Free Business Plan Excel Template [Excel Download]
Written by Dave Lavinsky
A business plan is a roadmap for growing your business. Not only does it help you plan out your venture, but it is required by funding sources like banks, venture capitalists and angel investors.
The body of your business plan describes your company and your strategies for growing it. The financial portion of your plan details the financial implications of your business: how much money you need, what you project your future sales and earnings to be, etc.
Below you will be able to download our free business plan excel template to help with the financial portion of your business plan. You will also learn about the importance of the financial model in your business plan.
Download the template here: Financial Plan Excel Template
How to Finish Your Business Plan in 1 Day!
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With Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template you can finish your plan in just 8 hours or less! It includes a simple, plug-and-play financial model and a fill-in-the-blanks template for completing the body of your plan.
What’s Included in our Business Plan Excel Template
Our business plan excel template includes the following sections:
Income Statement : A projection of your business’ revenues, costs, and expenses over a specific period of time. Includes sections for sales revenue, cost of goods sold (COGS), operating expenses, and net profit or loss.
Cash Flow Statement : A projection of your business’ cash inflows and outflows over a specific period of time. Includes sections for cash inflows (such as sales receipts, loans, and investments), cash outflows (such as expenses, salaries, and loan repayments), and net cash flow.
Balance Sheet : A snapshot of your business’ financial position at a specific point in time. Includes sections for assets (such as cash, inventory, equipment, and property), liabilities (such as loans, accounts payable, and salaries payable), and owner’s equity (such as retained earnings and capital contributions).
Download the template here: Business Plan Excel Template
The template is easy to customize according to your specific business needs. Simply input your own financial data and projections, and use it as a guide to create a comprehensive financial plan for your business. Remember to review and update your financial plan regularly to track your progress and make informed financial decisions.
The Importance of the Financial Model in Your Business Plan
A solid financial model is a critical component of any well-prepared business plan. It provides a comprehensive and detailed projection of your business’ financial performance, including revenue, expenses, cash flow, and profitability. The financial model is not just a mere set of numbers, but a strategic tool that helps you understand the financial health of your business, make informed decisions, and communicate your business’ financial viability to potential investors, lenders, and other stakeholders. In this article, we will delve into the importance of the financial model in your business plan.
- Provides a roadmap for financial success : A well-structured financial model serves as a roadmap for your business’ financial success. It outlines your revenue streams, cost structure, and cash flow projections, helping you understand the financial implications of your business strategies and decisions. It allows you to forecast your future financial performance, set financial goals, and measure your progress over time. A comprehensive financial model helps you identify potential risks, opportunities, and areas that may require adjustments to achieve your financial objectives.
- Demonstrates financial viability to stakeholders : Investors, lenders, and other stakeholders want to see that your business is financially viable and has a plan to generate revenue, manage expenses, and generate profits. A robust financial model in your business plan demonstrates that you have a solid understanding of your business’ financials and have a plan to achieve profitability. It provides evidence of the market opportunity, pricing strategy, sales projections, and financial sustainability. A well-prepared financial model increases your credibility and instills confidence in your business among potential investors and lenders.
- Helps with financial decision-making : Your financial model is a valuable tool for making informed financial decisions. It helps you analyze different scenarios, evaluate the financial impact of your decisions, and choose the best course of action for your business. For example, you can use your financial model to assess the feasibility of a new product launch, determine the optimal pricing strategy, or evaluate the impact of changing market conditions on your cash flow. A well-structured financial model helps you make data-driven decisions that are aligned with your business goals and financial objectives.
- Assists in securing funding : If you are seeking funding from investors or lenders, a robust financial model is essential. It provides a clear picture of your business’ financials and shows how the funds will be used to generate revenue and profits. It includes projections for revenue, expenses, cash flow, and profitability, along with a breakdown of assumptions and methodology used. It also provides a realistic assessment of the risks and challenges associated with your business and outlines the strategies to mitigate them. A well-prepared financial model in your business plan can significantly increase your chances of securing funding as it demonstrates your business’ financial viability and growth potential.
- Facilitates financial management and monitoring : A financial model is not just for external stakeholders; it is also a valuable tool for internal financial management and monitoring. It helps you track your actual financial performance against your projections, identify any deviations, and take corrective actions if needed. It provides a clear overview of your business’ cash flow, profitability, and financial health, allowing you to proactively manage your finances and make informed decisions to achieve your financial goals. A well-structured financial model helps you stay on top of your business’ financials and enables you to take timely actions to ensure your business’ financial success.
- Enhances business valuation : If you are planning to sell your business or seek investors for an exit strategy, a robust financial model is crucial. It provides a solid foundation for business valuation as it outlines your historical financial performance, future projections, and the assumptions behind them. It helps potential buyers or investors understand the financial potential of your business and assess its value. A well-prepared financial model can significantly impact the valuation of your business, and a higher valuation can lead to better negotiation terms and higher returns on your investment.
- Supports strategic planning : Your financial model is an integral part of your strategic planning process. It helps you align your financial goals with your overall business strategy and provides insights into the financial feasibility of your strategic initiatives. For example, if you are planning to expand your business, enter new markets, or invest in new technologies, your financial model can help you assess the financial impact of these initiatives, including the investment required, the expected return on investment, and the timeline for achieving profitability. It enables you to make informed decisions about the strategic direction of your business and ensures that your financial goals are aligned with your overall business objectives.
- Enhances accountability and transparency : A robust financial model promotes accountability and transparency in your business. It provides a clear framework for setting financial targets, measuring performance, and holding yourself and your team accountable for achieving financial results. It helps you monitor your progress towards your financial goals and enables you to take corrective actions if needed. A well-structured financial model also enhances transparency by providing a clear overview of your business’ financials, assumptions, and methodologies used in your projections. It ensures that all stakeholders, including investors, lenders, employees, and partners, have a clear understanding of your business’ financial performance and prospects.
In conclusion, a well-prepared financial model is a crucial component of your business plan. It provides a roadmap for financial success, demonstrates financial viability to stakeholders, helps with financial decision-making, assists in securing funding, facilitates financial management and monitoring, enhances business valuation, supports strategic planning, and enhances accountability and transparency in your business. It is not just a set of numbers, but a strategic tool that helps you understand, analyze, and optimize your business’ financial performance. Investing time and effort in creating a comprehensive and robust financial model in your business plan is vital for the success of your business and can significantly increase your chances of achieving your financial goals.
Let's excel in Excel
Business Plan: How to Create Great Financial Plans in Excel
I guess, you are about to write a business plan and that is why you have come to this page. Very good – because in this article I am going to write down my experience with business plans and what I have learned creating them with Microsoft Excel. As I will point out again further down, I will only concentrate on the financial part of business plans. Specifically, how to set it up in Excel. Of course, you can also download an Excel template .
Parts of business plans
As you reached this page I suppose you already have a rough idea of what a business plan is. So, we will skip this part here.
A business plan is a formal written document containing the goals of a business, the methods for attaining those goals, and the time-frame for the achievement of the goals.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_plan
But one comment concerning the scope of this article: The formal business plan has usually many different parts, in which you describe the business idea and product, the market, competition, legal construct and so on. But typically, investors are most interested in the financial part. They want to know first, what they can get out of it. Of course, the other parts are also very important, but the financial topics usually put everything described in the other sections into numbers.
I’m not going further into the details of all the other parts than then financial section here. Specifically, we will dive into the basics of the financial part and how to model it in Excel.
Please scroll down to download the business plan template. We are going to explore all the following advice with this template.
How to create a business plan in Excel
Advice 1: be clear about the purpose and the recipient of the business plan.
Before you start opening Excel, make sure that you are 100% clear of the purpose this business plan. Is the business plan just for you? Or do you create it for someone else, for example an investor or bank? Although the next steps might still be the same, the focus might be different. For example: Maybe you have a very good understanding of the major assumptions because you have been working in this field for some time. But for someone external you still need to validate them. Of course, in both cases the assumptions should be realistic and goals should be achievable. But maybe for your own peace of mind you would choose more pessimistic assumptions if the plan was only for you.
Advice 2: Go top-down in terms of line items
Now, let’s start in Excel. But how do we start?
My approach is to go top-down. I usually use a basic P&L (“Profit- and loss” calculation) structure to start with, having some placeholders for revenue and costs.
Specifically, I go through the following parts (also shown on the right-hand side).
Let’s assume that you develop and sell Excel add-ins: 50 EUR per license – once-off. You would now start with assumptions of how many you can sell per month and the price. This is your first revenue item. At this point in time, I would leave it like this. We can later drill further down as much as we need (for example modeling discounts, the connection between marketing spending and number of units sold, price changes, etc.).
If we have multiple products, we calculate them in a similar manner.
Cost of goods sold
Cost of goods sold – or COGS – refers to the direct costs of producing the goods sold. Depending on the complexity you could also summarize cost of sales here or keep it separately.
Often, the COGS are directly linked to the number of units produced so you could refer to the numbers already calculated for the revenues.
In our example from above, we don’t have any direct costs for producing the Excel add-ins because we develop them ourselves and our salary will be regarded under “Salaries and Benefits”.
All other expenses
The structure of the expenses highly depends on your business. I usually start with these:
- Salaries and Benefits
- Rent and Overhead
- Marketing and Advertising
- Other expenses
Again, these items might look completely different for you. Example: if you travel a lot for your business, you might plan travel costs separately.
Subtracting costs from the revenue leads to the EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization). This is one of the important financial performance indicators.
Amortization and depreciation
If you buy any assets for your business (for example machines, computers, even cars), you usually plan to use them over a certain period. When you first buy them, let’s say for 1,000 USD, you basically just exchange money for assets in the same amount. The problem: The assets will decrease in value the longer you use them. Within the cost items above, you don’t regard the acquisition value. So, how to regard them in your business plan?
You only regard the annual decrease of value. If you plan to use your 1,000 USD item for 5 years, you could (plainly speaking), each year regard 200 USD as depreciation.
Please note: If you later plan your cash, you have to make sure that you fully regard the initial sales price and not the depreciation.
The key difference between amortization and depreciation is that amortization is used for intangible assets, while depreciation is used for tangible assets. https://www.fool.com/knowledge-center/whats-the-difference-between-amortization-deprecia.aspx
Subtracting the amortization and depreciation from the EBITDA leads to the second key performance indicator, the EBIT (earnings before interest and tax).
Interest and taxes
Eventually, you have to prognose your interest costs (for example what you have to pay for bank loans) and your taxes, which is typically just a percentage of the EBT (the earning before taxes).
Advice 3: Think about the business drivers carefully
Good business plans are driver based.
Business drivers are the key inputs and activities that drive the operational and financial results of a business. Common examples of business drivers are salespeople, number of stores, website traffic, number and price of products sold, units of production, etc. https://corporatefinanceinstitute.com/resources/knowledge/modeling/business-drivers/
Let me explain with an example: You want to plan the revenues. You have two different options:
- Revenue per month is split into number of units sold times price per unit.
- Number of units sold is further split into number of salespersons and number of items sold per salesperson and month, and so on.
- Or you could just write a number and every following year you assume a growth in percentage (e.g. +2% per year).
Let’s finish this section with some final comments:
- Choose drivers that are measurable. You will most probably later on compare the drivers to reality and therefore make sure that they are not impossible to measure.
- Figure out, which driver has most impact. You should focus on those first. Driver with no or very limited impact can be skipped initially.
- Are drivers depending on each other? If yes, it should be modeled accordingly.
Advice 4: Choose the smallest period from the beginning in your business plan
So far, we have been focusing on the line items, for example costs, revenue, or drivers. Now, let’s talk about the time frame.
The question is: Should you plan on annual, monthly or any other basis? Or a mix?
I have seen many business plans doing it something like this:
- Plan on monthly basis for the first 24 to 36 months.
- Switch to annual planning for the years 3/4 to 5.
Most business plans are not going beyond 5 years planning period.
My recommendation: Plan on monthly basis for the full period. There will be a point in time when you need to break it down into months. And it is always easier to sum up 12 months for annual values than to drill down from years to months.
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Advice 5: Keep a unified, professional business plan structure
This advice should count for most Excel models: Try to keep the same structure throughout the whole Excel file.
- Structure of worksheets: Make sure that most worksheets are set up with the same structure. For example, start with a headline in cell B2, years starting in column H, content in row 10.
- Layout / format of cells: Make sure you use a consistent formatting. For example, Excel provides cell styles – use them. For more recommendations about professional formatting, please refer to this article .
- Universal settings and assumptions should be consolidated on one sheet (for example tax rates, start date, company name).
Advice 6: Document business plan assumptions well
I can not say this often enough: Document your assumptions! Not only the values or variables, also your thoughts behind them. Why have you chosen this value? What is it based on? What is it used for?
Advice 7: Gross vs. net values
This question I am asked quite frequently: Should you use gross or net values? That means, include tax in revenues and costs?
Typically, you only work with net values, excluding VAT. For Germany with a tax rate of 19%, for example, if you invoice 119 EUR to a customer, you would only regard 100 EUR. Also, for costs, you would only regard net values.
Then, in your business plan, you start with revenue minus costs and eventually reach the EBT (earning before tax, please scroll up to see the P&L). From this, you calculate your company tax.
Advice 8: Think ahead
Some more things you should keep in mind when creating your business plan.
- Business plans are “living documents”. Keep in mind that at some point in the future you have to update it or extend it.
- Validate your assumptions: After some time, you will come back to your plan having real life figures. Now, it’s time to compare and – if necessary – adjust the plan.
- a valuation (“Discounted Cash Flow model”),
- liquidity planning,
- bank loan simulations,
- financial dashboards,
- budget planning,
- maybe even the first real official P&L (at least when it comes to the line items of your business plan)
- and much more…
Download business plan template
So, after reading all this description and advice, it’s time to start. Probably many things I have written above sounds like common sense, right? But I can assure you: Doing it and regarding as much advice as possible is not necessarily simple.
That’s why I have decided to create a template. I have pre-filled it with an imaginary example.
I know, there are countless Excel business plan templates around. So, why should you use this one?
- This template is very flexible: I have always included place holders so that you can add much more items if needed.
- In terms of the time frame, I have created monthly columns for up to ten years. Typically, you need less. Then just hide the extra columns.
- Also, I have created a consistent structure throughout the model.
- No fancy Excel functions and formulas, mainly just plain links.
Please feel free to take a look at it. If you like it, just use it. If not, please feel free to create your individual business plan – you now know how to do it!
Download link: Click here to start the download .
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Henrik Schiffner is a freelance business consultant and software developer. He lives and works in Hamburg, Germany. Besides being an Excel enthusiast he loves photography and sports.
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Powerful business plan templates
Plan for the future, no matter what your business plans are or the size of your business with these designs and templates. whether it's just one big project or an entire organization's worth of dreams, these templates will keep you and your company on track from ideation to completion..
Put your ideas to work with simple templates for every business plan
Every successful business took a lot of planning to get there, and these templates will be cornerstones of your future success. Whether you're looking to attract new business, pitch your services or reimagine your company, with these simple, customizable templates at your fingertips you can turn complexity into something tangible. These templates can become marketing assets or simply remain internal touchpoints for your team. And as your dreams change, you'll always have this template to refer to – it's easy to change what exists on paper. If you're a small business, focusing on your niche can help you dominate in your field, and you can forge a plan to figure out exactly what that niche might be and how to target your ideal customer . When it's time to share your vision with stakeholders, craft a presentation that outlines your plan succinctly and with style. Let these templates from Microsoft Designer be your partner in business strategy for years to come.
Cash Flow - Business Plan Forecast Template
Use our business plan financial projections template to create financial projections for a business plan which includes 12 monthly periods and 5 annual periods. The template includes a detailed income statement, cash flow statement and balance sheet in Excel. Cash flow projections are based on user defined turnover, gross profit and expense values and automated calculations based on a series of assumptions.
- Includes 12 monthly & 5 annual periods
- Suitable for service and trade based businesses
- Reporting periods based on a single user input cell
- User input limited to basic template assumptions
- Expense accounts can be customized & more accounts added
- Automated income statement, cash flow statement & balance sheet
- Accommodates loan amortization or interest-only loans
- Includes sales tax, income tax, payroll accruals & dividends
How to use the Cash Flow - Business Plan Forecast template
This template enables users to create cash flow projections for a business plan which includes 12 monthly periods and five annual periods. The template includes a monthly income statement, cash flow statement and balance sheet. The cash flow projections are based on turnover, gross profit and expense values that are entered by the user as well as a number of default assumptions which are used to create an automated balance sheet. These assumptions include opening balance sheet balances, working capital ratios, payroll accruals, sales tax, income tax, dividends and loans. The monthly reporting periods are based on any user defined start date.
Note: We have included 12 monthly and 5 annual reporting periods in this template because this format is frequently required by financial institutions when submitting business plans. If you only require annual cash flow projections, refer to our Annual Cash Flow Projections template and if you only require monthly cash flow projections, refer to our Monthly Cash Flow Projections template.
The following sheets are included in the template: Assumptions - this sheet includes the default assumptions on which the monthly & annual cash flow projections are based. IncState - this sheet includes a detailed monthly income statement for 12 monthly periods and 5 annual periods. All the rows that are highlighted in yellow in column A require user input and the codes in column A are mainly used in the sales tax, receivables & payables calculations. The rows that do not contain yellow highlighting in column A contain formulas and are therefore calculated automatically. CashFlow - as with the income statement, only the rows with yellow highlighting in column A require user input. All the other rows contain formulas and are therefore calculated automatically. BalanceSheet - all balance sheet calculations are based on the template assumptions and the income statement & cash flow statement calculations. No user input is therefore required on this sheet. Loans1 to Loans3 & Leases - these sheets include detailed amortization tables which are used to calculate the interest charges and capital repayment amounts that are included on the income statement and cash flow statement. Each sheet provides for a different set of loan repayment terms to be specified.
Note: If you do not want to include any of the line items that are listed on the income statement, cash flow statement or balance sheet, we recommend hiding these items instead of deleting them. If you delete items which are used in other calculations, these calculations will result in errors which you then need to fix or remove.
Business Name & Reporting Periods
The business name and the start date for the cash flow projections need to be entered at the top of the Assumptions sheet. The business name is included as a heading on all the sheets and the reporting periods which are included in the template are determined based on the start date that is specified. This date is used as the first month and the 11 subsequent months and four subsequent years are added to form the 5 year projection period.
The income statement and cash flow statement only require user input where there is yellow highlighting in column A and the user input only relates to the 12 monthly periods. All annual totals are calculated automatically and all rows without yellow highlighting are calculated automatically in both the monthly and annual columns.
All monthly income statement projections need to be entered exclusive of any sales tax that may be applicable.
Turnover & Gross Profits
Monthly turnover values need to be entered on the IncState sheet for the first 12 months. The projected monthly gross profit percentages also need to be entered on this sheet and are used in order to calculate the gross profit values. The monthly cost of sales projections are calculated by simply deducting the gross profit values from the monthly turnover values.
The year 2 to 5 turnover amounts are calculated based on the totals for the first year and adjusted by the annual turnover growth rates that are specified on the Assumptions sheet. Gross profit percentages for each turnover line need to be entered on the IncState sheet. Gross profit values and cost of sales totals are calculated automatically.
The template includes two default lines in each of these sections - one for a typical product based item and one for a typical service based item. The template can therefore be used for both service and trade based businesses. There are no cost of sales and gross profit values in service based businesses and a gross profit percentage of 100% can therefore be specified. You can also hide the cost of sales and gross profit sections if you do not want to include them in your cash flow projections.
Note: You can insert as many additional line items as required by inserting the required number of items in each section and then entering the appropriate values where user input is required or copying the formulas from one of the existing lines. We recommend inserting additional line items between the two existing default line items.
Note: The codes in column A are used in the sales tax and trade receivables calculations. The first two characters represent the sales tax code and the last two characters represent the payment status. Refer to the Balance Sheet - Sales Tax and Balance Sheet - Trade Receivables sections for more information on these codes.
Monthly projections of other income should be entered in this row. Note that other income may consist of items like interest or dividends received and this line item is therefore not included in trade receivables and sales tax calculations. If you want to include other income in the trade receivables or sales tax calculations, you need to add the income to the Turnover section as an additional line item.
The year 2 to 5 totals for other income are calculated by applying the annual turnover growth percentages on the Assumptions sheet to the previous year's total.
All the monthly operating expense projections need to be entered in the operating expenses section of the income statement. The template contains 22 default operating expense line items but you can add as many additional items as required or delete the line items that you do not need. When adding additional line items, remember to copy the formulas in the total columns from one of the existing line items.
The year 2 to 5 totals for operating expenses are calculated by applying the annual expense inflation percentages on the Assumptions sheet to the previous year's total.
Note: The codes in column A are used in the sales tax and trade payables calculations. The first two characters represent the sales tax code and the last two characters represent the payment status. Refer to the Balance Sheet - Sales Tax and Balance Sheet - Trade Payables sections for more information on these codes.
All the monthly staff cost projections need to be entered in the staff costs section of the income statement. The template contains 2 default staff cost line items but you can add as many additional items as required or delete the line items that you do not need.
The year 2 to 5 totals for staff costs are calculated by applying the annual expense inflation percentages on the Assumptions sheet to the previous year's total.
Note: Staff costs have been included in a separate section on the income statement in order to be able to calculate payroll accruals. If you do not need to include payroll accruals in your cash flow projections, we recommend entering nil values and hiding these rows. If you delete the section, some of the payroll accrual formulas may result in errors and you therefore may need to delete them as well.
Depreciation & Amortization
Monthly & annual projections for depreciation and amortization charges need to be calculated independently of the template and included in this section. We unfortunately cannot include default depreciation or amortization calculations because some businesses may have very different asset bases than others with existing assets which may already have been depreciated over a number of years. Any calculation which is based on a percentage of the balance sheet asset value may therefore not be accurate.
If you already have a sheet which is used for depreciation or amortization calculations, you can include it in this template and add formulas in the depreciation & amortization section of the income statement to include your calculations in the appropriate line items.
The monthly depreciation & amortization charges for the first 12 months need to be included on the IncState sheet and the totals for year 2 to 5 need to be included on the Assumptions sheet.
We also realize that some users may want to include depreciation and amortization as part of their operating expenses. We have therefore provided for this in that the depreciation and amortization calculations on the cash flow statement are based on the default code which is included in column A. You can therefore enter nil values in the depreciation & amortization section on the income statement, hide the section and include these line items in the operating expenses section and as long as you also include the default codes in column A, the cash flow statement values for depreciation and amortization will be calculated correctly.
All interest paid calculations are automated and based on the amortization tables on the Loans1 to Loans3 and Leases sheets. The template accommodates the inclusion of loans & leases based on four different sets of loan repayment terms which need to be specified on the Assumptions sheet.
Opening loan balances are based on the balance sheet opening balances section on the Assumptions sheet and additional loan amounts can be entered in column C of the appropriate amortization table.
You do not need to use all four loan amortization sheets - if you only need to include loans based on one set of repayment terms, you can delete the other loan amortization sheets, delete the other interest paid rows on the income statement, delete the other proceeds from loans rows on the cash flow statement, delete the other repayment of loans rows on the cash flow statement and delete the other loan balances from the balance sheet.
The template provides for four sets of loan repayment terms - the same amortization table can basically be used for all loans with the same repayment terms by adding additional loan amounts as proceeds to the cash flow statement in order to add new loans to the appropriate amortization table.
If you need to add more than four sets of loan repayment terms, you will need to copy one of the amortization sheets, change it to reflect the appropriate loan terms and then change the formulas in the amortization table to be based on the correct loan repayment terms at the top of the sheet. This means that you need to add another set of repayment terms to the Assumptions sheet and link the fields at the top of the new amortization table to the appropriate cells on the Assumptions sheet.
If there is an opening balance for the required additional loan terms, you need to include a new code in the balance sheet opening balances section on the Assumptions sheet and base the opening balance calculation in the first period of the amortization schedule on this code. You also need to add new rows to the interest paid section on the income statement, the loan proceeds section on the cash flow statement, the loan repayment section on the cash flow statement and the loan balances section on the balance sheet. The appropriate formulas can be copied from one of the existing items and the sheet reference in the copied formula can then just be replaced by the sheet name of the new amortization table that you've added.
The taxation line item on the income statement is automatically calculated based on the profit before tax and the income tax assumptions which are specified on the Assumptions sheet. If you do not want to include income tax in the cash flow projections, simply enter an income tax rate of 0%. This will result in no income tax being calculated.
