Actual and Forecasted Transactions. In Colors.
About three weeks ago we announced some new features on our ThinkOut platform, to make cash flow management even easier to handle. One of the new functionalities was the distinction between realized and forecasted values, translated into colored numbers in the cash plan. So let us explain to you what stands behind those green and yellow numbers.
A clear glimpse…
First and foremost, we thought it would be quite helpful for our users to see clearly what transactions are yet to be made and which ones were already completed. This way they can focus easier on what needs to be done next while tracking in a glance what has been paid and cashed in.
Once the need to differentiate these numbers was clear, we just had to decide how to implement it in order to create a comfortable experience for the user. It didn’t take long to come out with the solution we thought would add value to the user experience: colors. Not just any colors, but bright, positive ones. So Adrian, our UX magician, went for turquoise to mark the actual income and bright yellow for realized expenses.
How to work with the colors?
First, you need to know that all the values that you enter are, by default, forecasted, thus appear in white. Once a transaction is operated, go to the cash plan and manually transform the forecasted value into realized by turning on the Did it happen? button in the transaction window.
This means that you need to actively and periodically track which transactions took place and mark them accordingly in your ThinkOut account. This shouldn’t require much effort, especially if you build a routine to regularly update the cash plan. The advantage is that every time you take a look, you get a real-time view of the business cash flow.
Actual versus Forecasted
Another important thing: when a value is marked as realized, you can still see in the transaction window the initially forecasted value. This allows you to compare the actual value to what you have anticipated. It is especially helpful to improve the accuracy of forecasting and to understand the reasons behind the differences.
Bottom line is that ThinkOut helps you to clearly notice which transactions are still “in waiting” and which ones are already made, so you can forget about them (almost). Why is it important? Because such a differentiation shifts the focus on planning ahead the operations while understanding where the business is currently standing cash flow wise.