This handy glossary will explain the terms LivePlan uses throughout the app.
Account: An account refers to your LivePlan account. This could be an account you signed up for or an account you were invited to as a contributor or guest. Each LivePlan account can have multiple Companies within it, which can either be Active or Archived.
Active Company/License: Any company in your account currently available to edit or share with others. Your LivePlan account comes with a limited number of active companies/licenses, but you can have an unlimited number of archived companies (see below). And you can always upgrade the account to include more active companies for an additional fee.
Active Company Limit: LivePlan limits the number of currently active companies in an account. If you’ve reached your active company limit, it doesn't mean you can't create any more companies! You can easily archive the company that’s currently active in your account. Then, you’ll have an opening in the account to either create a new company or restore one of your archived ones. The standard LivePlan account contains a limit of one active company. You can also upgrade your account to include more active companies for an added fee.
Archived Company: Archiving is saving a company in your account. Archived companies can’t be edited or shared unless you restore them first. And to restore a company, you may need to archive a currently-active company first. You may have as many archived companies as needed in your LivePlan account.
Benchmarks: Benchmarks are accounting data from companies in a particular industry, averaged and made anonymous. In LivePlan, you can use this data to help you compare your forecast and actuals to how your industry performs on average. We get the Benchmarks data in LivePlan from a company called ProfitCents, and it encompasses U.S. companies. Benchmarks are available in LivePlan Premium.
Company: In LivePlan, a company is a container - it holds one each of the following: a Pitch, a Plan, and a Forecast, plus Benchmarks data, schedule Milestones, and a Dashboard. You can create as many companies in LivePlan as you like, but there may be a limit on how many can be active simultaneously (see above).
Contributor: Someone who has received an invitation from you to edit a company in your LivePlan account. Contributors can make changes in the Pitch, Plan, Forecast, and Schedule sections. You can optionally give them access to the Benchmarks and Dashboard sections.
Dashboard: In LivePlan, the Dashboard section is a business dashboard. You can import your past actuals from your accounting solution into this section and analyze your past performance. Going forward, you can then compare your recent actuals month by month against the future forecast you’ve built. It’s a great way to monitor the health of your business over time. Benchmarks are available in LivePlan Premium.
Forecast: In LivePlan, the Forecast section is where you enter the numbers of your business plan - sources of revenue, costs and expenses, financing, and more. The data you enter in the Forecast section will populate both the Pitch and the Plan. You can also print forecast reports in this section.
Forecast Item: Each distinct entry that you create in your LivePlan forecast is referred to as a forecast item. This can include revenue streams, direct costs, personnel entries, and expenses. Essentially, any entry that you can create in the forecast section is considered a forecast item.
Guest: Someone who has received an invitation from you to view a company in your LivePlan account. Guests can view everything in the Pitch, Plan, Forecast, and Schedule sections. They can post comments in the Plan section but can’t make any changes anywhere in your account. You can optionally give them access to view the Benchmarks and Dashboard sections.
License/Active Company: Any company in your account currently available to edit or share with others. Your LivePlan account comes with a limited number of active companies/licenses, but you can have an unlimited number of archived companies (see above). And you can always upgrade the account to include more active companies for an additional fee. A company must be active for guests and contributors to access the plan.
Live Forecast: LivePlan Premium users who have connected LivePlan to their accounting solution can review actuals for completed months directly from the Forecast section. This feature provides a quick way for you to compare prior months' forecasted values against actuals and understand how your past performance impacts your projected numbers.
LivePlan Assistant: LivePlan has a suite of AI-powered features available throughout the various sections, collectively called LivePlan Assistant. This helpful tool can help you write and improve the topics in your plan, suggest forecast items like revenue streams or expenses, quickly identify the best benchmark data for your business, and much more.
Mapping: When you connect your QuickBooks Online or Xero account to your LivePlan account, the Mapping process involves connecting specific accounts from your accounting solution with corresponding entries in your LivePlan forecast. This allows the LivePlan Dashboard to compare your projections side-by-side with your actuals so that you can monitor the health of your business.
Milestone: In LivePlan, the Schedule section is where you establish Milestones, which are significant events and tasks along the road to starting your business. Milestones should have a reasonable due date and a measurable result. Milestones are available in LivePlan Premium.
Monthly Detail: In any entry in your forecast, monthly detail means entering numbers for each month instead of entering totals for a whole year. LivePlan's default is to include monthly detail for the first year only, but you can add up to three years of monthly detail if you prefer.
Multi-Month Charges: This setting determines how LivePlan will calculate revenue from any subscriptions or recurring revenue streams you've entered into your forecast. You can recognize all the revenue up front or spread it out over the life of the subscription.
Pitch: In LivePlan, the Pitch section is where you create a one-page summary of your business idea, suitable for sharing as a web page or a PowerPoint presentation. The Pitch is a separate document from the Plan - depending on your needs, you may not need to complete both.
Plan: In LivePlan, the Plan section is where you write a detailed business plan document, which you can download as either a PDF or a Word document. The Plan is a separate document from the Pitch - depending on your needs, writing both may not be necessary.
Restored company: Any archived company in your account that you’d like to make active again can be restored so you can edit and share it. Before restoring a company, you’ll need to archive the currently active company in your account.
Scenario: Within a single LivePlan company, LivePlan Premium users can create up to ten different forecast scenarios. Scenarios are a valuable tool to forecast multiple outcomes, compare the long-term impact of significant hiring decisions or asset purchases, or prepare for various economic variables.