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Quarterly Projections of Balance Sheet

Hello, Our Company is in the process of enhancing our bookkeeping and accounting processes. Historically, we have done pro forma bookings and income projections in excel, but now we need to be able to produce quarterly/monthly projections of our balance sheet. While we can probably work to produce this in excel, my hunch is that we should be working directly from our books (we use quickbooks). Does anyone have any experience developing quick income and balance sheet projections with quickbooks? Is there an add-on application that would make this process easier? We have yet to use the budgeting functionality, but I assume if we input an expected budget into QB we'd be able to automate these projections? Thanks in advance for the help.

Answers

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

While not a QB expert, you have the ability to enter in budgets. Set them up (you may be able to set-up multiple budgets) and then use the report actual vs budget.

A quick look on their support page will help.

Topic Expert
Alan Hart
Title: Consultant
Company: Pacific Shine Group
(Consultant, Pacific Shine Group) |

There is a software application titled Budget Maestro from Centage Corporation (www.centage.com) that can be easily linked to Quick Books and serve as an extension of your QuickBooks general ledger. It will provide you with future or projected financial statements including an income statement, a balance sheet and even a statement of cash flows. This is all accomplished without any user programming or formula work. It uses the budget information you provide in the application and outputs the forecasted reports you need.

Jack Judd
Title: Retired
Company: Retired
(Retired, Retired) |

While I can appreciate you wanting to automate or track projections and quickbooks seems a natural aid, I personally encourage you to consider staying within EXCEL for this. I believe going into your system to put budgets and forecasts is most valuable when the user of the financial statement needs to compare actual results to the projection. My guess your organization is still on the smaller side and the flexibility of EXCEL may be adequate or preferred by the user. Regarding balance sheet projections, I have never used any system besides EXCEL or Lotus to calculate projected balance sheets. I have then inputted these amount into the applicable general ledger package. I have found that the vast majority of the value in a projected balance sheet is to forecast cash balances, especially for earlier stage companies. Varying the assumptions regarding cash is much easier to calculate in EXCEL and then review by management.

Jack Collins
Title: CFO
Company: PointCare Technologies
(CFO, PointCare Technologies) |

I also agree with Jack. I find the functionality of Excel provides the quickest and easiest method to provide budget vs. actual for the P&L, Balance Sheet and cash flow. You can tailor the modeling for your Balance sheet forecast for each major line item including DSO for A/R, DPO for A/P, Fixed Asset additions and depreciation for the BS, P&L and Cash Flow. If set up correctly using assumption drivers you can look at different scenarios for changes in DSO, DPO etc.

Topic Expert
David Hughes
Title: Executive VP of Operations
Company: On Target Performance Group
(Executive VP of Operations, On Target Performance Group) |

I agree with Jack. Learning new software takes time and money. If you are still on the smaller side, setting up a balance sheet template in Excel is fairly straight forward, and once it is set up it is easily updated and maintained. I have seen Budget Maestro and it does seem like a potential long term solution. You could also go to http://proadvisor.intuit.com/find-a-proadvisor/search.jsp?latitude=041.878&longitude=-087.625&zipCode=60601&_requestid=105549 to find a local QB expert that might be able to help you further.

Marcus McKee
Title: Vice President and CFO
Company: SPR PACKAGING
(Vice President and CFO, SPR PACKAGING) |

I also agree with Jack and David that Excel works well. My experience has been that you can more easily drop in your assumptions that drive your predictions of balance sheet line items (i.e. DSO assumption to derive your receivables balance) and you can make it as easy or complex, high-level or detailed as you need. You can also then create a cash flow statement/plan and expand into analytics/metrics allowing for more focused management of the information.

Topic Expert
Christie Jahn
Title: CFO
Company: Prime Investments & Development
(CFO, Prime Investments & Development) |

Anon,

I have used the budgeting in QBs and it's pretty simple and they provide a couple different reports you can view after you input it. I don't think it would take a lot of additional education on your part; that is one of the benefits of QB's. Intuit also has a great community site with help guides to everything. There are also forecasting reports in QBs that may be helpful to you as well.

Excel is a great tool; I also use it a lot; I don't think it would hurt you to spend a little time checking out the functions within the software I mention. Feel free to PM me if you have specific questions. I may be able to assist.

Jim Hinkel
Title: CFO
Company: RyMed Technologies
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, RyMed Technologies) |

I used Excel for P&L budgeting and it is adequate. I wouldn't recommend it as a forecasting tool though. I've did all my financial modeling in Excel because of budget and time constraints. If you want to use a packaged solution to forecast all three statements you should consider PlanGuru in addition to Budget Maestro as this is a capability they promote. It's also a more affordable solution for small QBs users.

Gurunathan Sv
Title: Consultant
Company: pvt
(Consultant, pvt) |

We can use Macros and do a rolling forecast .It is better not to waste time in inputting budgets in accts package as it is only history.If the package allows to capture forecast and all variables,it is fine.

Topic Expert
Jaime Campbell
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Company: Tier One Services, LLC
(Chief Financial Officer, Tier One Services, LLC) |

Use Excel-based modeling while the variables are still up in the air.

Once the company has settled on a budget, then either enter it into QuickBooks so you can have the BvA reports or build a tool in your model to produce a Projection vs. Actual report with reports exported from Excel.

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