Palo Alto Software (http://www.PaloAlto.com/), the world leader in small business planning and financial management software, today announced their new enhanced business forecasting suite of tools, as part of a refreshed offering of the company's cloud-based LivePlan Application. Providing graphic views of key business performance indicators through its small business dashboards, LivePlan's new forecasting features give business owners the ability to more easily predict and track performance based upon the every-changing dynamics of their business.
Since LivePlan's debut in 2012, it has been focused on helping small business owners navigate the often complex landscape of financial strategy, and stay fiscally healthy while striving to grow their businesses. A small business that doesn't have a plan is more likely to go out of business or face dire cash flow hurdles. In fact, according to a survey released by American Express OPEN Small Business Growth Pulse, 35 percent of small business owners don't have a formal plan for growing their business, and more than a third of small business owners are increasingly concerned about growth strategy and cash flow issues. Entrepreneurs need to ensure they are equipped with the financial data they need to make critical decisions for their business.
"What keeps entrepreneurs up at night? It's struggling to understand their overall financial situation and how to grow their business, because they don't have a plan. For those entrepreneurs, the archaic, 40-page planning document no longer make sense - they need a more flexible, intuitive way to gain vital insight into their business on a constant basis," said Sabrina Parsons, CEO of Palo Alto Software. "This is why we've re-imagined our LivePlan tools, to make it easier for the business owner to understand their business' health and plan for its future. Business owners are being pulled in enough directions, so we wanted to make sure that we provide the right tools to make budgeting and strategic forecasting easier than ever."
Forecasting At the Speed of Business
In addition to making forecasting even faster and more responsive, LivePlan now has more comprehensive forecasting features than ever. This includes more detailed and variable cash-flow forecasting, with an interactive model that shows them visually what happens to their cash spending based on certain variables. Additionally, LivePlan offers more capabilities for personnel forecasting, that gives business owners the ability to forecast by headcount, as well as forecast contract workers, or employees that should be included into direct costs, as direct labor.
Designed With Everyday Business Owners in Mind
LivePlan has now added to its core of small-business acumen a more sleek interface. This means both a more flat and consumerized aesthetic that's pleasing to use, and a more flexible, logical interface. Small business owners will be able to interact with familiar buttons and functionality, such as drop-down toggling for a more simplified or detailed view, drape-and-drop to reorganize, and a simple click to edit. LivePlan's more advanced features are also easier to find and use. Additionally, LivePlan has added more options for customized charts, allowing users to create data visualizations that impart the best insights for both forecasting and performance tracking.
The Custom Framework Today's Entrepreneur Needs
The new LivePlan also reimagined the framework of today's business plan. A new plan outline helps users focus on identifying key problems the business solves for customers and the advantages of their given solution, as well as automatically producing a summary for potential partners, lenders and investors. The outline begins with only what is necessary, and allows users to customize from there, adding or removing sections from a plan, in order to build the right sized plan. Recognizing the evolution of business models and constant shift in priorities, LivePlan gives business owners the tools to automatically create leaner plans that make for a better business management map that investors can appreciate as well.
"The financials were so easy to use and I liked knowing the calculations were all correct. It helped me create a precise plan to confidently share with investors, and I've raised $3M so far!" shared Rachid Tajiouti, CEO and Founder of Olive Oil USA, LLC.
"We use LivePlan to help drive a more accurate tax plan for businesses, and help clients manage their cash and achieve their goals," said Luke Gheen, CPA, Gheen & Co. "As CPAs, most clients think we'll only talk to them about their taxes and tax planning – yet with LivePlan, we offer so much more than that. We help clients set goals, create an accurate forecast, and get excited about the future of their business. Because of this multi-dimensional relationship with clients, we've become so much more than a tax company, but rather, a trusted advisor."
For more information about how LivePlan can help accelerate your business, please visit: http://www.LivePlan.com.