If you do want to include income tax calculations, the appropriate income tax percentage needs to be entered in the Income Tax section on the Assumptions sheet. You can also enter a value for an assessed loss (as a positive value) which may have been carried over from a previous tax year which would result in income tax only being calculated after profits exceed the value of the assessed loss.
You also need to specify the payment frequency in months and the first calendar month in which a payment needs to be included. The template automatically provides for income tax based on what is due and includes the income statement amount and a provision for taxation on the balance sheet. The payment frequency and month of payment assumptions are then used to determine when the income tax liability will be settled which will result in the appropriate cash outflow being recorded on the cash flow statement and the provision for taxation being reduced.
The template can accommodate income tax calculations based on current and subsequent month payments. If you select the Current option, the income tax payment amount will be calculated based on all amounts that have accrued up to and including the month of payment. If you select the Subsequent option, the income tax payment amount will only be calculated based on all amounts which have accrued up to the previous month end.
Example: If you select the Current option in the Income Tax section of the Assumptions sheet, all income tax amounts up to and including the current month will be included in the income tax payment amount. This means that the provision for taxation at the end of the particular month will be nil. The Current setting is therefore usually appropriate for provisional taxpayers.
Example: If you select the Subsequent option, all amounts up to and including the previous month end will be included in the income tax payment amount. The provision for taxation balance on the balance sheet will therefore not be nil at the end of the month of payment and include the current month's income tax charge.
The template also includes automated dividends calculations. If you do not want to include any dividends in your cash flow projections, you can simply specify a dividend percentage of zero percent.
If you want to include dividend calculations, you need to specify a dividend percentage which will be applied to the profit for the period in order to calculate the dividend value. You also need to specify the frequency in months of dividend payments and the first payment month. The frequency of dividends determines when the dividends are included on the income statement and the first month of payment determines when the dividend payment is included on the cash flow statement (only has an effect if the dividend payment option is Subsequent).
You can also specify whether the dividend is paid in the month of calculation (Cash option), the month after calculation (Next option) or in a subsequent month. When you elect the subsequent month option, the payment of the dividend will be included based on the relative position of the first month of payment in relation to the year-end period (which is determined based on the template start date at the top of the Assumptions sheet).
Example: If you want to include a dividend in the last month of each financial year, select a payment frequency of 12 months and month 12 as the first payment month. Then select the Cash option in order to include both the dividend on the income statement and the payment in the last month of the year.
Example: If you want to include a dividend in the last month of each financial year but delay payment to the first month of the next financial year, select a payment frequency of 12 months and month 12 as the first payment month. Then select the Next option in order to include the dividend on the income statement in the last month of the financial year and the payment in the first month of the next financial year. A dividend payable amount will then automatically be included on the balance sheet at year-end.
All the calculations on the balance sheet are automated and no user input is therefore required.
If you need to compile cash flow projections for an existing business, you will need to include the opening balance sheet balances at the start of the cash flow projection period. This is facilitated in the Balance Sheet Opening Balances section on the Assumptions sheet. The opening balances that are entered here are included in the first column on the balance sheet.
You can use the trial balance as at the end of the period immediately before the start of the cash flow projection period for this purpose. All assets should have positive balances and all equity & liabilities should have negative balances. The opening balances should also balance to a total of nil as with any accounting system trial balance. If you enter balances and the total of all balances is not nil, the entire opening balances section on the Assumptions sheet will be highlighted in orange.
You then need to fix the imbalance by adjusting the opening balances so that the total comes to a total of nil. The orange highlighting will then be removed automatically. Also note that the cash flow projection balance sheet cannot balance if the opening balances do not balance.
Note: If you are preparing a cash flow projection for a new business, you can include zero balances for all the balance sheet items in the opening balances section.
The property, plant & equipment balances on the balance sheet are calculated by adding the purchases of property, plant & equipment (entered on the cash flow statement for the first 12 months and on the Assumptions sheet for year 2 to 5) and then deducting the appropriate depreciation charges that are included on the income statement.
Intangible assets balances are calculated in much the same way by adding the purchases of intangible assets (as per the cash flow statement for the first 12 months and the Assumptions sheet for year 2 to 5) and deducting the appropriate amortization charges as per the income statement. The calculation of the investments balances on the balance sheet is a bit simpler in that only the purchases of new investments (as per the cash flow statement for the first 12 months and the Assumptions sheet for your 2 to 5) are added to the previous period's balance and there is no depreciation or amortization on investments.
Note: Purchases of property, plant & equipment, intangible assets and investments all need to be entered as negative values. The purchases for the first 12 months need to be entered on the cash flow statement and the purchases for year 2 to 5 need to be entered on the Assumptions sheet.
Current Assets - Inventory
The inventory balances on the balance sheet are calculated based on the inventory days assumption which is specified on the Assumptions sheet. The number of days that are entered here is applied to the monthly cost of sales in order to calculate the appropriate inventory balance. This calculation is based on the actual number of days in each month if the inventory days assumption is greater than the number of days in the appropriate month.
Example: If you enter an inventory days assumption of 60 days and the month is April, the entire cost of sales value for April will be included in the inventory balance because April only has 30 days. After including the 30 days in April, there is a difference of 30 days between the 60 days assumption and the 30 days in April. The March cost of sales balance will therefore be used, divided by the 31 days in March and multiplied by the 30 remaining days. The inventory balance at the end of April will therefore consist of the cost of sales total for April and an equivalent of 30 days of the 31 day cost of sales of March.
Note: The above calculation principle is applied regardless of the number of days which are entered as the inventory days assumption on the Assumptions sheet even if the value of the inventory days assumption requires the inclusion of more than 2 months. This method of calculation is the most accurate way of projecting inventory balances even for businesses where there is significant sales volatility.
Note: If your business does not carry inventory, you can simply enter a nil value in the inventory days assumption on the Assumptions sheet. The inventory line on the balance sheet will then also contain nil values.
If you want to include variable monthly inventory days, you can do so by changing the inventory days assumption in the Workings section of the balance sheet which has been included below the section with the ratios. Simply replace the formula which links the inventory days assumption to the value on the Assumptions sheet by overwriting it with the appropriate inventory days value.
The year 2 to 5 inventory balances are calculated by applying the annual turnover growth percentage to the inventory balance at the end of year 1. This method ensures that the monthly trend in year 1 is reflected in the year 2 to 5 balances. If you amend the inventory days in the Workings section of the balance sheet, the amended days for the appropriate year will be used in the calculation.
Current Assets - Trade Receivables
The trade receivables balances on the balance sheet are calculated based on the debtors days assumption which is specified on the Assumptions sheet. The debtors days number can be determined based on the average trading terms which has been negotiated with customers. The debtors days is applied to the monthly turnover in order to calculate the appropriate trade receivables balance. This calculation is based on the actual number of days in each month if the debtors days assumption is greater than the number of days in the appropriate month.
Example: If you enter a debtors days assumption of 60 days and the month is April, the entire turnover value for April will be included in the trade receivables balance because April only has 30 days. After including the 30 days in April, there is a difference of 30 days between the 60 days assumption and the 30 days in April. The March turnover balance will therefore be used, divided by the 31 days in March and multiplied by the 30 remaining days. The trade receivables balance at the end of April will therefore consist of the turnover total for April and an equivalent of 30 days of the 31 day turnover of March.
Note: The above calculation principle is applied regardless of the number of days which are entered in the debtors days assumption on the Assumptions sheet even if the value of the debtors days assumption requires the inclusion of more than 2 months. This method of calculation is the most accurate way of projecting trade receivable balances even for businesses where there is significant sales volatility.
Where sales tax is applicable, the appropriate sales tax value relating to monthly turnover will be added to the trade receivables balance. Sales tax codes are defined on the Assumptions sheet and the codes in column A next to the turnover amounts on the income statement are used to determine the appropriate rate of sales tax to be used.
The trade receivables calculation will also only include lines that are coded with a sales tax rate code (in the first two characters) and a "C1" at the end of the code. The C1 part of the code refers to credit sales while the inclusion of a C0 code at the end refers to cash sales. Cash sales do not need to be included in the trade receivables calculation and turnover lines with C0 or no code in column A are therefore ignored when calculating trade receivable balances.
Example: If the standard rate sales tax code is V1 and the appropriate turnover line needs to be included in the calculation of trade receivables, the code V1C1 needs to be added in column A of the appropriate turnover line on the income statement. If you do not want to add sales tax in the trade receivables calculation but you do want a trade receivables line to be included in the balance sheet, you can add a code which refers to a 0% sales tax calculation as well as the C1 credit sales indicator.
Example: If you do not want a particular turnover line to be included in the trade receivables calculation, you can include any sales tax rate followed by C0 in order to exclude the line in the trade receivables calculations. For example, a turnover line with a code of V1C0 would not form part of the trade receivables calculations.
Note: If your business has no trade receivables, you can simply enter a nil value in the debtors days assumption on the Assumptions sheet. The trade receivables line on the balance sheet will then also contain nil values.
If you want to include variable monthly debtors days, you can do so by changing the debtors days assumption in the Workings section of the balance sheet which has been included below the section with the ratios. Simply replace the formula which links the debtors days assumption to the value on the Assumptions sheet by overwriting it with the appropriate debtors days value.
The year 2 to 5 trade receivables balances are calculated by applying the annual turnover growth percentage to the trade receivables balance at the end of year 1. This method ensures that the monthly trend in year 1 is reflected in the year 2 to 5 balances. If you amend the debtors days in the Workings section of the balance sheet, the amended days for the appropriate year will be used in the calculation.
Current Assets - Loans & Advances, Other Receivables
The loans and advances & other receivables balances cannot be calculated by basing them on specific income statement items and they are therefore calculated by adding the movements in these balances (as per the cash flow statement for the first 12 months and the Assumptions sheet for year 2 to 5) to the balances of the previous month. If you therefore want to increase or decrease these balances, you need to add the amount of the increase or decrease to the line with a matching description on the cash flow statement (under the changes in operating assets section) for the first 12 months or the Assumptions sheet for year 2 to 5.
Current Assets - Cash & Cash Equivalents
The cash & cash equivalents balances on the balance sheet are linked to the closing cash balances on the cash flow statement. If the resulting cash & cash equivalents balance has a negative value, it will automatically be included in the bank overdraft line in the Current Liabilities section of the balance sheet.
Equity - Shareholders Contributions, Reserves
The shareholders contributions & reserves balances cannot be calculated by basing them on income statement items and they are therefore calculated by adding the movements in these balances (as per the cash flow statement for the first 12 months and the Assumptions sheet for year 2 to 5) to the balances of the previous month. If you therefore want to increase or decrease these balances, you need to add the amount of the increase or decrease to the line with a matching description on the cash flow statement or Assumptions sheet.
Note: The shareholders contribution line on the cash flow statement can be found under the cash flow from financing activities and the reserves line on the cash flow statement under the non-cash adjustments.
Equity - Retained Earnings
The retained earnings balances on the balance sheet are linked to the retained earnings for the year which is calculated on the income statement.
Non-Current Liabilities - Loans 1 to 3, Leases
The template provides for loans & leases to be included based on 4 different sets of loan repayment terms. Loans with the same repayment terms can be grouped together in the appropriate line item. There is no difference between the treatment of loans 1 to 3 and leases. If you do not have finance leases and have loans with 4 different sets of repayment terms, you can use the Leases sheet and rename the appropriate line items accordingly.
Note: The loan repayment period in years is limited to a maximum period of 30 years. If you want to include a loan repayment period which exceeds this period, you need to change the data validation settings in the appropriate input cell by selecting the data validation feature from the Data tab on the Excel ribbon and editing the maximum value of 30 which has been set in the loan repayment period cells.
Each of the loan repayment terms can be specified in the Loan Terms section on the Assumptions sheet. The loan terms include the annual interest rate, loan repayment period in years and a selection field which can be used to indicate interest-only loans. These loan repayment terms are then included at the top of the appropriate loan amortization sheet on the Loans1 to Loans3 and Leases sheets.
Note: A set of loan terms can be specified as interest-only by selecting the "Yes" option from the interest-only drop-down list in the appropriate loan terms on the Assumptions sheet. If this selection is made, the loan will be interest only and not include any loan repayments.
All the calculations on the amortization sheets are fully automated. The only user input that is required on these sheets is entering the additional loan amounts in column C. The loan terms are taken from the Assumptions sheet and the opening balances in the first row of the amortization table are based on the opening balances that are entered in the balance sheet opening balances section of the Assumptions sheet.
The loan repayments, interest charged and capital repayments are calculated based on the outstanding balances at the beginning of each period. The outstanding loan or lease balances at the end of the appropriate monthly or annual period are then included in the appropriate lines on the balance sheet.
Current Liabilities - Bank Overdraft
The bank overdraft as well as cash & cash equivalents are based on the closing cash balances which are calculated on the cash flow statement. If the appropriate monthly closing balance is negative, the balance is included as a bank overdraft and if it is positive, it is included as cash under current assets on the balance sheet.
Current Liabilities - Trade Payables
The trade payables balances on the balance sheet are calculated based on the creditors days assumption which is specified on the Assumptions sheet. The number of days that are included here can be determined based on the average trading terms which has been negotiated with suppliers.
The monthly cost of sales, operating expenses and staff costs on the income statement are added together in order to determine a monthly value on which the trade payables calculations should be based. Expenses and costs which are paid on a cash basis can be excluded from the trade payables calculation by entering a code which ends in C0 in column A on the income statement. The codes in column A start with the appropriate two character sales tax code and end with the two character payables code.
Example: The expense codes in column A for all line items that need to be included in the trade payables calculation and which need to be subject to sales tax at a standard rate should be V1C1. If the expense item is settled on a cash basis and also subject to the standard sales tax rate, the code in column A should be V1C0 which will then result in the item not being included in the trade payables calculation.
If you want to also include purchases of property, plant & equipment in the trade payables calculation, the standard code of PPE in column A on the cash flow statement needs to be amended to the appropriate code which starts with the sales tax code and ends with C1. For standard sales tax, the code will therefore be V1C1.
Like the calculation of inventory and trade receivables balances, the trade payables balances on the balance sheet are based on the actual number of days in each month if the creditors days assumption is greater than the days in the appropriate month.
Example: If you enter a creditors days assumption of 60 days and the month is April, the entire cost of sales & expense value for April will be included in the trade payables balance because April only has 30 days. After including the 30 days in April, there is a difference of 30 days between the 60 days assumption and the 30 days in April. The March cost of sales & expense balance will therefore be used, divided by the 31 days in March and multiplied by the 30 remaining days. The trade payables balance at the end of April will therefore consist of the cost of sales & expenses total for April and an equivalent of 30 days of the 31 day cost of sales & expense values of March.
Note: The above calculation principle is applied regardless of the number of days which are entered as the creditors days assumption on the Assumptions sheet even if the value of the creditors days assumption requires the inclusion of more than 2 months. This method of calculation is the most accurate way of projecting trade payables balances even for businesses where there is significant sales or expense volatility.
Where sales tax is applicable, the appropriate sales tax value relating to monthly cost of sales & expenses will be added to the trade payables balance. Sales tax codes are defined on the Assumptions sheet and the code in column A next to the cost of sales & expense amounts on the income statement are used to determine the appropriate rate of sales tax to be used.
The trade payables calculation will also only include lines that are coded with a sales tax rate code (in the first two characters) and a "C1" at the end of the code. The C1 part of the code refers to purchases on credit while the inclusion of a C0 code at the end refers to cash purchases. Cash purchases do not need to be included in the trade payables calculation and cost of sales & expense lines with C0 or no code in column A are therefore ignored when calculating trade payables balances.
Example: If the standard rate sales tax code is V1 and the appropriate cost of sales or expense line needs to be included in the calculation of trade payables, the code V1C1 needs to be added in column A of the appropriate line on the income statement. If you do not want to add sales tax in the trade payables calculation but you do want a trade payables line to be included in the balance sheet, you can add a code which refers to a 0% sales tax calculation as well as the C1 credit purchases indicator.
Example: If you do not want a particular cost of sales or expense line to be included in the trade payables calculation, you can include any sales tax rate followed by C0 in order to exclude the line in the trade payables calculations. For example, an expense or cost of sales line item with a code of V1C0 in column A on the income statement would not form part of the trade payables calculations.
Note: If your business has no trade payables, you can simply enter a nil value in the creditors days assumption on the Assumptions sheet. The trade payables line on the balance sheet will then also contain nil values.
If you want to include variable monthly creditors days, you can do so by changing the creditors days assumption in the Workings section of the balance sheet which has been included below the section with the ratios. Simply replace the formula which links the creditors days assumption to the value on the Assumptions sheet by overwriting it with the appropriate creditors days value.
The year 2 to 5 trade payables balances are calculated by applying the annual expense inflation percentage to the trade payables balance at the end of year 1. This method ensures that the monthly trend in year 1 is reflected in the year 2 to 5 balances. If you amend the creditors days in the Workings section of the balance sheet, the amended days for the appropriate year will be used in the calculation.
Current Liabilities - Sales Tax
The template accommodates the inclusion of sales tax in all relevant calculations based on four default sales tax calculation codes and any sales tax period. All income statement and cash flow statement items need to be entered exclusive of any sales tax that may be applicable and the trade receivables and trade payables balances on the balance sheet will be calculated inclusive of sales tax. The net sales tax liability is included in the Sales Tax line on the balance sheet.
The template can be used for general sales tax (GST) and value added tax (VAT) purposes. Where there is no sales tax input which reduces the sales tax liability, the codes in column A on the income statement can simply be changed to contain a sales tax code (in the first two characters of the code) which has a zero percentage. Only the sales tax codes that are included next to the turnover lines will then be included in sales tax calculations (as required by some general sales tax calculations).
The appropriate sales tax percentages can be entered in the Sales Tax section of the Assumptions sheet. The template provides for 4 default sales tax codes, each with its own sales tax percentage. The sales tax codes are numbered from V1 to V4.
The income statement contains codes in column A which affects the calculations of sales tax and trade receivables or trade payables. The first two characters of these codes determine which sales tax percentage is used in the sales tax calculations. If an income statement item needs to be excluded from sales tax calculations, you should use a sales tax code with a zero percentage on the Assumptions sheet.
Note: Each line on the income statement can therefore only be linked to one sales tax percentage. If more than one sales tax percentage needs to be applied to the same income statement item, you need to split the income statement amount into two lines and enter the appropriate sales tax codes in column A for each of the lines.
Note: If you are preparing cash flow projections for a business which is not subject to sales tax, simply enter zero percentages for all four sales tax codes.
The sales tax assumptions that need to be specified on the Assumptions sheet also include the frequency of sales tax payments (in months) and the calendar month of the first payment period. You can therefore calculate sales tax based on any period frequency from one to twelve months.
Example: If your business is subject to sales tax payments of every two months and the first payment is due in February, a frequency of 2 needs to be specified and the first payment month should be set to 2 for February. Similarly, if your business is subject to sales tax payments of every 6 months with payments due in March and August, the frequency should be set to 6 and the first payment month should be set to 3. If your business is subject to monthly sales tax payment periods, the frequency should be 1 and the first payment month should also be 1.
The Current or Subsequent setting in the Sales Tax section on the Assumptions sheet determines how the calculated sales tax amounts of the current period are handled. If you select the Current option, the sales tax amounts of the current period will be included in the calculation of the payment amount which is due in the particular month and the sales tax liability at the end of the payment month will be nil.
If you select the Subsequent setting, the sales tax amount of the current period is not included in the calculation of the payment amount and the sales tax liability at the end of the appropriate payment month will always include at least one month.
Note: The Subsequent setting is usually the appropriate setting to use for sales tax purposes. The Current settings is more applicable to tax types which are subject to provisional tax.
Example: If you set a payment frequency of 1 month, first payment month of 1 and select the Current option, the sales tax liability on the balance sheet will always be nil because the current month's sales tax will be included in the sales tax payment. If you have the same period settings and select the Subsequent option, the sales tax liability on the balance sheet will always include the current month's sales tax because the payment amount will be based on the previous month's sales tax.
Note: The first payment month setting refers to the month of payment and not the sales tax period end. There is a difference - a sales tax period may end in February with payment in March which means that the first payment month of the calendar year is actually January or month 1 (if the payment frequency is two months).
The year 2 to 5 balances for sales tax are calculated by calculating the total sales tax for the appropriate year, dividing it by twelve and then multiplying the value by the number of months that are included in the sales tax balance at the end of the first year.
Current Liabilities - Payroll Accruals
The payroll accrual on the balance sheet is based on the payroll accrual assumptions in the Working Capital section of the Assumptions sheet and the amounts in the staff costs section of the income statement. If payroll deductions are paid in the same month as they are incurred, you can set the payroll accrual percentage to zero and the payroll accrual balances on the balance sheet will also be zero.
Staff costs have been included in a separate section on the income statement to make it easier to calculate payroll accrual balances. You can however include staff costs in operating expenses but you need to ensure that you also include the "PAY" code in column A for all the staff costs that you want to include in the payroll accrual calculations.
You also need to specify the appropriate percentage of staff costs which needs to be included in your payroll accruals. This percentage should be based on the percentage of staff costs which are paid in a subsequent month and is based on the current month's staff costs. Payroll accruals usually consist of salary & wage deductions which need to be paid over to third parties and differ from entity to entity. You therefore need to calculate the appropriate payroll accrual percentage based on the composition of the salary or wage structures of all employees.
The payroll accrual assumptions that need to be specified on the Assumptions sheet also include the frequency of payroll accrual payment periods (in months) and the payment month of the first payroll accrual period. You can therefore calculate payroll accruals based on any payment period frequency from one to twelve months. The calculated payroll accruals are added together in the payroll accrual balance until the month of payment.
Example: If you need to settle payroll accruals every two months and the first payment is due in February, a frequency of 2 needs to be specified and the first payment month should be set to 2 for February. Similarly, if you settle payroll accruals every 6 months with payments due in March and August, the frequency should be set to 6 and the first payment month should be set to 3. If you settle payroll accruals on a monthly basis, the frequency should be 1 and the first payment month should also be 1.
The Current or Subsequent setting in the Payroll Accruals section on the Assumptions sheet determines how the calculated payroll accrual amounts of the current period are handled. If you select the Current option, the payroll accrual amounts of the current period will be included in the calculation of the payment amount which is due in the particular month and the payroll accrual balance at the end of the payment month will be nil.
If you select the Subsequent setting, the payroll accrual amounts of the current period are not included in the calculation of the payment amount and the payroll accrual balances on the balance sheet at the end of the appropriate payment month will always include at least one month.
Note: The Subsequent setting is usually the appropriate setting to use for payroll accrual purposes. The Current setting is more applicable to tax types which are subject to provisional tax payments where payment occurs in the same month as the tax calculation.
Example: If you set a payment frequency of 1 month, first payment month of 1 and select the Current option, the payroll accruals on the balance sheet will always be nil because the current month's payroll accruals will be included in the payment calculation. If you have the same period settings and select the Subsequent option, the payroll accruals on the balance sheet will always include the current month's payroll accrual because the payment amount will be based on the previous month's payroll accrual.
Note: The first payment month setting refers to the month of payment and not the payroll accrual period end. There is a difference - a payroll accrual period may end in February with payment in March which means that the first payment month of the calendar year is actually January or month 1 (if the payment frequency is two months).
If you want to include payroll accruals based on variable monthly payroll accrual percentages, you can do so by changing the payroll accrual percentage assumption in the Workings section of the balance sheet which has been included below the section with the ratios. Simply replace the formula which links the payroll accrual percentage assumption to the value on the Assumptions sheet by overwriting it with the appropriate payment accrual percentage.
The year 2 to 5 payroll accrual balances are calculated by adjusting the previous year's balance by the appropriate expense inflation percentage on the Assumptions sheet.
Current Liabilities - Other Accruals, Other Provisions
The other accrual & other provisions balances cannot be calculated by basing them on specific income statement items and they are therefore calculated by adding the movements in these balances (as per the cash flow statement for the first 12 months and the Assumptions sheet for year 2 to 5) to the balances of the previous period. If you therefore want to increase or decrease these balances, you need to add the amount of the increase or decrease to the line with a matching description on the cash flow statement (under the changes in operating assets section) for the first 12 months or the Assumptions sheet for years 2 to 5.
Current Liabilities - Provision for Taxation
The calculation of income tax on the income statement is based on the profit before tax on the income statement and the assumptions that are specified in the Income Tax section on the Assumptions sheet.
