data:
- Your client's current and past actuals from your accounting
- Your client's future forecast projections
This comparison is a great way to track how a company is performing against the goals set out in the business plan forecast.
Depending on your client's situation, the Dashboard might be set up in one of two ways:
- You and your client can start using LivePlan through the Dashboard, which automatically builds a starting point for the forecast
- You and your client can also choose to build the forecast first in LivePlan, and set up the Dashboard later
Both options are covered below.
Starting LivePlan through the Dashboard
If your client has an existing company, and is using QuickBooks or Xero for daily accounting, then you can begin using LivePlan by connecting it to the accounting solution. As the two programs are connected, much of the work of building a starting forecast will be done for you.
For more details on this process, please see Starting LivePlan through the Dashboard.
Starting LivePlan by building a forecast
If your client has a start-up business, then you might start them out in LivePlan by building a projected forecast. Then, later on when the business is up and running, you can connect LivePlan to the client's accounting solution to import the accounting actuals and set up the Dashboard.
Note: For more details on building a forecast, please see Preparing a forecast.
To set up the Dashboard after the forecast is built, follow the steps below:
Step 1: Connect to your accounting solution
Click on the Dashboard tab:
Click the Get Started button:
Then, connect to your client's accounting solution:
- Connecting LivePlan to Xero
- Connecting LivePlan to QuickBooks Online
- Connecting LivePlan to QuickBooks Desktop
If you don't use one of these accounting solutions, skip to Step 2.
Step 2: Map your accounts or manually enter your results
Once the Dashboard is connected to an accounting solution, you'll need to map the accounts you are importing to appropriate categories in the LivePlan forecast:
If you don't use one of these integrated accounting solutions, you can use the manual entry interface to manually enter your results.
Step 3: Add your client as a contributor or guest
At this point, you may want to add your client as a collaborator on the LivePlan company you've created. If you want your client to be able to edit parts of the company (including the Dashboard), invite them as a contributor. If you just want your client to have read-only access and the ability to view the metrics on the Dashboard, invite them as a guest. The following article provides instructions for adding these users:
Step 4: Track your progress
Once you have both sets of values in LivePlan, read these articles to learn about the charts and metrics available in the Dashboard: