Welcome to Qvinci's 2nd Generation Forecasting and Modeling Tool – The What If - Cashflow & Forecasting Optimizer
Qvinci has introduced an easy to use “What If” Predictive Business Intelligence Tool that allows users to create a virtually unlimited number of “What If” scenarios and forecasts to show the ongoing impact of COVID-19 or any other future crisis on their business’ income, expenses and cash positions over time. It enables our users to easily manipulate financials, immediately see the impact and make sound decisions from the results in near real time. It also helps franchisees, dioceses or business units, advisors and their clients to better predict if/when additional funding may be required, or if/which costs will need to be trimmed or cut well before the crisis impacts your bottom line. The new What If Tool pulls last month’s P&L and the total cash balance in the bank, then builds a 12-month forecast based on a default of continuing that kind of performance. Users will have the flexibility to change any line item(s) by month in the chart of accounts and the running income, expenses and cash balance will automatically show the impact.
Using your What If Forecast involves a simple 8-step process:
- Filter an Entity
- Open the What If Forecast Template
- Create a What If Forecast Model
- Program the What If Forecast Options Setup
- Edit the What If Forecast Model
- Save the What If Forecast Model
- Reopen the What If Forecast Model
- Monitor Actual vs What If
1. Filter an Entity
a. Log in to your account via web.qvinci.com
b. Click on ‘Reports & Libraries’ on the left navigation bar
c. Select ‘Libraries’ on the drop-down menu
d. Navigate to the top of the page and click ‘Filter Entities’
e. Filter to 1 entity and click the ‘Apply Filters’ button
2. Open the What If Forecast Template
a. Navigate to the ‘Qvinci Gallery’ tab
b. Search for ‘BI-What If - Cashflow & Forecasting Optimizer (N)'
c. Click on the button located to the right of the title
3. Create a What If Forecast Model
a. Click on the button located on the bottom left navigation bar
b. Enter the desired name to identify your new Model and click ‘Submit'
c. You are now in your new What If Model and ready for use to begin forecasting
Using What If Forecast
1. Program the What If Options Setup
a. Choose a Reference Period Range, then hit enter (there are 3 options to choose from)
(Option 1) Single - This option will use any specified months’ (within the last 2 years) financial data as a forecast starting point
(i) First What If Month – Choose the first month to forecast, then hit enter (be sure to use the following format: Apr 2020)
(ii) Beginning Reference Month – Choose the month of the desired year to set your baseline financial month, then hit enter (be sure to use the following format: Apr 2020)
(Option 2) Range - This option will use the average of the specified beginning and ending months’ (within the last 2 years) financial data as a forecast starting point
(i) First What If Month – Choose the first month to forecast, then hit enter
(ii) Beginning Reference Month – Choose the first month you want to average for a baseline, then hit enter (be sure to use the following format: Apr 2020)
(iii) Ending Reference Month – Choose the final month you want to average for a baseline, then hit enter (be sure to use the following format: Apr 2020)
(Option 3) Seasonal - This option will use the specified years’ (within the last 2 years) financial data as a forecast starting point
(i) First What If Month – This option will set the first month to forecast
(ii) Reference Season Year – Choose the desired year to set your baseline financial forecast, then hit enter (be sure to use the following format: 2020)
❗ Note: Seasonal What If columns are based on the same month in the year you select as baseline. For instance, if you use 2019 as a Reference Season Year: 'Jan 2020 What If', 'Feb 2020 What If', 'Mar 2020' What If translates to Jan 2019, Feb 2019, Mar 2019 accordingly.
2. Edit the What If Forecast Model
a. Change a % cell to affect a desired value in a month for an account
❗ Note: You MUST use the 'What If %' column to adjust your Forecast! Changing the What If Forecast any other way will not be retained.
(i) When using ‘Single’ What If cells are forecast based on repeating the Reference Period going forward. The % modifies the What If values only.
(ii) When using ‘Range’ What If cells are forecast based on repeating the average of the months selected and displayed in the Reference Period going forward. The % modifies the What If values only.
(iii) When using ‘Seasonal’ What If cells are based on the same month in selected Reference Season Year to start. The % modifies the What If values only.
b. Add Future projected transaction data in the ‘Other Accounts’ sections P&L
(i) Replace the 'Other Account Name' fields with the desired account (ex. PPP Loan, Owner Contribution, etc.)