The profit before tax amount is multiplied by the income tax percentage on the Assumptions sheet in order to calculate the monthly or annual income tax value. If there is a loss before tax on the income statement, no income tax will be calculated but if there were profits before the period with the loss, the income tax that was calculated in previous periods will be reversed in the period with the loss.
The template also makes provision for the inclusion of an assessed loss which has been carried over from previous financial periods and income tax will only be calculated after the assessed loss has been fully reduced by profits in the projection periods.
The income tax assumptions on the Assumptions sheet also include the frequency of payment of income tax (in months) and the calendar month of the first income tax payment. You can therefore calculate a provision for income tax based on any payment period frequency from one to twelve months. The calculated income tax amounts are added together in the provision for income tax balance on the balance sheet until the month of payment.
Example: If you need to settle income tax liabilities every six months and the income tax payments are due in February and August of each year, a frequency of 6 needs to be specified and the first calendar month should be set to 2 for February. Similarly, if you settle income tax liabilities at the end of each quarter with payments due in March, June, September and December, the frequency should be set to 3 and the first payment month should also be set to 3. If you need to settle income tax liabilities 9 months after each year-end and the cash flow projection year-end is February, the frequency should be set to 12 months and the first payment month should be set to 11.
The Current or Subsequent setting in the Income Tax section on the Assumptions sheet determines how the income tax amounts of the current period are handled. If you select the Current option, the income tax amounts of the current period will be included in the calculation of the payment amount which is due in the particular month and the provision for income tax balance on the balance sheet at the end of the payment month will be nil.
If you select the Subsequent setting, the income tax amounts of the current period are not included in the calculation of the payment amount and the provision for income tax balance on the balance sheet at the end of the appropriate payment month will always include income tax for at least one month.
Note: The Current setting is usually the appropriate setting to use for income tax purposes if the entity is a provisional taxpayer which effectively means that income tax is paid in advance. If the entity is not a provisional taxpayer, the Subsequent setting should be used because income tax will be settled after being incurred.
The year 2 to 5 balances are calculated by calculating the income tax amount for the appropriate year, dividing it by 12 and multiplying the value by the number of months which needs to be included in the provision. This is determined based on the year-end period and the income tax assumptions on the Assumptions sheet.
Current Liabilities - Dividends Payable
The calculation of dividends on the income statement is based on the profit for the year on the income statement and the assumptions that are specified in the Dividends section on the Assumptions sheet. Dividends will only be calculated if you enter a dividend percentage on the Assumptions sheet - if you therefore do not want to include dividends in your cash flow projections, you can simply enter a zero value as the dividend percentage.
The dividend percentage that is specified on the Assumptions sheet is applied to the profit for the year on the income statement which can be found directly above the dividends line. Dividends will also only be calculated if there is a cumulative profit for the year.
The dividends assumptions on the Assumptions sheet also include the frequency of payment of dividends (in months) and the first calendar month of the dividend payment. You can therefore calculate dividends based on any payment period frequency from one to twelve months (although 6 or 12 months is the norm). The calculated dividends amounts are added together in the dividends payable balance on the balance sheet until the month of payment.
Example: If dividends are declared every six months, you need to specify a frequency of 6 months on the Assumptions sheet and then select the appropriate payment basis. Dividends will be reflected on the income statement every 6 months and the dividends payable balances on the balance sheet will be determined based on the first payment month and the payment option which is selected (Cash, Next or Subsequent). Similarly, if the payment frequency is set to 12 months, dividends will be included on the income statement every 12 months and the dividends payable balance will be determined based on the first payment month and the payment option.
The Cash, Next or Subsequent setting in the Dividends section on the Assumptions sheet determines how the dividends payable balances on the balance sheet are calculated and therefore also when the dividend payment will be included on the cash flow statement.
If you select the Cash option, the dividend payable balances on the balance sheet will always be nil and what this means is that the dividend payment is effectively included in the same month as the month in which the dividend is declared. The month in which the declared dividend is included is based on the payment frequency (in months) and the cash flow projection year-end.
If you select the Next option, the dividend payment will be included in the month after the month in which the dividend amount is included on the income statement. The dividend payable balance on the balance sheet will therefore only contain a balance in the dividend declaration month.
If you select the Subsequent option, dividends will be included on the income statement based on the frequency setting on the Assumptions sheet and the payment of the dividend will be delayed until the first payment month (also as per the Assumptions sheet) is reached. A dividends payable balance will be reflected on the balance sheet in all months until the payment month is reached.
Example: If you set the dividend payment frequency to 12 months, a dividend amount will be included on the income statement in the last month of the appropriate cash flow projection year. If the payment option is set to Cash, no dividend payable amount will be included on the balance sheet and the dividend payment will be included on the cash flow statement in the same month.
Example: If you set the dividend payment frequency to 12 months and the payment option is set to Next, the dividend will be included on the income statement in the last month of the appropriate cash flow projection year, the dividend payable at the end of the financial year will equal the income statement amount and the dividend payment will be included in the first month of the next financial year.
Example: If you set the dividend payment frequency to 12 months and the payment option is set to Subsequent, the dividend will be included on the income statement in the last month of the appropriate cash flow projection year and the dividend payable at the end of the financial year and all subsequent months in the new financial year until the first payment month is reached will equal the income statement amount. The dividend payment will be included in the first payment month as set on the Assumptions sheet but in the year after inclusion on the income statement.
If the cash flow projection year-end as per the above example is February, the first payment month is set to 9 for September and the Subsequent payment option is selected, the dividend will be included in February on the income statement and the same amount will be included as a dividend payable on the balance sheet from February to August of the next financial year. The dividend payment will then be included in September on the cash flow statement and the dividend payable at the end of September will be nil.
The year 2 to 5 balances are calculated based on the profit for the year, the dividend percentage and the payment status of Cash, Next or Subsequent.
Balance Sheet Errors
If the balance sheet for any monthly or annual period does not balance, the amount of the imbalance will be included in the row below the total equities & liabilities and displayed in red. The template has been designed in such a way that the balance sheet should always be in balance as long as the total of the balance sheet opening balances which are included on the Assumptions sheet is nil.
If you see an imbalance on the balance sheet, you therefore need to check the opening balance sheet balances on the Assumptions sheet and ensure that the total of all the opening balances in this section is nil.
If fixing the opening balances does not resolve your imbalance, you can e-mail our Support function and let us know what changes you have made to the formulas in the template so that we can assist you. If you have made a lot of changes, you may need to start over with the downloaded copy of the template.
Balance Sheet Workings
We have included all the calculations which form part of the calculation of balance sheet balances in the Workings section below the balance sheet ratios. These workings will not be printed and are for information purposes only. You can therefore hide this section if you do not want to see it on the sheet but do not delete any of these formulas because it will result in calculation errors if you do!
Cash Flow Statement
All the rows on the cash flow statement which require user input are indicated with yellow highlighting in column A. User input is only required in the monthly columns - the user input for the annual columns need to be included on the Assumptions sheet in the first balance sheet section. All the rows on the cash flow statement which do not contain yellow highlighting contain formulas which automate the calculations of these items.
The input rows on the cash flow statement are all related to balance sheet items where the calculations on the balance sheet are based on adding the movement on the cash flow statement to the previous month's balance on the balance sheet. If you need more guidance on any of these items, refer to the appropriate section for the particular item under the Balance Sheet section of these instructions.
Note: The colour of the codes in column A on the cash flow statement indicate whether positive or negative values need to be entered in order to increase the appropriate balance sheet item's balance. If the code is green, positive input values increase the balance sheet balance and if the code is red, you need to enter negative values in order to increase the balance sheet balances.
Loan Amortization Tables (Loans1 to Loans3 & Leases sheets)
The template makes provision for including loans with up to four different sets of repayment terms in the cash flow projections. The amortization tables that are used to calculate the interest charges, loan repayments and outstanding balances have been included on the Loans1, Loans2, Loans3 and Leases sheets. The only user input that is required on these sheets is the additional loan amounts in column C.
Note: Refer to the instructions in the income statement - interest paid section and the balance sheet - non-current liabilities section for guidance on how these amortization tables have been compiled and where to include user input for each of these amortization tables.
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A must for any startup founder! Useful resource to help one think about a financial plan without having to stress on the actual modelling in excel! Remi is also always happy to jump in and explain concepts/help.
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Free Startup Plan, Budget & Cost Templates
By Kate Eby | September 12, 2017
A business plan describes how a new business will meet its primary objectives over a given period of time. It is both a strategic document that can act as a roadmap and a tool for securing funding and communicating with stakeholders. For a startup business, planning is key to developing a thorough understanding of the target market, competition, market conditions, and financing opportunities.
Included on this page, you'll find a variety of helpful, free startup business planning templates , like a SWOT analysis template , a competitive analysis template , a business startup checklist template , and more.
Startup Business Planning Templates
Competitive analysis template - excel.
Download Competitive Analysis Template
Excel | Smartsheet
Analyze multiple competitors based on the categories you want to compare, and use the results to identify your top rivals. This template contains several sheets to provide a comprehensive look at how your startup stacks up to the competition, the strengths of each company, and potential partnerships or opportunities.
SWOT Analysis Template - Excel
Download SWOT Analysis Template
While researching your business plan, both risks and opportunities are likely to arise. This critical information gives you the chance to plan for how you will take advantage of or address them as needed. A SWOT analysis helps you identify and gain a clear understanding of internal strengths and weaknesses as well as external opportunities and threats. The results of the analysis will inform your business goals and strategies for reaching them. Once completed, you can add this SWOT template to a startup business plan or use it as a planning tool. If this template doesn’t have the details you require, you can find more of our free SWOT Analysis Templates .
Marketing Plan Template - Excel
Download Marketing Plan Template
Easily create a detailed marketing plan for different campaigns, including projected and actual costs. It also doubles as a marketing calendar template, showing a weekly, monthly, and quarterly breakdown of your timeline and initiatives. A marketing plan is typically part of a business plan, but you can use this dedicated template for developing a thorough plan and schedule.
Business Startup Checklist Template - Excel
Download Business Startup Checklist Template
This template offers a simple checklist to help you organize all of the tasks that need to be accomplished, from initial research and planning to establishing professional partnerships and acquiring necessary permits. Edit the list to include relevant actions for a particular business. This is an easy way to ensure that important items are not overlooked and prioritize steps.
Business Planning Schedule - Excel
Download Business Planning Schedule
This template allows you to create a schedule for tasks with a visual calendar for planning. This layout can help you organize your planning process and provide a timeline for reaching certain milestones. The template is structured around planning stages, allowing you to separate tasks hierarchically. To use this template for another planning process, simply edit the tasks included and add your dates to the schedule.
Target Market Comparison Template - Excel
Download Target Market Comparison Template - Excel
Utilize this worksheet to compare target markets in order to understand which are ideal for your product or service. Understanding your customers is vital not only for developing effective strategies, but also for showing investors that you’ve done the necessary research and understand how to reach potential customers.
Startup Business Plan Template - Word
Download Startup Business Plan Template
Word | Smartsheet
This template offers a traditional outline for creating a business plan document. You’ll find sections for an executive summary, company description, marketing plan, product and operational information, financial data, and room for appendices. You can refine the plan to suit different industries and business types. For example, if you want to create a technology startup business plan template, you will want to show how the startup will deal with rapidly changing markets, and provide product and market research that shows how your business will be on the cutting edge. You may also need to provide longer-term financial projections since high-tech startups often operate for an extended time without profits.
For additional resources, visit " Free Startup Business Plan Templates and Examples ."
One-page Business Plan Template - Word
Download One-page Business Plan Template
Excel | Word | PDF | Smartsheet
Create a streamlined business plan document on a single page with this Word template. A simplified plan can be helpful for summarizing information into a brief report. This format gives readers a quick overview of your startup business plan while emphasizing key points.
For additional resources, visit " One-Page Business Plan Templates with a Quick How-To Guide ."
Startup Financial Templates
Small-business budget template - excel.
Download Small-Business Budget Template
This basic budget is ideal for small businesses that want an easy, blank template to customize. To create a business budget, include both fixed and variable expenses along with revenue and funding sources. Use this template to track expenditures and revenue, maintain a balanced budget, and to help grow your business.
Sales Forecast Template - Excel
Download Sales Forecast Template
With this template, you get a 12-month sales forecast as well as sales data from prior years. You can organize the spreadsheet based on product names, target customers, or other categories, and then enter forecasted monthly sales, including adjustments for seasonal changes or other factors that might impact sales. The template also calculates monthly and yearly totals.
