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Cashflow Forecasting Software:
Installation & Running Notes

Page Contents

1. Introduction

2. Installation of Cashflow Plan

3. Familiarization with Cashflow Plan

4. Things to Try

5. Building New Projections


If you have acquired or plan to purchase Cashflow Plan, we recommend that you print this page for reference purposes.


1. Introduction

Cashflow Plan is a range of software packages for preparing monthly cash flow forecasts (with projected income statements, balance sheets and ratios) for 12 months ahead for young & established businesses of all sizes and types. It incorporates a roll-forward facility to speedily update the projections every month. Use it for business plans, cashflow planning and management, budgeting, fund raising etc. Cashflow Plan runs as a powerful, easy-to-use template with Excel (versions 5, 7, 8, 95, 97, 2000, XP, 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016) using Windows (95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP/Vista/Win7,8,10).

Important Note: Cash-Plan requires a Windows-based, desktop version of Excel. It will not run, on account of its extensive use of macros, with any cloud-based versions of Excel (or other similar spreadsheet types). If using Office 365 or Office 16, Excel must be installed on a Windows PC.

Save time and money and add substantial business, financial and spreadsheet know-how to your cashflow planning - check the benefits of using Cashflow Plan or get more details and free trial downloads. For multi-year projections, see Exl-Plan.

 
 
Fast Facts

Name: Cashflow Plan (six versions).

Function: Microsoft Excel-based template for 12-month income, cash flow & balance sheet projections with roll-forward facility.

Uses: Cash flow planning, budgeting, raising finance, cash management.

For: Managers, consultants, entrepreneurs & startups.

Benefits: Easy-to-use. Expandable. Saves time & effort. Improves cash planning.

System: Windows 95/98/ Me/NT/2000/XP/Vista/
Win7,8,10 with Excel 5,7,8,95,97,2000,XP,2003,
2007,2010,2013,2016.

Prices (US$): Free, 39, 79, 119, 159 or 199.

See Also: Exl-Plan for multi-year projections.

 
   
Quick Guide to Cashflow Plan Versions

These notes will help an Excel spreadsheet user to get a trial copy of Cashflow Plan up and running with minimal initial instruction. Note that the downloaded Cashflow Plan file includes extensive online help (130+ topics) along with a 100-page Word-based version of its manual and a series of Flash-based tutorials (running for 19 minutes) covering setting up Excel, getting started, the basics and using Quik-Plan.

When being run for the first time, a trial copy of Cashflow Plan needs about 8 Mb of disk space to load and automatically create a backup copy (CASHTEST.XLS) during setup. If this space is not available, Cashflow Plan will skip this task. First-time installation can take a few minutes, depending on the speed of the PC being used, while toolbars are been reset and backups are created. Subsequent loading of Cashflow Plan is much faster.

Suggestion: Instead of having to refer back to this page, you may wish to open and print this Quick Start Guide. It will lead you through installing, running and exploring Cashflow Plan.



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2. Installation of Cashflow Plan

  1. Download the appropriate version of Cashflow Plan from here
  2. Close all other applications.
  3. Confirm that at least 8 Mb of space is free on the hard disk to which Cashflow Plan will be installed.
  4. Use Start | Run to run the downloaded file (CASH*.EXE) and then follow on-screen instructions to install Cashflow Plan's files into the appropriate folders.
  5. When installation has finished, go to the Cashflow Plan menu within the Programs Menu and review the supplied README.DOC and README.TXT files.
  6. Then either select Cashflow Plan from within the Programs menu or load Excel and open the main Cashflow Plan workbook file CASHPLAN.XLS located in the folder specified during installation. Once loaded, follow on-screen prompts and wait a few moments while a copy of Cashflow Plan is created. This copy, CASHTEST.XLS, should be used for experimentation. CASHPLAN.XLS should be carefully retained as the original master copy. During initial loading, the Cashflow Plan display may go blank for a few seconds while set up is taking place.

You can watch several How to ... Tutorials covering the basics of setting up and using Cashflow Plan.