(ii) Enter your projected value under the 'What If' columns
❗ Note: Unlike the sections above, values dollar values should be entered. Be sure to enter projected values under the 'What If' column ONLY! Doing it any other way will not be retained.
c. Monitor the ‘Running Cash Balance’ chart as changes are made
d. Save your What If Forecast adjustments by clicking on the button located on the bottom left navigation bar
⚠️Warning: Remember to SAVE OFTEN! Closing the page without saving will result in losing all changes made to your What If Model.
3. Monitor Actual vs What If
a. Once per month, check to make sure the Actual columns are within the levels defined in the What If columns
b. Make adjustments to the operation to ensure the business stays to the road map
❗ Note: Though you are able to Export to Excel, we recommend making all updates to your What If Model within the Qvinci service to maintain Forecast adjustments and to receive new Actual financial data at sync time.
How to Reopen Your What If Forecast Model
1. Select Entity
a. Click on ‘Reports & Libraries’ on the left navigation bar
b. Select ‘Libraries’ on the drop-down menu
c. Navigate to the top of the page and click ‘Filter Entities’
d. Select the entity used when the Model was originally created and click the ‘Apply Filters’ button
2. Use Model
a. Navigate to the ‘Qvinci Gallery’ tab
b. Search for ‘BI-What If - Cashflow & Forecasting Optimizer (N)'
c. Click the button located to the left of the title to show Model listing
d. Find your Model under the drop-down and click on ‘Use Model’
Best Practice Guidance - Important - MUST READ!
The Other Accounts section, near the bottom of the tool is where you may manually enter data not found in the P&L such as transfers, loan, or a cash infusion that is not in your accounting solution.
Use the solution on only one financial file at a time. While Qvinci will consolidate the What If Forecast across many entities, the true value of defining a “likely reality” can get lost in consolidated numbers.
So, please use a typical year when forecasting to get accurate data. Old or stale reference data is less relevant when forecasting the future. The best predictor is what has already been done when your business circumstances are roughly the same. For instance, comparing May 2020 to May 2019 for a seasonal business has its merits; however, the year 2020 is not a typical year (pandemic) and as a result will affect your accounts. Sales are not the same and costs and expenses are probably not the same. Wages will normally be different from year to year but in 2020 this is a true paradigm shift. Using May 2019 as a reference point can be an interesting exercise but April 2020 is a better predictor of May 2020 given the current environment.
Accountants Using Qvinci’s What If for Clients
Businesses are looking to define a likely reality and their accountant is the perfect resource to deliver those results. Generally, SMBs don’t have the tools or time to create forecasting solutions. Accountants usually have access to the client’s accounting files making them the “go to” resource for such a solution. Qvinci recommends the following approach as it has proved to be an easy and valid method for bringing client and firm together to solve for a “likely reality”.
1. Link and sync the client file to Qvinci
2. From the 'Qvinci Gallery' tab select the ‘BI-What If - Cashflow & Forecasting Optimizer (N)'
3. Click on the button located to the right of the title
4. Select the Reference Periods and Starting Months as defined above
5. Observe the Running Cash Balance chart and values
6. Export the template to Excel without modification
7. Email to the client instructing them to notice the cashflow trends and that you “should talk about these results and how you can positively impact them”
8. Make adjustments to the What If cells and discuss with the client
9. Monitor Actual vs What If columns going forward and adjust as necessary
SMBs all want security, improved results and a road map to follow. What If delivers all this through the accountant’s hands to their clients. Defining a viable road map and tracking activity and results ensures the plan will be achieved.
Franchises Using Qvinci’s What If for Franchisees
Franchisors, Zors, have a vested interest in the health and wellness of the franchisee, zees, network. The zee network is a highly disparate collection of accounting systems and people. How do you provide a forecasting tool that is the same across all zees with so many variables in the equation?
1. Link and sync all zee files to Qvinci
2. Edit the What If template in the Qvinci Gallery of reports
a. Connect with Qvinci’s Customer Success staff to make these changes quickly
b. Select the Reference Period that works best for your franchise concept
c. Make any branding or label changes desired
d. Save the template to the admin’s MINE folder in Qvinci
3. From the 'Qvinci Gallery' find ‘BI-What If - Cashflow & Forecasting Optimizer (N)' and click on the button
a. This places an executable copy for each and every zee’s login in their pinned tab
❗ Note: They must select entity used when the Model was originally created and click the ‘Apply Filters’ button.
4. Email the zee network with the content from this help desk article in starting to create a What If Forecast and the merits thereof
5. Zor consultants/advisors routinely check-in with the zee to monitor results and make adjustments
Qvinci has many franchises using What If ubiquitously for all zees with no more than an hour of effort. This provides a successful road map for 1000s of zees with 1 easy to customize and deploy solution.