Business Startup Costs Template - Excel
Download Business Startup Costs Template
Startup costs begin to accrue before operations begin, so it’s important to determine expenses early on to avoid being underfunded or overspending. This startup costs template shows a summary of both funding and expenses at the top, with itemized details below. You can use this worksheet to outline expenses, create a tentative budget, and compare actual costs as they accrue. Similar to a start up budget template, this version helps you focus on expenditures.
Startup Budget Template - Excel
Download Startup Budget Template
A startup budget is an important tool for identifying what financial resources are available, determining how much revenue is needed to meet business goals, and pinpointing areas where you can save money. A budget works as a planning tool as well as a method for tracking actual expenditures. As part of a business plan, it supports the process of pitching to investors and completing loan applications. This budget template is geared toward startup companies and includes a section for projected monthly costs.
Startup Financial Projections Template - Excel
Download Startup Financial Projections Template
Similar to a pro forma template for startups, this version includes a 12-month profit and loss projection, a balance sheet, and a cash flow statement. Use the template to analyze the current financial standing and run a future forecast for a business. The spreadsheet includes pre-populated fields with expenses and income sources, which you can easily edit to accommodate your business.
Personal Financial Statement - Excel
Download Personal Financial Statement
Some lenders may require a personal financial statement in addition to relevant business data. This template lists assets and liabilities in order to calculate net worth. You’ll also find space for adding a signature so you can certify that the information is correct.
Balance Sheet Template - Excel
Download Balance Sheet Template
This template can be modified to either show an opening day balance for a startup or to create a projected balance sheet. Choose a given time period, enter your numbers for assets, liabilities, and equity, and the template will provide automatic calculations.
First-Year Budget Calculator - Excel
Download First-Year Budget Calculator
Combining business and personal budget information into a single template can be useful for small business owners who are just getting started. This template focuses on first-year budget calculations including startup costs, operating expenses, estimated income, personal expenses, and more. You can identify fixed and recurring costs for a full view of expenses for the first year.
12-Month Cash Flow Forecast - Excel
Download 12-Month Cash Flow Forecast
This template shows all 12 months of the year for a monthly and annual cash flow forecast. In addition to creating a forecast, you can compare actual cash flow totals for each month. The template is divided into categories for cash on-hand, cash receipts, and cash paid-out, with an alternating color scheme for easy viewing.
Annual Business Budget Template - Excel
Download Annual Business Budget Template
As a startup becomes established, this template can be used to create a budget showing totals on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis. You can create a projected 12-month budget as well as compare financial data to the previous year’s performance. The template provides detailed income and expense categories for thorough planning and tracking.
Financial Dashboard Template - Excel
Download Financial Dashboard Template - Excel
Create a visual financial report with this dashboard template, which tracks statistics over time using graphs and charts. Compare sales rep performance, product revenue, regional data, or other financial KPIs. A graphical report provides a quick overview of financial information in a format that is easy to understand and share with stakeholders.
Marketing Budget Plan - Excel
Download Marketing Budget Plan
Create a dedicated marketing budget with results displayed in both a spreadsheet format and pie chart. Calculate costs for various marketing campaigns in order to view fund allocation. The template includes space for comments and notes to aid in strategic business planning.
Website Budget Template - Excel
Download Website Budget Template
This startup website template provides sections for calculating initial development costs as well as creating a projected budget over three years. View a list of costs and benefits to see how the website will impact the business over time. This template can help you determine the value of your website investment and track actual annual performance.
Loan Amortization Schedule - Excel
Download Loan Amortization Schedule
Keep track of a loan balance, payments made, upcoming amounts due, and interest paid with this loan amortization template. Enter lender information and loan terms at the top of the template, and then use the schedule to track payment details. Startups owners will appreciate how easy it is to manage business loans and create repayment plans.
Why Write a Startup Business Plan?
The benefits of writing a startup business plan range from clarifying initial ideas to attracting potential investors. The process of business planning can help uncover weaknesses as well as opportunities you may have overlooked. Planning encourages entrepreneurs to examine each step required to start a business in order to avoid mistakes in the long run. Collecting data through market analysis can allow you to confidently make informed decisions and provide a dose of reality to your business idea by affirming or challenging initial assumptions about your product, business model, or strategies for achieving success. Once you clarify your startup vision, analyze financial and market data, and define goals, you can create a strategic action plan to use as a guide for reaching objectives and addressing potential challenges.
After establishing a startup, continue business planning to identify ways to grow and improve the business as well as to plan for resource use and development. If you treat your business plan as a living document that you regularly review and update, you can also use it to measure progress over time. An effective plan communicates a company’s vision to team members and all stakeholders, and provides both a foundation and an adaptable model that can grow and change along with the business.
One key reason for startups to develop sound business plans is to convince investors and lenders to finance the endeavor. Most banks and investors will want to see detailed financial projections and a statement of your current personal and business financial standing. Investors may want to see market data and other proof that your plan has a high chance for success. Without adequate financing, no startup can succeed, so it’s essential to create an ironclad pitch for funders.
What to Include in a Business Plan
Business plans are tailored to fit a specific type of business and to serve a particular purpose, whether it’s to seek funding, influence a particular audience, or develop strategy for internal use. While you’ll need to continually revise plans need to fulfill a certain function, there are similar elements in all business plans. Here are some of the common sections included in a startup business plan:
- Summary and Objectives: This first section can provide background information, a detailed company description, general industry information, goals that you want to achieve, and long-term objectives. Depending on the size and type of business, this information may be divided into multiple sections or summarized in one pitch.
- Marketing Plan: Providing market data and an outline for how you will market and sell products and services allows you to show a deep understanding of your target audience and your plans for branding and distribution. Be sure to conduct thorough research that you can use to back up your plans with supporting numbers and statistics. You may also include separate, detailed sections on competition, customer characteristics, product features, sales forecasts, and marketing strategy.
- Operational Plan: This section is concerned with the equipment, processes, and people involved in daily operations. You may want to include details on location requirements, production methods, legal issues (such as licenses or insurance requirements), staffing information, vendor needs, and other operational elements.
- Management and Organization: A description of management positions and professional advisors provides an organized look at key roles, the experience individuals bring to the business, and important consultants or mentors. You can also include resumes for key employees and startup owners if the business plan is supporting a loan application or investor pitch.
- Startup Expenses and Financial Plan: Estimate expenses as accurately as possible and include contingencies for unforeseen costs. Creating estimates requires thorough research, and expenses should include even small items - while they are easy to overlook, they may add up to significant costs. A comprehensive financial plan can include profit and loss projections and other budget forecasts in order to provide a clear picture of a startup’s financial standing and future outlook.
A business plan will, of course, look different for a restaurant, web-based business, technology service provider, or product manufacturer. Before getting started, consider what you want to accomplish with your business plan, and customize it accordingly.
Business Plan Tips
Taking the time for thorough research and planning can help you make informed decisions, avoid potential pitfalls, and craft an effective plan. Here are a few tips to consider as you create a business plan:
- Get Creative: Business plans can follow a simple outline, but turning your plan into a creative presentation can make a statement and grab investors’ attention.
- Use Data Wisely: No matter what format or approach you take, a startup business plan should be concise and include compelling evidence and hard data to back up your claims.
- Refine Your Plan: Consider your audience and review your plan to ensure the information presented is appropriate, sufficient, and clear.
- Focus on Objectives: Connect every strategy to core objectives so that there is a clear path for attaining success.
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How do you make a business plan for your startup? A business plan template, or company proforma, plots out the trajectory of your business based on its current restraints in order to map its projected future backed up by hard data. Below, we share how to use our Business Plan financial template (available in Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets) to save you hours of work as you launch your next venture.
Why do you need a business plan?
Mike Tyson once said, "everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth." Business plans are especially important for companies that want to raise money or grow quickly. They help you project your future revenues and profits given a few critical assumptions. Your assumptions need to be real; otherwise, you'll be punched in the mouth when you launch and the market dictates that they were off.
Our Business Plan template allows you to project your company's revenues across multiple subscriptions or services, as well as multiple products. The template has tons of charts and diagrams to visualize your profits, capital expenditures or CAPEX, employee salaries, company expenses, and so on.
For subscriptions, we track the lifetime value, cost of acquisition, and lifetime period of your subscribers, as well as other subscription-focused metrics. For products our model allows you to take into account returns, marketplace fees, and other typical product-related expenses.
To learn the step-by-step process of how to put together your own business plan to project your future profits, you can watch the explainer video above. Below, we dive into the spreadsheet model of the business plan template and how its core functionality works so you can easily create your own business plan.
To begin using this business plan template, enter your company name and start year in the information tab. Anything in blue is a number needed to input. The validator checkbox can be checked once you are sure the data entered is absolutely correct. The static inputs are those that don't change over time. The dynamic inputs, like inflation rate, credit card fees, and rent increase rate are those that will likely change over time.
You can enter a default value in the first column or customize these numbers to anything you want later in the table. Everything is added together in the "Summary" tab to determine the net income for your business. This data is then visualized in the "Charts" tab to present your business plan to investors, partners, and potential customers with the expected trajectory of your company to demonstrate the value of your proposed subscription services, products, or other tangible services your business could provide.
Calculate subscription revenue
At the top of any "Subscription" tab, you can enter the name of your potential service. If you plan to sell your service in a marketplace like an app store, you can enter the marketplace fee, commissions to salespeople, or the percentage of transactions that are credit card-based. For example, if you sell on Amazon, 100% of your sales are credit card-based. All of the subscription tabs ("Subscription A", "Subscription B") are identical but provide you with the opportunity to separate subscriptions separately, so they don't become comingled. These are all presented in the "Summary" tab to see how many new and active subscribers you have for each separate subscription.
LTQ and LTV of subscribers
When a user subscribes to your service, they subscribe for a number of quarters. This is called the Lifetime Quarter (LTQ) of the member. In this model, the subscriber is expected to pay the subscription fee for four quarters. At the end of the four quarters, we expect to pay a total lifetime value (LTV) of $300. In order to change the number of new subscribers that come in during a given quarter, you can edit the quarters at the top of the row. When this is done, the number will be bolded and in blue. This is so you know the number is different from the default you entered at the beginning.
With our business plan amortization model, you can enter the new number of subscribers you expect each quarter, and we calculate the number of active subscribers that will remain on your platform. The number of active subscribers plateaus over time. This is because as new members join, other members cancel or churn. This makes your active subscribers flatten out. The amortization calculation is hidden, but you can see the numbers crunched with the drop-down to expand the rows. This amortization is the main difference between a product business plan and a subscriber business plan.
The business plan also lists all of the expenses that are most commonly associated with a subscription which you can edit and customize. A subscriber has two types of expenses: expenses related to when they join, such as advertising and marketing spend needed to gain each new subscriber. There are also expenses related to active subscribers, like support or operational expenses. You can also add expenses to fit your needs.
Subscription services come with upfront capital investments to develop the software. These can be added down in the "Other" section. If you expect to create a new version of your software five years down the line, make sure to add it to the timeline based on the year and quarter where you expect to begin development of the next service. At the bottom of the tab is the Yearly Summary of all the financial metrics listed above that summarizes the total gross revenue and total product expenses for the total operating income for every year.
Present to investors
In the Summary tab, the business plan template presents all the numbers for all the subscription services and products the company offers. The business plan model calculates everything from profits to net income to contribution to CAPEX. It mixes subscriptions with products along with companywide expenses expected to experience over time.
Visualize data with charts
After you enter all the data for your company in the information tab, product and subscription tabs, and Summary tabs, you will get all the different visualizations we created to summarize the performance of your company to investors and partners. For example, we visualized the revenues and expenses of all subscription services over ten years on a quarterly model. Further down, we do the same thing for all of your products. Our business plan template allows you to separate multiple products and multiple subscriptions into one simple business plan. Plus, we have also modularized the data to easily pull the information you want to generate your own charts.
Breakeven point and IRR
In the Summary tab, you can also track contributions towards CAPEX to see how, across time, you'll pay off your original capital expenditure to bring your company to reality. This is all represented at the bottom to learn in what year, and in what quarter, is your breakeven point. This breakeven point helps determine how many quarters it will take to get back all your investments and earn true profits. The IRR at the bottom then helps determine if this will be a profitable venture or not.
