Strategic Focus NZ Limited
Strategic Focus is a Wellington based team of chartered accountants that specialises in management accounting and reporting. Whether it be budgeting, rolling forecasts, driver based forecasting or activity based costing we have software solutions that make these otherwise complicated and time consuming tasks easy to manage.
This website is dedicated to providing documented solutions to everyday business issues. These solutions are provided free to you and our support group so that we can all learn together how to improve our business modelling. They include tips on integrating nonfinancial drivers into a rolling forecast, consolidations, managing currencies, inventory, how to amortise annual payments, suggested templates for calculating payroll and a monthly rollover and reporting process that cuts month end reporting time to a target time of 6-7 minutes. Free example models include a Software Developer, Dairy Farm, a Winery with WIP, bulk and bottled stock, a Honey product producer, a Manufacturer, Commercial Bakery, a School, Law and Accounting firms.
All our user tips and example videos are based on our experience implementing in 18 countries worldwide. Use these to learn how to set up and maintain your own model or let us help you with one of our guaranteed onsite training and implementation options.
If you are reviewing your current systems or contemplating a move to something more advanced then Cash Focus should be on your list. Just order a free no obligation trial and let us show you what we can do for you.
The business life cycle
We all know that businesses go through a life cycle of ups and downs and that growing and maintaining a business through this cycle doesn’t happen by chance, it takes a lot of dedication and planning to guarantee success.
Fundamental to success is not only a great team and leadership but also reliable information on current performance and the predicted results of future plans and decisions. But if the ability to predict and report results isn’t fast and reliable enough then the decision making process is effectively flawed.
Until “crystal balls” are perfected the best thing for predicting and reporting results is a dedicated modeling system that reflects real time any changes to the data and assumptions. But because such systems are often misconceived as being expensive and regimented, tools like Excel are widely used. Although Excel is very powerful, significant skill and effort is required to develop and maintain a real world scenario. Given the amount of effort required regular “what ifs” and reforecasting are not as frequent as they should be resulting in single year actual to budget projections without regard to any ongoing or developing activities.
Strategic Focus (NZ) Ltd
Our “Strategic Focus” is to provide real solutions to the problems that others don’t and change this perception by providing organisations the ability to generate their own actual to budget and rolling forecast information whenever they need it without the complexity and risks associated with spreadsheets and all this for a modest and known investment.
Our system “Visual Cash Focus” is based on many years experience and development. It’s built around database that’s scalable from the smallest to the largest organization. It works by combining your ledger systems chart of accounts and profit center structure with a unique double entry engine that is customised to replicate your transactional activities out into the future. Cash Focus is guaranteed to take the hard work out of budgeting, rolling forecasts and management reporting because it automates many of what would otherwise be a series of separate manual spreadsheet tasks. Numerous Profit & Loss, Balance Sheet, Cash Flow and other management reports are also built-in so it is fully productive right from the start.
How we work with you
Strategic Focus is a small friendly team of Chartered Accountants, consultants and program developer’s that specialise in business modeling and management reporting. You can either talk to us direct about what you need to achieve or work with one of our authorized representatives.
If you choose to implement Cash Focus into your organization you can either follow our step by step user guides or have one of our qualified experts visit and take you from the start to the finish.
To help you decide whether Visual Cash Focus is right for your organisation, start the free evaluation process by requesting a trial copy.
Once you have installed and registered it you can either test it with one of our demonstration models or create one of your own. Our team is available to help with any phone and email questions on how to do this or that.
If you like what you see then the next step is to let us import your ledger chart for you and set up your initial model. To do this all we need is a copy of your ledger chart of accounts and descriptions. We don’t need anything confidential although a copy of a typical report is useful so that we can see how your account lines are grouped and the report format to be achieved.
When you receive your model back you will be able to enter your own data and produce reports that look like your organization.
After you have had time to try it out and if it looks like it will save you a lot of time and effort we’ll send you a proposal recommending an appropriate edition of Cash Focus that best matchs your needs plus any (optional) hands-on implementation training and on-going costs to consider.
Following your approval the implementation process starts with the importing of your ledger chart and reconciling of any current years budget data. The next step is the set up of your key assumptions and accounting methodology. If you opt for the on-site “hands on training” an expert will visit to guide you through this process to ensure it works for you.
Onsite training includes setting up your business drivers and linking them to your variable revenues and expenses. Drivers are important to consider because they link your key organizational activities (i.e. what you do) to the calculated and reported results. Drivers also provide flexibility for activity based what ifs and an easy method for engaging other managers in the rolling forecast process.
Once the initial budget model is complete, the normal month end and rolling forecast process begins. This includes importing your actual results to date and reviewing the forecast into the next financial year. If our rollover process is followed, month-end reporting can be reduced to just 6-7 minutes and the need for the annual budget round can be eliminated. All the implementation and monthly procedures are documented for you.
The ROI is immediate.
The Cash Focus ROI is immediate because we do the initial setup for you. With minimal onsite training smaller businesses owners are able to generate their own budgets and forecasts the way they want without having to worry about incurring expensive consulting and accounting fees. Larger corporate users reduce their reliance on large spreadsheets quickly freeing up resources from the budgeting, forecasting and management reporting processes.
Visual Cash Focus suits those who are ready to take advantage of what a purpose-built system have to offer; real time accurate reporting based on proven accounting methodology.
There are five Cash Focus editions to choose from including Standard, Gold, Service, Corporate and Enterprise that will suit any sized organisation. All editions include budgeting, rolling forecasts and management reporting with each higher edition offering all the lower edition features plus greater calculation and reporting capability.
Cash Focus Standard is ideal for smaller organisations with no need for profit centers, currencies, consolidations or activity drivers
Cash Focus Gold is for smaller to mid-size organisations with a number of locations or departments wanting the ability to report these separately or in combined profit centre groupings. Cash Focus Gold includes consolidations, basic currencies and drivers.
Cash Focus Service is orientated towards the larger Not for Profit, Service and Membership based organisations. Its advanced reporting module includes result pivoting and Excel workbook reporting (i.e. workbooks containing a consolidation on the first tab and supporting profit centers on subsequent tabs). This is a fantastic way of reporting without the need to print hard copy reports.
Cash Focus Corporate is aimed towards the mid to larger commercial users with a driver-based planning and reporting focus. It includes advanced currency conversions for overseas subsidiaries and automated consolidations and eliminations.
Cash Focus Enterprise is the ultimate for the larger Corporate organisations with multiple divisions and subsidiaries. As well as incorporating all the lower edition features it adds the ability to upload actual results into and report from multiple models simultaneously.
All editions include custom up and download tools for most ledger systems including; Microsoft Dynamics GP, Dynamics NAV, Dynamics SL, Sage ERP MAS 90/200, Sage ERP MAS 500, Sage ERP ACCPAC, Accredo, SYSPRO MYOB, Xero, Money works, Greentree, Exonet, QuickBooks Enterprise software and many more.
The Final Word
Our research suggests that many organisations feel that they can’t re-forecast as often or as quickly as they would like due to the amount of time it takes their managers to re-forecast their requirements followed by the time it takes to upload actual results then collate and complete the reporting.
The key to this inability is the lack of ledger integration and the failure to incorporate non-financial drivers within a rolling forecasting framework. Integration speeds up data transfers with 100% accuracy where as Drivers help management to predict their future resource requirements by shifting their focus to planned activities rather than crunching numbers. By maintaining a rolling forecast beyond the financial year end the budget process is effectively brought forward eliminating the need for the annual budget round.
But despite all this and the many applications available much of it is still done in a spread sheet.