Financial Model

Your historical and forecasted P&L all in one place. Build assumptions, see performance vs. forecast, and plan ahead with more confidence

Fady Hawatmeh avatar
Written by Fady Hawatmeh
Updated over a week ago

For the Financial Model, this article covers the below areas:

  • Overview

  • View Options

  • Customizing Forecast / Assumptions

  • Organize Accounts

  • Adding Custom Rows

  • Transactions Report

  • Exporting Your Model

Overview

The Financial Model lets you review your historical and forecasted P&L, and get a better understanding of what's driving your finances, all in one place. Clockwork's AI analyzes your historical transactions to generate a baseline forecast, which you can explore and adjust on the fly, and because it syncs with your accounting system automatically, you'll always be up-to-date with the latest trends and results.

Modifying your view

You can modify your view by expanding row, changing your variance metrics, and the time periods.

1) Click the "^" or "v" in the total rows (Revenue, COGS, and Operating Expenses) and grouped accounts to expand the account-level detail in your model, so you can review the detail in your P&L, edit your Assumptions, and customize the account groupings .

2) Click on the "v" under "Variance" to select how you want to view your variance and select from the drop down:

3) Click on the "v" under "Columns" to select whether you want to see months, quarters, and/or year.

Customize Forecast / Assumptions

Your baseline forecast is ready to go as soon as you login for the first time, but you can also customize your forecast by creating your own assumptions to dial in the projections even further on each account. Custom assumptions can be added to any account, for any time frame in your forecast, and they will replace/override Clockwork's baseline prediction with your own forecasting rules.

There are two ways to add a new assumption:

  • 1) Click the "Customize Forecast" button at the top of your Financial Model, and select an account to start building, or...

  • 2) Click into a specific monthly forecast cell in the Financial Model, for the account on which you want to build an Assumption (hint: white monthly forecast cells are Clockwork's baseline forecast figures, whereas monthly forecast cells with existing custom assumptions appear with a light purple highlight)

If you go with "Customize Forecast", you'll then need to select which account you are building an assumption for:

Once the account is selected, press "Continue" and you'll see the below screen where you'll name your assumption, select the desired date range and start building the assumption. You can either manually edit the forecast values, or build custom rules to drive your forecast. There are a few types of custom rules, and they can all be combined (i.e. added/subtracted/multiplied/divided) to accurately model whatever is driving your finances.

Note: if you're building multiple rules into an assumption, we recommend naming each rule, so you can more easily tell them apart when you revisit your assumptions later on.

Rule Types

% Growth Rate: Use month-over-month, quarter-over-quarter, or year-over-year growth rules to drive your assumption. Simply enter a positive or negative growth rate and select a rate type, then Clockwork will calculate the forecast values by referencing 1/3/12 month in the past and applying your custom rate.

Clicking variable (when the assumption spans multiple months) will expand the growth rate table, allowing you to customize different rates for different periods within the assumption. Hint: you can click the green arrow to carry your values forward and apply "same value each month" or a "% change each month"

% of Account: If one account's value depends on the result another account, you can use this type of rule to model that behavior. Enter a percentage, choose the account(s) you want to reference, and Clockwork will do the rest. For example, if a COGS account activity is usually equal to 30% of a certain revenue account's activity, you can build a "% of Account" rule to model that behavior in your forecast. Hitting advanced (when the assumption spans multiple months) will expand the "percentage" input table, allowing you to customize different percentages for different periods within the assumption.

Price x Quantity: Enter a dollar amount, define a quantity, and choose whether you're inputting monthly, quarterly, or annual values. This rule type can be used to model different products or services, specific input costs, employee salaries, or really any financial driver that can be defined in terms of a price and quantity.

Hitting variable (when the assumption spans multiple months) will expand the input table, allowing you to customize different prices and quantities for different periods within the assumption.

Custom Formula: If you need to perform any custom math, like forecasting a sales pipeline, or modeling a complex revenue stream, formulas will give you ultimate flexibility. Simply define your variables, select the operators between variables (which respect order of operations), and customize the variable inputs. You can select your variables on the left and the operators below the formula, or simply type them in.

Timing Profile:

Every Rule you build within an Assumption of your Financial Model has a Timing Profile attached to it that dictates when and how your Financial Model data translates to a Cash Flow impact.