Calculate product revenue
In addition to subscriptions, you can also calculate the future revenues of a product you want to sell as part of your business plan. At the top of the "Product" tab, enter the name of your product, marketplace fee and sales commissions, and the number of credit card transactions (same as for the subscription fee). Unique to a product as opposed to a subscription is that products have inventory fees, resale prices, and a cost to process a return. To project your future revenues, you can change the product price for any upcoming quarter going forward. You can also update the number of products sold each quarter over the next ten years.
Account for inflation and operational expenses
Our model adds inflation to each expense of the product or subscription. So for a single unit of a product, each sub-part cost is listed. This could be an ingredient list, like if you were selling a shampoo product. These costs are increased over time with the inflation tool for the most accurate measurement of future revenues and expenses. To turn off inflation, go to the information tab to increase or decrease the rate of inflation you expect.
You can also enter operational costs, like the processing, packaging, and shipping costs for each individual product, as well as marketing and advertising expenses for a single unit. All of these expenses are added up, along with the expected rate of returns, to generate your expected operating income. This is how much Product A will generate every quarter for the next 10 years.
Before you sell the product, there are also CAPEX expenses to account for. For example, you need to create the product with a product model, build relationships with suppliers, create the brand and packaging design, etc. All these capital expenditures are included in the CAPEX section, and everything is calculated for the year at the bottom in the Yearly Summary, and each product is calculated separately in the Summary tab.
The "Expenses" tab of the business plan sheet calculates the total salary and bonus costs of every employee you'll need for your business. This is added to the company overhead, which includes transportation, office, and external expenses that are added to the CAPEX expenses needed to create the company for the overall overhead expenses.
Your company will need to hire multiple kinds of employees - marketers, designers, engineers, etc. To calculate how many companies will work at your company for the next ten years, you can count how many of each role you want to hire or fire every quarter for the next 10 years. Like other tabs, custom inputs become highlighted in blue once they are changed.
Per head, per role expenses
For each individual employee you plan to hire, you can enter their salary, bonuses, and cost of equipment for this employee to carry out their tasks. Once entered, our model does the math to calculate payroll taxes and everything else. The total workday expense for each employee can also be calculated. This includes the daily or weekly expenses provided to employees, like in-office food, drinks, and health supplies, as well as monthly amenities like healthcare, parking, and gym memberships. These are then calculated and listed below.
The same is calculated for any expense unrelated to employees, like office and rent expenses. Multiple offices can be listed along with per-year expenses like events and transportation or external expenses like PR, accounting, and legal fees for similar services, which are all calculated at the bottom for the total company overhead. The overall company expenses are added along with the company CAPEX at the bottom to account for everything needed to build the company. Similar to the subscription and product tabs, it can account for future expenses as well.
Why do you need a business plan template?
A business plan outlines your financial goals and explains how you plan to achieve them to share with investors, partners, or creditors. A well-constructed plan should cover all the key details about your business's goals, products or services, and most importantly, finances. A business plan template in Word isn't enough. You need strong calculations to back up your assumptions with a roadmap for the first three to five years at a minimum. Our proforma Business Plan template provides the analysis you need to prove your potential revenues outweigh your potential expenses to create a financially secure business for the foreseeable future.
To learn more about how to create your own business plan for a billion-dollar business, check out our explainer video on what additional elements need to go into your business plan (besides financial projections from a business plan proforma) to bootstrap a billion-dollar idea into reality.
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Free Business Plan Template
One of the reasons that so many small businesses fail is that they don't do the necessary up front work to create an accurate and realistic business plan. Creating a business plan doesn't guarantee success, but the process of writing a plan is critical for any successful new business. It isn't our goal to try to tell you everything you need to know about creating a business plan. Instead, our goal is to make the process easier by providing a professionally designed business plan template that you can edit easily using Word and Excel .
Business Plan Template
Create a Business Plan using RocketLawyer.com
License : Private Use (not for distribution or resale)
Authors : Jon Wittwer and Jim Wittwer
Update (7/22/2016) : We've added a basic break-even analysis worksheet to the companion Excel workbook.
This template provides a business plan outline with sample questions, tables, and a working table of contents. It was created for newer versions of Word and Excel (Office 2007 or later) so that you can easily change the fonts and color scheme and the file will be compatible with the mobile and web-based Word & Excel apps.
It is best to use Excel for financial statements, data tables and charts. So, we have provided a companion Excel workbook with these sample financial statements and other tables and graphs that you can copy and paste into your Word document.
The companion workbook combines many of the different spreadsheets you can find on Vertex42.com, but customized specifically for inclusion in a business plan.
Using the Business Plan Template
Editing headings and table of contents.
Word allows you to assign format Styles to text and paragraphs, and we've designed the template to use these Styles for defining headings, sub-headings, and figure captions.
If you want to add a new section so that the Table of Contents updates correctly, just add a new heading in the body of the document and assign it the Heading 1 or Heading 2 style.
To update the Table of Contents, go to the References tab and within the Table of Contents group of buttons, click on Update Table and then "Update entire table."
Copy/Paste From Excel to Word
For simple tables, you can use Copy/Paste (Ctrl+c / Ctrl+v) to copy a table from Excel to Word. This will typically paste the data as a formatted and editable table in Word, though none of the formulas will be functional within Word (and the table will not be linked to Excel). If you don't want the table to be editable in Word, you can "Paste as a Picture" using Paste Special or by choosing the "Picture" option when you right-click in Word to paste the table.
Important : When you paste a chart object into your business plan, make sure to "Paste as a Picture" because pasting the chart as an embedded object means that the entire spreadsheet becomes embedded in your Word document (even though what you see is only the chart).
If you want to insert a table into Word as a "Linked Object" so that when you edit Excel, the table in Word will update automatically, you may have a more difficult time preserving the formatting of the original. However, at the least the entire spreadsheet won't be embedded within your business plan Word document.
More Related Templates
Resources for Writing a Business Plan
- Write Your Business Plan at SBA.gov - Anybody starting a business should become familiar with the SBA (small business association). SBA.gov also has an online tool for creating a business plan .
- YouTube: How to Write a Business Plan - Business Wales (3 minutes) - This video offers a quick overview and tips for the essential parts of a business plan.
- YouTube: How to Write a Business Plan - Berkeley-Haas (71 minutes) - This presentation offers both the venture capitalist and entrepreneur perspective on how to write a business plan that can successfully attract funding.
- Write Your Business Plan at Entrepreneur.com - A book written by the staff of a company that should know what they are talking about.
- Sample Business Plans at bplans.com - Finding a business plan for similar businesses in your industry is a great way to get ideas for what to include in your plan. This site is a great resource for not only finding sample plans, but also for creating a business plan online using their step-by-step approach.
Other Free Business Plan Templates
- Business Planning Template Gallery at SCORE.org - This nonprofit organization (supported by the SBA) has provided expertise and free mentorship for millions of small business owners. They also have a useful collection of templates.
- Develop Your Business Plan at business.gov.au - This Australian Government site provides a really good business plan template for Word, including a detailed guide, questions to answer, and sample financial statements.
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5-Year Financial Plan Template
Whether you are already running a business, or making plans to start one up, financial planning is a vital part of ensuring your success. Not knowing your expected income and expenditure will make it difficult to plan, and hard to find investors.
This 5-Year Financial Plan spreadsheet will make it easy for you to calculate profit and loss, view your balance sheet and cash flow projections, as well as calculate any loan payments you may have. Whilst the wording on this spreadsheet is focussed around products, it can just as easily be used for businesses who largely provide services to their customers.
5-Year Financial Plan Projection
How to use Financial Plan
Use the Model Inputs sheet to enter information about your business that will be used to model results seen on the other pages.
The forecasted revenue section allows you to estimate your revenue for 4 different products. Simply use the white boxes to enter the number of units you expect to sell, and the price you expect to sell them for, and the spreadsheet will calculate the total revenue for each product for the year. If you want to give your products names, simply type over the words "Product 1", "Product 2" etc. and these names will be carried through to the rest of the spreadsheet.
Cost of Goods Sold
Your margins are unlikely to be the same on all of your products, so the cost of goods sold allows you to enter your expected gross margin for each product into the white boxes in Column B. The spreadsheet will automatically calculate the annual cost of goods sold based on this information, along with your forecasted revenue.
Annual Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul
As the cost of annual maintenance, repair and overhaul is likely to increase each year, you will need to enter a percentage factor on your capital equipment in the white box in Column B. This will be used to calculate your operating expenses in the profit and loss sheet.
Use the white box to enter the number of years you expect your assets to depreciate over. This may vary greatly from business to business, as assets in some sectors depreciate much more quickly than they do in others.
In most parts of the world, you will have to pay income on your earnings. Enter the annual tax rate that applies to your circumstances in the white box in Column B. If you have to pay any other taxes, these can be entered later on the Profit and Loss sheet.
Although you cannot be certain of the level of inflation, you will still need to try and plan for it when coming up with a 5-year financial plan. The International Monetary Fund provide forecasts for a number of countries, so is a good place to look if you are unsure what to enter here. Simply enter your inflation rate in the white box.
Product Price Increase
As a consumer, you are no doubt aware that the price of products goes up over time. Enter a number in the white box to show the expected annual price increase of your products to enable the spreadsheet to calculate income in future years. If you are unsure what to put here, increasing your product price in line with inflation is a good starting point. If your business is just starting out, you may be able to command higher prices for your products or services as the years go on, as you build up brand recognition and a good reputation.
The funding section allows you to enter information about your business loan. To use this section, simply fill in the three white boxes representing the amount of the loan, the annual interest rate and the term of the loan in months - for example, 12 for 1 year, 24 for 2 years, 36 for 3 years, 48 for 4 years, or 60 for a 5 year loan.
Profit and loss
This sheet calculates your profit and loss for each year over a 5 year period. The profit and loss assumptions, along with income, are automatically calculated using information entered in the model inputs sheet.
You may have, or be expecting some income in addition to your operating income. These can be entered manually in the white cells in Column B for Year 1, Column C for Year 2 and so on. There are pre-entered categories for rental, lost income and loss (or gain) on the sale of assets, as well as an additional row where you can enter your own non-operation income.
Some parts of this are already filled in based on information you put on the Model Inputs, for example, depreciation, maintenance and interest on long-term debt. Years 2-5 are also filled in for you across all categories based on the inflation information entered in the Model Inputs sheet. You therefore only need to enter your Sales and Marketing, Insurance, Payroll and Payroll Tax, Property Taxes, Utilities, Administration Fees and any Other Expenses into the white cells in Column B for Year 1.
This section is for entering any expenses that you will not be paying on an annual basis. The Unexpected Expenses row allows you to enter a contingency for unexpected expenses, whilst the Other Expenses row allows you to enter any other one off expenses you may be expecting to make, for example the purchase of new equipment part way into your 5 year plan.
Income Tax is filled in based on the information you enter into the model inputs. Depending on where your business is based, you may find yourself having to pay other taxes. These can be entered in the Other Tax row. You can rename this row by typing over the "Other Tax (specify)" text.
The annual balances for Years 1-5 are, in most cases, filled in for you, based on the information you have entered on the Model Inputs sheet and in the Initial Balance column of the Balance Sheet column itself. This makes it very easy to use.
This is where you can enter the value of any of your current assets, with spaces to enter information about Cash and Short-term Investments, Accounts Receivable, Inventory, Prepaid Expenses and Deferred Income Tax. At the bottom of this section is a space for you to enter any other current assets you may have that do not fall into any of these categories.
Property and Equipment
Depending on the nature of your business, you may have assets such as Buildings, Land, Capital Improvements and Machinery. Enter the value of these assets into Column B, and these values will be copied over to each of the 5 years of the plan. The depreciation information entered into the Model Inputs sheet will be used to calculate the depreciation expenses, which allows a total for property and equipment to be calculated automatically.
This section is for entering information on any assets that don't fit in the other sections. These could be Goodwill Payments, Deferred Income Tax, Long-term Investments, Deposits, or any Other long-term assets. Enter the information into Column B, and it will be carried across to the yearly columns automatically.
As well as assets, your business is likely to have liabilities. There are spaces to enter Accounts Payable, Accrued Expenses, Notes Payable and Short-term Debt, Capital Leases and Other current liabilities. Just leave blank any rows where you do not have any liabilities, and the totals will be calculated for you.
