Financial Planning & Analysis

If you need financial modeling, look no further.  We have 20 years of experience creating financial models. We’ve created everything from simple rental profit models to complex costing systems that change with prices, inflation, and volume.  We examine your data for cost drivers so that we can make your financial analysis more flexible and robust.

Feasibility Studies

Is your business model going to pencil out?  We take in to factors like time, money and other resources.  A common snafu is when the project requires a new large fixed asset.  At what level then do you need to keep running the company at?  What does it look like with a new revenue stream?  How does the overhead change if production doubles?

Did you know that new businesses might operate in the negative for at least the first six or more months?  Think this isn’t going to happen to you? Did you know that Amazon has yet to have a profitable year?  Learn what your cash burn rate is going to be and the sales numbers that you have to meet to be cash flow positive.

Five Year Financial and Profitability Model

This can be used to determine if your pricing model will be profitable, generate sufficient margin and double check what the tax consequences will be.  It takes intensive research to go from a nascent idea to a fully formed financial projection.  We’ve walked the this path many times.  We can ask the right questions, listen to the response and build out a financial model that accurately describes the business.

Five Year Projected Profit and Loss Sample Company

Zero Based Rolling Budgets

A valid complaint against traditional budgeting techniques is that a traditional budget where you take the prior year results, move it forward to the current year and average the cost out over a year.  If you got fancy you updated the payroll numbers.  Even old school accountants would question that process.  Why is the process fundamentally flawed?

One:  Accounting data can be an indicator of future performance.  But it’s ludicris to think it’s absolutely always going to be true.  Even IBM has had to pivot and change.

Two:  Timeliness. In a large company that is audited; the audit may not be complete until June or later.  Therefore the budget couldn’t even be calculated until half the year is over.

Three: Control.  Managers need to make decisions more than once a year.  This is a bit like buying a lifetime supply of diapers for a newborn.  You know that they are going to go through a large pile; but you have no way to predict when and where they will change diaper sizes or be potty trained.  Some of that information is much more clearer as they get older.  You will have historical results for which size/brand are preferred for them and will know when potty training is looming nearer.

Budgets are sometimes like that.  It’s clear there is a path/costs to finishing the project; however the exact cost, like r & d might be not be a precise number.  As you reach the project end; wouldn’t it make sense to update the budget?

Job Costing

Job costing is appropriate for specialty work, but there are a series of custom and unique jobs.  Each job or order receives a work number and there is are detailed completion requirements.  Examples would be auto repair, art framing, or personalized chef services.  Creating financial planning spreadsheets is also a great example.  Each spreadsheet is unique and hand crafted to fit a particular need.  However, each job from a long perspective is similar.  are notable for the sheer amount of information that needs to be tracked for each job.  Time needs to be tracked, material and other resources.  Profitability can be a challenge to calculate because they have higher warranty issues and have a longer sales cycle.  When was the last time that you had a car engine replaced in a day, for instance?

Product Costing

Product or manufacturing costs have a wide range of management accounting issues.  Since the products are standard and quickly manufactured, you think this would be simple.  Nope.  Average costing, standard costing, FIFO, LIFO, lean manufacturing, kan ban, and tons of other swanky inventory management terms.

Basically, how much does it cost to manufacture your product or deliver your service.


QuickBooks Setup to Capture Costs

There are some basic things that you can do to capture costs in QuickBooks.  It’s suitable for light manufacturing but not heavy manufacturing.  All the overhead needs to be manually applied.  Get the right app for the service.

Project Management

All projects need to be budgeted, tracked and have reports issued.  Whether you are remodeling the lunch room or building a new factory, it pays to accurately budget, get funding and then follow through with vendor payments.  Managing your unique project with it’s distinct end and beginning can be a challenge.  You will need to set some attainable goals, secure resources and make sure it stays on budget.

Rental Real Estate Spreadsheet

I have several different real estate rental expense and income trackers that are popular with customers.  Generally, they are good for people with less than 15 residential rentals.  The basic residential spreadsheet is for sale on, my other website.

Residential Rental Spreadsheets

E-RENT-002 10 Rentals Summary Spreadsheet

Payroll Projections and Compensation Analysis

Compare and contrast several different salary packages.  How will that effect your bottom line?  How much your monthly burden going to be.  How much is every department contributing to the payroll expense line item?  How much is vacation/sick or PTO time going to be a drag on earnings?  How are the bennies like health and life insurance going to cost the employee and the employer?  Pencil it out so that you can plan for the large essential payments.

E-Payroll-011 Employee Hours Summary

Interested?  Shoot us an email via the Contact form in the side bar.  We will be in contact with you to discuss the solutions to your financial planning and analysis problems.

What we will ask:

  • What is the project name/type?
  • Why is your present solution not effective or efficient?
  • What are your goals?
  • What are the project details?

Expect some time to be spent on cost drivers, efficiency rates and revenue streams.

We talk about some of our financial modeling projections on the blog.  Here are some links:

Blog on Cash Flow Forecast

What is Financial Modeling?


Laura Dodson
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Laura Dodson

Laura Dodson, CPA is a Seattle Financial Planning & Analysis consultant.She has attended Western Washington University, Pierce College and Bates Technical College. She has written four accounting instructional books. She has worked for small family businesses, mid-sized businesses and a Fortune 500 company.She founded and operated Blue Stone Accounting LLC for five years.She currently runs Paper Butterfly Forge LLC.
Laura Dodson
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