(Excerpt from âSoftware: A vital part of the business planning toolkitâ by Tom C. Davis)
Up Your Cash Flow Platinum
Up Your Cash Flow Platinum is a comprehensive business planning tool. As its name implies, it looks on cash flow as the critical element of focus in the business planning process. Beyond just developing a plan, its features let you compare the initial plan projections to actual comparisons, which make planning and budgeting a continuous process. It is an interactive program - the application prompts you for information by asking questions; answering questions creates detailed plans.
The first step in the process is to enter financial information. Trial balance data can be imported into Up Your Cash Flow Platinum from bookkeeping programs including QuickBooks, Peachtree, Timberline, BusinessWorks, MYOB, Creative Solutions, ACE, GoSystem Audit, Clarisys, ATB and any program that exports to Excel.
The program's new "automap" feature greatly speeds up the setup process. To project information into the future, various relationships can be defined. The cost of goods sold can be calculated as a percentage of sales or use material, labor or overhead lines for each product. Fixed and variable costs can be projected by using a different percentage of sales for each month of the plan.
Expenses can be projected over nine departments and for up to 300 individual expense items, and can be calculated as a percent of sales, a percentage of any other expense, fixed monthly amount or any other assumption that you would like.
The program will amortize up to 20 term loans and features a loan payment calculator that will determine term loan payments. It computes monthly and annual sales based on product, salesperson or customer.
Up Your Cash Flow Platinum can handle contractor-type businesses and can plan cash flow and profit on a per-job basis using the percentage of completion method. Job allocation features allow you to front?load a job with materials costs and then reallocate the costs throughout the job.
Platinum will project needed new borrowings and investments, dividends to be paid, deposits and even purchases of treasury stock. It will automatically prepare up to five years of financial plans, or let users produce short-range plans for as few as two months. To simplify the planning process for complex businesses, Up Your Cash Flow Platinum can combine separate (divisional, subsidiary, etc.) plans into a consolidated financial plan.
The textual portion of the business plan is created with ProPel, a business development tool which walks users through the assumptions and provides examples of information that should be included in order to explain the plan.
To order Up Your Cash Flow Platinum 2002 and save $150, click here