Your long-term debt/loan information will have already been entered in the Model Inputs sheet, so the only thing to do here is to enter any other long-term debt. Unlike much of the rest of the Balance Sheet, you can manually enter different amounts for each year, as you may, for example, be expecting to take on another loan to purchase some new equipment in Year 3 as your business expands.
Use this section to enter any liabilities not covered by the pre-defined labels. You can amend the text in Column A, in order to specify the liabilities, and then enter the cost of these liabilities in Column B.
Your business is likely to have some equity, and this can be entered into this section. You can fill out the Owner's Equity, Paid-in Capital and Preferred Equity in Column B. Your retained earnings are automatically calculated based on the Profit and Loss sheet.
Much of the information on the cash flow sheet is based on calculations in the Balance Sheet. It is important to plan your cash flow carefully, so that you know what funds you will have available to buy new stock and equipment.
Much of this section is automatically filled in based on your balance sheet. There are only three rows to fill out, which are Amortization, Other Liabilities and Other Operating Cash Flow. You only need to fill out the white boxes in Column B for Year 1, as these values will automatically be carried over into subsequent years for you.
Your capital expenditures and sale of fixed assets will be automatically populated if you have filled out the relevant sections of the Balance Sheet. They will be blank if they do not apply. As investing activities can vary year on year, you will need to fill out any investment activities for each of the 5 years in the appropriate columns for Acquisition of Business, and any Other Investing Cash Flow items.
The long-term debt/financing row will be pre-filled based on the loan information previously entered. Use Column B to fill out your Preferred Stock, Total Cash Dividends Paid, Common Stock and Other Financing Cash Flow items for Year 1. This information will automatically carried over to Years 2-5.
Loan Payment Calculator
There is nothing to enter on this sheet, as it is for information only. Whether or not you already have a loan, or are using this spreadsheet as a part of a business plan to help you obtain one, it allows you to easily see how much you will be paying each month, showing how much you are paying off your loan, and how much you are paying in interest. This will allow you to get an idea of whether or not you can afford to borrow a bit extra, if you feel it would allow you to push your business into higher places, or whether you need to shop around for a better interest rate or adjust the loan term in order to afford the loan payments.
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Importance of a Well-Formulated Business Financial Plan
- Having a business financial plan at hand can help your organization determine and focus on your financial goals may they be short-term or long-term. Being able to identify your objectives and goals can help you to balance and look into all the elements and factors that can affect your financial growth as a business. You may also see annual plans .
- Creating a business financial plan can promote communication between different business departments. This can ensure the management that all the stakeholders who are involved in the implementation of the business financial plan are fully aware of their tasks and obligations. Through this, ownership of responsibilities can be established.
- Developing a business financial plan can help you better manage your corporate finances. Some companies are not that sure where to start when it comes to financial planning. Having a business financial plan can help you have an easier time when dealing with the factors and elements that are needed to be put together so you can come up with strategies and tactics aligned with your financial vision and ability to execute call to actions. You may also see event budget examples .
- Making a business financial plan can give your business an idea about the expertise and skills that you need to look for when executing your financial plan. However, you have to remember that working with experts should not start in the processes of implementation as you need professional opinion and guidance from the very beginning of your financial planning undertaking. You may also see advertising plans .
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Steps in Making a Business Financial Plan
- Create a team of professionals that can help you make a business financial plan appropriately. It is important for you to work with people who can add value to the planning processes of your finances. List down all the deliverable that are needed for the financial planning of your business so you can identify the people who are fit for the job.
- Identify your corporate goals. The objectives of your business financial plan must be aligned with the things that you also would like to achieve as a business entity. Ensure that the vision of your business can be reflected in your business financial plan so that the successes of the document and its implementation can benefit the entire organization. You may also see company plan examples .
- Assess the current financial condition of your business. This can help you identify the financial processes and decisions that can either positively or negatively impact your business. This will allow you to retain the activities that work to your advantage and remove the processes that can only ruin the financial sustainability of the business. You may also see strategic plan examples .
- List down your strengths so you can resort to them whenever needed. More so, present all the weak spots of your financial condition so you can work on them. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses can help your business financial plan to discuss the opportunities that you can take and the threats that you need to look into and prepare for. You may also see network marketing business plan examples .
- Put together all the business financial plans that you would like to realize based on your goals and objectives. Focus on the concerns that you would like to address and the plan of actions that you want to execute for the betterment of the business. Create call to actions that can be achieved with the help of your workforce and other stakeholders. You may also see business plan executive summary examples .
- Develop an immediate plan that will allow you to know how you can budget or use your finances. You can create a short-term, medium-term, and long-term plan depending on the attainability level of your vision and the realistic implementation of your desired actions.
- Review the entire business financial plan and incorporate adjustments or any other changes when necessary. Develop and update the document as you progress in your business financial planning and action plan implementation so you can maintain its relevance. You may also see business plan outline examples .
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Do You Really Need a Business Financial Plan?
- A business financial plan can allow you to list down all the realistic and measurable call to actions that your business can follow. Developing a document that can make it easier for you to implement the things that are necessary for the achievement of your financial goals can positively impact your business and the way it functions as a corporate entity. You may also see importance of business plan examples .
- A business financial plan can make you become more aware of the current financial status of your business and the analysis of your current condition as a corporate entity in terms of your finances. Moreover, it can give you an idea on where your money is going and whether you are efficient enough when it comes to allocating, using, and saving your financial resources. Understanding the flow of money within your business can make it more efficient for you to think of ways on how you can maximize the amount that you spend for particular undertakings. You may also see bar business plan examples .
- A business financial plan showcases the direction that you can follow so you can take care of your financial future. It is crucial for you to have a document that can serve as your guide whenever you execute action steps involving the finances of your business. Mapping your financial plan can make your business operations become more sustainable which in turn can allow you to better your professional relationships with your stakeholders. You may also see market analysis business plan examples .
- A business financial plan can teach you what you should know about financial analysis for small business plans and even for bigger-scale business planning documents. With the presence of this document, you can make sure that there is a proper assessment of your financial actions, strategies, tactics, and plans. This can help you execute necessary adjustments so that you can potentially reach your goals and objectives as well as realize your financial vision for the organization.
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Tips in Making a Business Financial Plan
- Establish a goal and a purpose. Your business financial plan should be guided by a vision so you can make sure that you will develop a relevant and measurable plan for your organization. It is important for you to be aware of what you would like to achieve so you can be focused with the things that you need to prioritize. You may also see hotel operational business plan examples .
- Just like when creating a financial consulting business plan , you need to give importance to the clarity of your discussion within a business financial plan. Create an understandable and organized document that contains an in-depth discussion of your financial condition, goals, and plans.
- Be aware of the factors that can affect the effective usage of your business financial plan as well as the elements that are needed to be present and at hand so that your business can achieve its organizational and financial objectives. You have to study the different areas of the business and the trends that are present in various financial reports so you can thoroughly identify how particular activities impact your profitability and financial sustainability. You may also see implementation plan examples .
- Properly set the timeline of your business financial plan. For your goals to be attainable, you need to ensure that the time frame that you will follow is feasible. Knowing the time duration for each plan of action as well as the dates where milestones must be achieved and/or results are expected to show up can help you assess the success of your business financial plan accordingly. You may also see risk plan examples .
- Remember that business financial planning is a continuous process. You have to ensure that you will not just look into the output that you would like to have. You need to work in all the phases or areas of your business’s financial planning processes so you can ensure that you can come up with a useful document. You may also see bookkeeping business plan examples .
- Identify the financial barriers and hindrances for growth that the business is currently facing. In this way, you can also list down different activities and programs that can help you be prepared when facing risks and threats. Knowing the things that stop your business from growing financially can also make it easier for you to implement counteractions in a timely manner. You may also see lawn care business plan examples .
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Financial Business Plan Template
Excel financial business plan template for financial analysis.
Finance Business Plan Templates
Financial Budget Planning is Important Before Starting a Small Business, a Construction Project, a Startup Restaurant Business, or a Marketing Campaign. That's Why We Offer Our Finance Business Plan Templates on Template.net! They Can Help You Formulate a Financial Strategy to Raise Capital. You Can Download Our Examples for Free!
Get Access to All Finance Business Plan Templates
With money serving as the lifeblood of any company, be it a large and established corporation or an up and coming startup business, it pays to have documents pertaining to financial planning. If you are in the market for a high-quality finance business plan , then we got just what you need. Our exclusive selection not only consists of easily editable and printable templates, but each one is also available in a multitude of file formats such as Google Docs , Microsoft Word , and Apple Pages . We guarantee your absolute satisfaction, so act quickly and buy our subscription plan today!
What Is a Finance Business Plan?
A financial business plan is among the most important legal documents that a business can ever come up with. This is something that includes the company’s overall budget, both the present and projected financing, the market analysis , and the marketing strategy approach. Not only is this something that business owners use to guide themselves through their own financial journey, but it can also be useful in luring in potential investors and partners. The document will specify all of the financial strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the business in ways that are intended to be as accurate as possible. For that reason, among several others, the creation process of this type of plan is considered with the utmost significance.
How to Create a Finance Business Plan
For you to come up with a well-prepared finance business plan, you need to do a lot of research. After all, it isn’t that simple to suddenly have a plan in hand, but at the same time it doesn’t have to be too difficult either. Writing a finance business plan can, in fact, be made easier and faster provided that you have the necessary tools and knowledge. Below are step-by-step instructions that will ensure a smoother general experience for you. With that said, turn your attention towards the very first step:
1. Download the Template that is Most Appropriate for Your Needs
One tool that is guaranteed to make things easier for you would be a finance business plan template . By getting one, there’s no longer any need for you to worry about the overall structure of the document; all of it is already contained inside the template.
2. Review the Pre-existing Content
After downloading the sample plan template , browse through its pages to make sure that all of the necessary sections are included. If not, the customizability of the product will allow you to easily add anything that might be missing.
3. Implement the Necessary Edits and Changes to the Template
This is the step that involes you adding all of the specific data or information into your chosen template. All of the figures and sums need to be included so that your financial statements are one step closer to total completion.
4. Proofread Your Financial Business Plan
For the sake of your future business operations, it pays to re-read what you’ve just written so that you can make sure that everything is as accurate as it can be. Not only should you be on the lookout for typos, but also for any misinformation that could lead to potential financial disaster for you if left unchecked.
5. Decide whether to Print it or Send it Digitally
The last step will involve you making a choice between printing it out or keeping it digital. Those who need to present the financial business plan to investors or partners personally would be wise to print it all out, but an alternative exists where you can just send it to them via email.
Votre exemple gratuit de business plan financier
Votre business plan financier doit respecter certaines règles
Votre business plan financier doit s’étaler sur 3 ans. C'est la durée standard d'un business plan financier : 3 ans ou plutôt 36 mois, puisque vous devez présenter un prévisionnel financier Excel en base mensuelle (cela permet d'avoir une vue plus précise de vos finances). Vous pouvez également le faire sur 5 ans mais c'est généralement un peu trop long pour prévoir des prévisions financières. Votre business plan financier doit contenir un certain nombre de tableaux financiers. Non, votre business plan financier n'est pas qu'un bilan prévisionnel ou un budget prévisionnel . Il doit effectivement contenir ces deux tableaux. Cependant, il doit également contenir un compte de résultat prévisionnel et si possible un plan de financement , un détail des soldes intermédiaires de gestion, une analyse du seuil de rentabilité ainsi que quelques graphiques et ratios financiers. Votre business plan financier doit être standardisé. On ne construit pas des tableaux financiers au hasard : ces derniers doivent respecter une certaine nomenclature. Par exemple, votre budget de trésorerie doit être divisé entre les encaissements et les décaissements. Il doit également faire apparaître clairement les flux de trésorerie (mois par mois) et la balance de trésorerie. Tous les tableaux financiers contiennent certaines règles de présentation. À vous de les respecter. Un business plan financier, c'est un ensemble de tableaux financiers. On y retrouve généralement le bilan prévisionnel, le budget de trésorerie, le compte de résultat prévisionnel, le plan de financement, le détail des soldes intermédiaires de gestion, l'analyse du seuil de rentabilité, le détail du calcul du besoin en fonds de roulement (BFR), des graphiques et des ratios financiers !
Nos business plans financiers permettent de vérifier facilement si votre prévisionnel est solide et cohérent
Les hypothèses : le coeur de votre business plan financier
Utilisez un modèle pour réussir le business plan financier !
Soyez certain de comprendre votre business plan financier
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