FEBRUARY 2016 Financial Projections
French Duncan prides itself on being forward thinking and so we felt a blog about financial projections would fit nicely. Whilst they can at times feel like crystal ball gazing, projections provide most companies with the opportunity to truly consider where they want to go.
Benefits to Preparing Projections
There are many benefits to preparing projections for your business, whether that be a 12 week cash flow projection or a set of P&L, Balance Sheet and Cashflow projections for the next 5 years. The key benefits are:
• provide much needed forewarning that the company will experience a cashflow problem, allowing appropriate action to be taken
• allow opportunities to be identified, such as when there may be excess cash available to make a capital investment or an acquisition
• assist greatly in any sale or valuation process, as future performance can be a key determinant of the value of a company
• help in target setting and performance benchmarking; and, importantly
• help you sleep more soundly knowing you have given appropriate thought to the future of your business, not to mention helping keep your bank or other funders happy from a monitoring perspective.
Whilst the number of companies who prepare projections is sizeable, the average size of these companies tends to be larger and larger companies tend to prepare their own projections in-house without relying on external software. This is perhaps why there have historically not been a great many options available when it comes to choosing software to prepare your projections. The two most popular options historically have been Excel and Sage Winforecast. Whilst Excel is cheap and accessible, it can be time consuming to develop projections from scratch and is prone to human error. Winforecast on the other hand is robust and relatively easy to use but can be inflexible at times and is now fairly outdated.
With these issues in mind the team at French Duncan had been scouring the market for a new piece of forecasting software. Eventually we came across a new piece of software which they felt delivered on all of their requirements, namely, usability, accuracy, output quality and importantly, client interaction and accessibility.
Against this background, it was with great enthusiasm that the firm recently signed up to CrunchBoards, an innovative new forecasting software, which allows seamless interaction with Xero, the cloud-based accounting platform. Whilst CrunchBoards can interact with Xero, it is also suitable for preparing projections for companies on other accounting software packages making it truly flexible.
The software’s key strengths are:
• The ability to incorporate actual figures, either directly from Xero or from extracts from other sources such as excel
• Visually appealing outputs, including graphs and charts to summarise important information allowing non financially minded individuals to quickly understand what’s happening in the business
• Allows for non-financial data to be input, allowing both financial and non-financial KPIs to also be monitored
• Read-only access available to provide easy access for Banks or other funders
• It updates in your pocket on your iPhone as the data flows straight from Xero into CrunchBoards
This yet again demonstrates that French Duncan are at the forefront of the advancing technologies in the financial and advisory sector.
See a useful overview of CrunchBoards here where you can understand its visual appeal.
If the discussion above on the benefits of financial projections resonates with you and your business, our Crunchboards team would be more than happy to discuss how we can help so please get in touch with us.
Graeme Smith, Corporate Advisory Senior Manager
Marc Vosilius, Corporate Advisory Executive
Jayde Crawford, Managed Client Services Assistant Manager