By default, each row in your Financial Model is set to Intelligent, but can be Customized in cases where more Cash Flow high specificity is required, or you’d like to forecast deferred revenues or prepaid expenses.

Intelligent: Clockwork’s Intelligent Timing Profile is learned by Clockwork through analyzing 6 months of behavior within each individual account to determine how your forecast impacts Cash Flow

Custom: Customizing your Timing Profile allows you to define how you collect Revenue from your customers and pay your vendors.

Cash Collection: This controls how forecasted revenues from this rule are collected. You are able to choose between Immediate, Invoiced, and Non-Cash.

  • Immediate: Revenue will appear in your Cash Flow Model on the same day it occurs in your Financial Model

  • Invoiced: You’ll define what % of Revenue is received as Cash down to the day

    • Note you can also add additional buckets

  • Non-Cash: The Revenue will not have cash impact ie. depreciation

Daily Activity:

This controls when forecasted activity happens throughout the month. For example, you’ll be able to select whether salaried employees are paid out biweekly or monthly.

*Note you can also add additional buckets

Revenue Recognition:

You can pick the following for your Revenue Recognition:

  • Immediate - Forecasted activity will immediately be recognized as revenue in your Financial Model.

  • Delayed - Delay the recognition of forecasted revenue by X # of months (e.g. forecasting prepayment for products/services yet to be delivered)

  • Spread - Each month's forecasted activity will be recognized as revenue over a

    # of month period (e.g. long-term contracts paid up-front, with revenue recognized over the life of the contract)

Advanced: This can be customized for special cases, like annual subscriptions, prepaid expenses, long-term projects, and other deferred revenues

Auto-Fill

In cased you missed the hint above, don't forget about Clockwork's autofill feather. Advanced rules, custom formulas, and manually edited forecasts are great, but they're no good if it takes you all day to fill out the input tables...so use auto-fill to do it instantly!

Once a cell contains an input, you can hover and click the green arrow to see your auto-fill options and select how many months you'd like to auto-fill. "Same value each month" will copy the value across your chosen date range. Other options will appear depending on your variable type, which let you define growth/decline rules (e.g. so you can set price to grow 1% each month across your assumptions).

This is a huge time-saver, so make sure you use it whenever you can!

Check out the video below to see these assumptions in action:

Customizing Rows and Layout - Organizing Accounts

In addition to Assumptions, you can also customize the rows of your Financial Model by Organizing Accounts (grouping rows and adding new rows, and edit columns through time periods and layouts.

To simplify the rows/layout in your Financial Model, sometimes it's helpful to group similar rows together. For example, you might want to group all payroll-related accounts, or all marketing expenses, into groups so you can focus on expenses from a more strategic level, without getting lost in the account-level detail. You can do this 2 ways:

1) Click on "Organize Accounts" on the top of the screen.

2) Click on the "+" near the P&L category where you'd like to create a group (e.g. Revenue), and click "Click to Add Group"

Both will show the "Organize Accounts" screen. Where you can select which P&L category you wish to organize/create groups/accounts for:

When you click "Add Account" or "Create Group", you will name the account or group and then select the accounts you want to include (for a group), and hit "Save"

Groups will appear at the top of each category, and they can be expanded to show the underlying accounts (and edit assumptions on those accounts) by clicking on the group's total row.

Added accounts / custom rows added to the Financial Model in Clockwork are ones that aren’t directly from your accounting system.

After adding a new row to the Financial Model, you can build custom Assumptions on it to add new information to your forecast, like a new revenue source or expense item that you'd like to model.

NOTE: adding a new row in Clockwork will not create a new account or make any changes in your source accounting system. This is simply a way to add new rows in the Financial Model - e.g. to explore potential new revenue or expense sources in your model.

To remove or edit a custom group or account, simply click on the three dots next to the group / account name in the model, or go back to "Organize Accounts" and select "Edit.." and select "Remove Group or Row"

Export to Excel

If you need to export your model, we've got you covered. Simply click the export icon to the top-right of the model to download your model in an Excel format. The downloaded file will reflect only the columns currently selected for display in the model at the time you perform the download (e.g. if you only have monthly columns selected, you will only see monthly columns in your export).

Need additional help? Reach out to our support chat in the bottom right of your screen any time you have questions!

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