Product Update: New Financial Viewer and More

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We’ve been busy this month, which is just how we like it. Our latest product update introduces a dedicated tab for financials, a powerful new tool for reviewing the full monthly detail of your projections, easier access to the financial editor, an option to add funding details to your Pitch, and more.

Financials tab

The numbers are at least half the story of your business plan, and reviewing and revising your projections is an important part of the ongoing planning process. No longer do you need to drill down into the Financial Plan chapter under the Plan tab to do this important work. With the addition of a Financials tab to the main navigation, you’ve now got instant access from anywhere in the app.

Financial viewer

As LivePlan users ourselves, we’ve been looking forward to this feature. Originally, the app showed the full monthly detail of the financial tables only in the PDF and document export views. That could be a real hassle. To see how a change affected, say, your future cash balance, you had to switch tabs, generate a file, and navigate to the right spot.

There had to be a better way—and now there is. The view mode of the new Financials tab shows the full detail of all of your financial tables. You can switch tables with ease. If you want to make a change, just switch to edit mode, update the details, and switch right back to see the results.

Funding needs on the Pitch

Our Pitch feature has quickly become a popular way for startups to Pitch their new ventures for feedback and investment. (That’s as expected: there’s a reason we called it “the Pitch.”) An important detail was missing for that scenario, though: “How much money are you seeking, and what will you use it for?” You can now include that detail in the new, optional “funding needs” section in the Pitch Builder.

Easier access to options

In the early days, all of the configurable settings in the app were related to the plan. Thus we put the Options view under the Plan tab. That design made less sense as we added new settings for the Pitch, Dashboard, and other features. You’ll now find easy access to all of the options from the main navigation. Just click the tab with the gear icon.

Improved handling of expense totals

The introduction of the Pitch exposed an odd wrinkle in our original design. The “Expenses” chart on the Pitch showed all of your expenses — direct costs, operating expenses from the budget, plus other P&L details (interest incurred, taxes, depreciation). The “Expenses” section of the P&L and the “Monthly Expenses” chart in the plan were more specific, though. They just showed the operating expenses, not the rest.

For consistency’s sake, we have updated the language in the budget and the P&L to refer to budgeted expenses as “operating expenses,” added a new “Total Expenses” line with the complete figure, and updated the plan charts to match the Pitch. Let us know if you have questions on that change.

That’s it for this monthly release. What should we tackle next? Click the Contact Us button at the top of the app to let us know!

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Josh Cochrane
Josh Cochrane
Josh Cochrane is Vice President of Product Development at Palo Alto Software, where he manages development of the business planning tool LivePlan. He writes for this site and elsewhere on product design, small business and entrepreneurship, and related topics.
Posted in LivePlan Updates

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