I came across Decision Critical, a productivity and organizational tool for startups to maintain a visual canvas of expenses and budget of the project they want to launch.
I registered and got a one month-free trial of Decision Critical's pre-release beta version, with the promise of experimenting with “a disruptive new enterprise modeling software which makes realistic, zero-based budgeting intuitive and streamlined,” so I have played with it for a couple of weeks.
Budgeting is the nightmare of mostly all the entrepreneurs, who focus most of their time on an invention to help the world. Their product will not see the light if the project run out of money. Decision Critical proposes a seamless modeling to ease the microeconomic exams and create the forecast for breakout and zero-based budgeting.
The tool helps you to organize:
Business concept (products/services and organizational structure with detailed salaries of everyone), Resource allocation (from resourcing to equipment, land & buildings, raw materials and most important: financing),
Business environment (taxes and utilities),
Reports that angels and corporate investors will ask you before considering your fund request (operational report, balance sheet, income statement, cash flow, cash balance), and
Inventories (unit sales, units produced, headcount & footprint).
Decision Critical considers
observable, operational events,
so with a little intuition
the results will show up
No need of ratio-based financial model or too much technical solutions, difficult to understand by the team members. Decision Critical crosses data and avoids bias and distortion caused by wrong assumptions or seasonal changes, so no cash deficit will escape from your eye. If you decide to change your previous assumptions, the tool will take it: you may enter your primary values, map dependencies and evaluate/correct course of your original forecast.
In case you are a bit unexperienced and fear accounting, budgeting and organizational enterprise, the software proposes base scenarios in which you may change/plug your numbers, departments, and names; decide the currency of salaries and when to pay employees –beginning or end of month- , control the raw materials, keep an eye on inventories (FIFO or LIFO at your own), and many more things.
I played with a scenario of a dumpling producer, plugging numbers on products as manufactured goods (beef and cilantro) and semi-finished product (raw dough), setting the cost per batch, kilograms or tons, and estimating the time for batch production, making changes on the cash flow statement by altering the depreciation expense of an equipment and the VAT variations, etcetera. I felt that several MBA courses passed again in front of my eyes while plugging values.
Overall it is a very complete tool. You only have to add your own data.