When loading Cashflow Plan into Excel, you must enable macros so that Cashflow Plan's menus, buttons, tools etc. can operate. The following instructions explain how to do this for different versions of Excel.

If using Excel 5, 7, 8, 95, 97, 2000, XP and 2003:

  1. If Excel displays a message about enabling macros while Cashflow Plan is loading, you must select Enable Macros.
  2. If Cashflow Plan loads and then displays an "Important Notice" and a message indicates that Cashflow Plan has not been properly loaded, you need to reduce the security level set within Excel from High to Medium via Tools | Macro | Security | Security Level. You should then close and reopen Excel and then reload Cashflow Plan. During reloading, you will be asked whether you want to enable macros. This is quite safe to do provided you secured Cashflow Plan from our site or another reliable, trustworthy source. For more guidance, click the thumbs below.

    Click to display full size Click to display full size Click to display full size
    Load Excel, select Tools, Macro, Security ... ... click Medium security level and close Excel. Reload Excel, load Cashflow Plan and, when prompted, enable macros.

  3. If Cashflow Plan loads and all its worksheets are visible but its special menus (they all start with * to simplify identification) do not appear in Excel's toolbar, you will need to temporarily reduce the number of menus displayed by Excel by disabling any add-ins which create special menus. To do this, use Tools | Add-ins to open a list of available add-ins. Uncheck the relevant add-ins, press the OK button, close and reload Excel. This should allow Cashflow Plan to load fully and display its menus. To restore the disabled add-ins, reverse the procedure described above.
  4. Occasionally, Cashflow Plan will load satisfactorily but may not display its special menus starting with *Assumptions, *Protect and so on. This may be due to a conflict with some add-ins loaded automatically by Excel. The fix is to reload Excel, uncheck all add-ins via Tools | Add-Ins; reload Excel and then open the Cashflow Plan file.
  5. If a blank screen appears while loading of Cashflow Plan and the system hangs, there has probably been a memory leak, caused by another application, which has reduced the memory available to Excel and Cashflow Plan. To resolve, use CTRL+ALT + DEL to close down Excel and Cashflow Plan. Then, reboot the PC to wash out the leak.

If using Excel 2007:

  1. Change the security level in Excel 2007 to enable it run macros by checking that Excel's Macro Settings within the Trust Center have been set to Disable all macros with notification. Access the Trust Center by clicking the Office button and selecting Excel Options. Having done that, you must permit Excel to run macros each time that Cashflow Plan indicated in #2 and #3 below.
  2. Once Cashflow Plan has loaded, look out for a message Security Warning - Macros have been disabled and an Option button immediately below Excel's Home tab. Note that this warning is much less evident than that used in earlier versions of Excel.
  3. Click the Options button, specify Enable this content in the Security Alert Macro dialog and wait a few moments for Cashflow Plan's macros to run. Note that Cashflow Plan's menu bar (*Assumptions, *Protection etc.) is located in the Add-Ins tab. For ease of identification, the Cashflow Plan menus all start with an asterisk (*), e.g. *Assumptions. Cashflow Plan's special toolbar also appears in the Add-Ins tab. Note that by design the toolbar does not appear for every Cashflow Plan worksheet. For more information on using Cashflow Plan with Excel 2007, see the comprehensive Checklist and FAQs at http://www.planware.org/cashfaq3.htm.

If using Excel 2010, 2013, 2016:

  1. Change the security level in Excel 2010, 2013, 2016 to enable it run macros by checking that Excel's Macro Settings within the Trust Center have been set to Disable all macros with notification. Access the Trust Center by clicking the File button and selecting Options. Having done that, you must permit Excel to run macros when a Cashflow Plan file is loaded for the first time as indicated in #2 and #3 below.
  2. Once Cashflow Plan has loaded, look out for a message Security Warning - Macros have been disabled and an Enable Content button immediately below Excel's Home tab. Note that this warning is much less evident than that used in earlier versions of Excel.
  3. Click the Enable Content button and wait a few moments for Cashflow Plan's macros to run. Note that Cashflow Plan's menu bar (*Assumptions, *Protection etc.) is located in the Add-Ins tab. For ease of identification, the Cashflow Plan menus all start with an asterisk (*), e.g. *Assumptions. Cashflow Plan's special toolbar also appears in the Add-Ins tab. Note that by design the toolbar does not appear for every Cashflow Plan worksheet. For more information on using Cashflow Plan with Excel 2010, 2013, 2016, see the comprehensive Checklist and FAQs at http://www.planware.org/cashfaq3.htm.

