After import, you will see your actuals in the Dashboard tab of LivePlan. You can use the Dashboard to analyze your actuals through a variety of metrics, or you can use it to compare your actuals against the forecast you've built in LivePlan. (See the links at the bottom of this article for more details.)
We're often asked whether these imported actuals will also build your forecast automatically. They won't, and for two very good reasons:
- Your accounting actuals can only tell you what happened in the past. Your forecast represents future plans. To build a realistic and usable forecast, we recommend using your current market research and expertise in your industry to make educated estimates of your future performance. Your past data makes a good basis for your estimates, but it just doesn't tell the whole story.
- The LivePlan forecast is highly customizable. Given this, it's best to build your forecast one entry at a time, so you can configure your entries to match your specific business model.
If you haven't started your business yet, then you likely won't have any existing accounting data to import. This is completely fine - just focus on building your business plan, and later on when you've started operations, you may want to expand your use of LivePlan to the Dashboard. It's a great way to see how your company is performing against the goals you've set out in your forecast.
For more details on preparing your LivePlan forecast, see Preparing a Forecast.
For more details on importing your actuals into the LivePlan Dashboard and using them, see these articles:
- Connecting LivePlan to QuickBooks Online
- Connecting LivePlan to Xero
- Manually entering actual results
- Metrics available on the LivePlan Dashboard