How To Gain Real-Time Visibility into Your Finances + Free Template

October 3, 2021

How To Gain Real-Time Visibility into Your Finances + Free Template

How easy it is to run your business finances and have control and visibility over what’s going on? For some, it’s a significant problem just to get an overview of how they are doing financially so instead of empowering them, financial reporting slows these companies down; for others, it’s a piece of cake. If you’re one of those who struggle to set up proper financial planning and analysis for your business, you’ve come to the right place - we are here to help.

If you’re a seasoned finance manager who knows this stuff inside and out, you may still want to get some inspiration for your financial workflows and understand how you can optimize them even more. Please feel free to share your feedback with us!

Why LiveFlow launches a FREE financial template?

One thing that is true about most businesses today, no matter what size they may be, is setting up an effective financial plan that never goes wasted. If you can ensure everything works like clockwork from start to finish and your data gets updated while you sleep, isn’t it a dream? We have prepared something valuable for you, read on.

The new FREE Financial Planning Template we just have launched works wonders for both founders and business owners. It can also save a lot of hours for seasoned finance professionals who do not want to waste hours building their models.

The goal of this template is to make it super easy for you to create a financial plan and then seamlessly track how well things are going according to that plan as months pass by.

That’s why we suggest the P&L Budget vs. Actual format which lets you know everything from your Revenue, Cost of Sales, and Operating Expenses, to Gross Margin, Operating Profit Margin, Net Profit, and Net Profit Margin.

If any of these concepts sounds new to you, we suggest checking out the links we attached to each of them.

How to get started with the template?

Inside the template, you’ll find 4 different sheets. Here’s what they are about.

  1. How to use this model
  2. Summary Dashboard
  3. Budget vs. Actuals Financial Plan
  4. Live P&L from QuickBooks
  5. Tips and Tricks

1 - How to use this model

How to Use this Model

Over here, you will always find all the information about using the template, and how to contact us if there are any questions or feedback.

2 - Summary Dashboard

Summary Dashboard

This sheet is a dashboard that aggregates all of the information you input in the Financial Plan sheet.  It will automatically update itself with any changes, so there's no need to rescan or re-input anything in the Summary Dashboard (unless you want to change it to your preferences, of course). All data has been linked together using functions from the Financial Plan sheet.

The dashboard itself gives you an easy-to-understand overview of your key metrics such as your Runway, your projected Cash Balance, your burn rate, and your revenue.

You might want even go further by inputting more data yourself into these graphs, so nothing gets missed when tracking things down in one place.

3 - Budget vs. Actuals Financial Plan

Budget vs. Actuals Financial Plan

Here, all you’ll need to do is manually input all of your budget numbers to match your own financial plans. The rest of the sheet (i.e. the values of the actuals and the accounts) will update itself with data pulled from the "Live P&L from QuickBooks" sheet.

Your account names will be automatically pulled from the list of accounts that you have in your P&L, so you won't need to worry about updating these manually. Your Actuals column, which appears underneath each month, will also be automatically pulled from the data that you imported into the "Live P&L from QuickBooks" sheet.

This budget vs. actuals comparison will help you to evaluate how on or off-target you were in the preceding month(s). It is a great way to maintain a simple overview of your business stands relative to your plan.

4 - Live P&L from QuickBooks

Live P&L from QuickBooks

This sheet will pull your P&L report with real-time data for your company from QuickBooks and then feed the information into the "Budget vs. Actuals Financial Plan" and the "Summary Dashboard" sheets. In order to do this, you will need to make sure that you have LiveFlow installed in your extensions (you can find the app in the Google Marketplace).

Once you have LiveFlow installed, you will be able to open LiveFlow in the "Extensions" dropdown and select "Manage Reports." You can then change your company to be your own company and select "Update and Refresh Report” to change it to your own company data.

Your company's P&L will then be pulled into this sheet and updated in real-time. No need for any more manual dashboards.

5 - Tips & Tricks

Tips & Tricks

This is a dynamic document that we continue to grow and evolve as we add new tips and tricks for making your Financial Plan work even better. It also offers insights into the strategies we found most helpful when it comes to managing our finances - all in an attempt for us both to succeed!

How do I access this template?

  1. Click the link to open the Financial Plan.
  2. Click on FileMake a copy: This will copy/paste this spreadsheet into your own Google Drive folder.
  3. Add your name to the spreadsheet, i.e, “My Company - Financial Plan”
  4. Make sure that you have the LiveFlow extension downloaded from the Google Marketplace.
  5. Open LiveFlow in your spreadsheet and change the company to be your own under "Manage Reports."
  6. Go into the Financial Plan sheet and modify the budget numbers, the actuals will be automatically updated.
Hint: we got an automated way of doing this at LiveFlow, which can save you many hours. Check this out: 🔗

Now, track your finances in real-time in your Summary Dashboard.

Click here to get the Financial Planning Template for FREE

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