If Cashflow Plan fails to detect the correct size of the screen display being used, use *Setup | Change Default Zoom Value.

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3. Familiarization with Cashflow Plan

Suggestion: Instead of having to refer back to this page, you may wish to open and print this Quick Start Guide. It will lead you through installing, running and exploring Cashflow Plan.

For additional guidance, you can watch several How to ... Tutorials (based on Exl-Plan which shares many common features with Cashflow Plan) covering the basics of setting up and using Cashflow Plan.

If using Vista and if Cashflow Plan's help files fail to load and/or Excel indicates "There was a problem running the macro (1037)." there are two solutions as follows:

  1. Download and install the widely-used Help program (WinHlp32.exe) needed for help files used by some versions of Cashflow Plan. You can get it from the Microsoft Download Center. If this link is broken, search the Microsoft site for "Windows Help program (WinHlp32.exe) for Windows Vista".
  2. An alternative solution is to disregard the help files and simply use the comprehensive manual supplied in PDF format with all versions of Cashflow Plan. This covers the exact same material as the help files. If doing this, you should not click the help-related buttons within Cashflow Plan's worksheets or within the *Cash Help menu. Also, you should turn off Toggle Help for Calculation Errors within Cashflow Plan's *Setup menu.

When running Cashflow Plan with W95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP/Vista, it is best to place the taskbar at the bottom of the screen in order to improve the view of reports etc.

The suggestions below mainly relate to the Micro, Lite, Plus, Super and Ultra versions and assume that Cashflow Plan is running with Excel 5, 7, 8, 95, 97, 2000, XP or 2003. If using Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, see also Frequently Asked Questions for Using Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016.

When it first loads, Cashflow Plan uses US/Canadian formats for its income statements and balance sheets. To switch to the UK/International formats, select the menu option *Setup | Enter Basic Model Info .. and swap the "Report Formats, Terminology & Spellings".

  1. Note that Excel's autocalculation function does not operate with Cashflow Plan. To update projections, click one of the "C" buttons within Cashflow Plan's toolbar or use the calculate options within the *Tools menu.
  2. To become familiar with the basics and geography of Cashflow Plan, take the Quik-Tour (*Cash Help | Quik-Tour) from within the previously created CASHTEST.XLS file.
  3. Run the cursor across the menu bar - File, Edit etc. Note that Cashflow Plan has added several new menus (*Assumptions, *Protection etc.).
  4. Click the Sales worksheet tab (or the MA toolbar button) to go to the assumptions report for sales forecasts etc. Note that assumption values (displayed in blue) should be entered or altered only within the rectangular boxed-in areas opposite the ->> or <<->> arrows. Values shown in black contain formulae and are normally locked (protected).
  5. Try adding or changing some of the supplied assumption values for sales and recalculate (*Tools | Calculate All & Check) to check the model's integrity and to update all the monthly and full-year reports. (Note that Cashflow Plan always uses manual calculation).
  6. Click sheet tabs to view the other assumption reports (DirCost, Ohead etc.) and change/add assumption values as desired.
  7. Use Cashflow Plan's menus, worksheet tabs and buttons (especially "<-" and "->") to view the remaining assumption and output reports and charts.
  8. Explore Cashflow Plan's extensive help facilities within the *Cash Help menu.
  9. Use Word to open up the supplied manual (MANUAL.DOC).
  10. View the Flash-based tutorials (running for 19 minutes) covering setting up Excel, getting started, the basics and using Quik-Plan.

Check out Frequently Asked Questions for Cashflow Plan here.

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4. Things to Try

The suggestions below mainly relate to the Micro, Lite, Plus, Super and Ultra versions. See also the How to ... Tutorials (based on Exl-Plan which shares many common features with Cashflow Plan) covering the basics of using Cashflow Plan. This guidance assumes that Cashflow Plan is running with Excel 5, 7, 8, 95, 97, 2000, XP or 2003. If using Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, see also Frequently Asked Questions for Using Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016.
  1. Review a selection of the assumption & output reports and charts to see how Cashflow Plan handles its assumptions.
  2. Experiment with Cashflow Plan's data-entry facilities which are located within the *Assumptions menu (i.e. Clear Assumptions, Constant Assumptions etc.) or accessible via the graphical buttons in the toolbar.
  3. Add or change monthly assumptions. Recalculate and review the output reports and their associated charts.
  4. View the Textual Summary Report (Text tab or *Output | Textual Summary Report).
  5. Print selected assumption or output reports and charts.
  6. Have a look at the Cashflow Improver and assess how it could be used to enhance your business's cash flows.
  7. If using Lite, Plus, Super or Ultra, try the sensitivity analysis facility (*Tools | Sensitivity Analysis) to globally change groups of key monthly assumptions.
  8. Have a look at how Cashflow Plan generates its 12-week projections (STCash tab or *Output | Short-Term Cashflow Projections).
  9. Try out the roll forward facility (Roll tab or *Tools | Roll Forward Steps)
  10. If using Super or Ultra, review the What-If Tables (WhatIf tab or *Tools | What-If Tables) to see the impact of incremental changes in inventory, receivables and payables on cashflows and bank balances.
  11. Continue exploring Cashflow Plan's menus etc. and entering or changing assumptions. Use its online help (*Cash Help), supplied manual (MANUAL.DOC) and Flash-based tutorials as appropriate.
  12. If using Super or Ultra, locate the Report for Consolidation. Then open up the separate Cashflow Plan Consolidator workbooks and Consolidator Guide contained in the CONSOL folder below the main CASH* folder where Cashflow Plan was installed.

Any questions? See Frequently Asked Questions for Cashflow Plan here.

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5. Building New Projections

The suggestions below mainly relate to the Micro, Lite, Plus, Super and Ultra versions and assume that Cashflow Plan is running with Excel 5, 7, 8, 95, 97, 2000, XP or 2003. If using Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, see also Frequently Asked Questions for Using Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016.

Note that if you start using a trial copy of Cashflow Plan to develop financial projections, you can remotely upgrade the file being used to the commercial version - see *Cash Help | Shareware Upgrade Information. This saves further downloading, reentry of assumptions etc. To upgrade online, click here.

The trial versions of Cashflow Plan contains restrictions which are automatically removed when upgraded to the fully-operational version.

To start constructing a new set of financial projections, reload CASHTEST.XLS, or a copy, and immediately save it with an appropriate new file name.

Note that your assumptions are entered directly into Assumption Reports only. The Output Reports contain extensive formulae which generate the projections. The only exception is the opening balance sheet in the Balance Sheets which must be entered directly into these reports. Be sure to save your model at regular intervals.

If you are using an upgraded or commercial version of Cashflow Plan, perform the following preliminary tasks. See also the How to ... Tutorials (based on Exl-Plan which shares many common features with Cashflow Plan) covering the basics of setting up and using Cashflow Plan.

  1. Load a copy of Cashflow Plan and save it immediately with a new file name.
  2. Select *Setup | Basic Model Info and enter basic information about the business to be modeled.
  3. Give the new model a title, for example "First Attempt", using *Setup | Enter Model Title. This will be inserted automatically in the footer of each printed report.
  4. Use the *Setup | Clear All Assumption Reports menu command to remove all unprotected assumption values throughout the model.
  5. When entering assumptions, refer to Cashflow Plan's online help for guidance - see the topics relating to Model-building Procedure and Entering Assumptions - and access relevant help by pressing the "Help with Entering Assumptions" buttons which appear near the top of each Assumptions Report . See also Frequently Asked Questions here and the supplied manual (MANUAL.DOC) and the Flash-based tutorials.

If you wish to use Quik-Plan to generate first-cut, high-level projections, follow steps 1-3 above and then go to the Quik worksheet.



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