SurvivalWare 2014 Officially Released

SurvivalWare 2014 Released

The customer notifications just started going out last week, and finally we can announce the new version is available to everyone!

There are two versions:

  • SurvivalWare Simple  at $495 is for those who need to analyze a single company, using either a simple or sophisticated financial model.  We think this version will appeal to business owners, entrepreneurs, and their financial helpers such as bookkeepers, accountants, and consultants.
  • SurvivalWare Pro at $895 is for those who need to analyze multiple locations or companies, or developers of custom financial models and reporting systems.  SurvivalWare Pro is great for franchisors with hundreds of franchisees to analyze in a common format, larger enterprises looking for cost-effective reporting solutions, and entrepreneur-developers who want to provide services to these enterprises, or run their own Profit Improvement Groups.

What’s New – SurvivalWare Simple

Two Models Included – Simple and Fort Knox

SurvivalWare at its core is a financial modeling tool.   The Fort Knox model is a sophisticated corporate planning model developed over many years.  It allows for 10 product lines, 50 or 60 operating expense lines, and flexible projection methods for working capital so that you can hardwire assumptions, or use a Days of Sales as a forecasting technique.  It also has the ability to fund cash  shortfalls with a credit line.

The Simple model strives for simplicity above all else.  There is just one revenue category, and 15 operating expense lines.  Mapping and loading data goes a lot faster.  There are fewer tabs to choose from in the DataViewer, and the number of reports available is about a third of what comes with the Fort Knox model.   The Simple model still does a complete Income Statement, Balance Sheet, and Cash Flow projection – it just uses fewer lines to do it in.  A side benefit to the simplicity is that the complete set of formulas for the Simple model can be exported to a spreadsheet, not just the data.

Cash Flow Focus Report

Cash Flow Focus

Philip Campbell came up with the idea about a year ago, and we collaborated on implementing the feature in SurvivalWare.  The concept is to calculatet the Top 3 Cash Flow items each month, and present them in order of importance (i.e ranked by magnitude) along with an “All Other” category.  The idea is to focus your attention on the top 3,  so that you can explain what happened to the cash last month (or last quarter, last year) in a two minute conversation with a spouse or business partner.

Cash Flow Focus Report







The Cash Flow Focus Report is available as a formal report, or as a special view (with graphing, drilldown capabilities) in the DataViewer and Projection Modules.


Formula Bar

We added a formula bar to show you how each row in the model is calculated in plain English.  

Formula Bar - History








Even better,  if a variable is calculated differently for Projected months vs. Historical months,  you see a different formula based on the focus cell.

Formula Bar - Projection








And if you have used the Forecast Tool to forecast a key assumption, the Forecast Technique is displayed in the Formula Bar.

Formula Bar - Forecast Technique









You can enter text and associate it with a specific row and time period.  The notes appear in a Notes box at the bottom of the screen as you click on any cell.





Entering a Note:









They also appear on printed reports in two different formats:  the Actual vs. Budget Reports show the notes on the same line as each item on the report.













You also have the option to display the text as footnotes at the end of each page, just by clicking on the “Display Notes” check box on the report screen.



















Notes are also displayed on the Trend Graphs if any of the time periods covered by the graph have notes associated with them.







Disposable Spreadsheets with formulas

This cool new feature is available for the Simple Model only.  The template for the Fort Knox Model is under construction.









It warns you it’s going to take a long time.






It seems to take Forever!







This is what the spreadsheet looks like in Excel:












Row Mapping Improvements (and dozens of minor improvements)

Real Quick, some of the more notable ones:

  • Row Mapping Tool
    •  “omitted only” view helps your troubleshoot mapping errors.
    • ability to set flex names for the model rows during the mapping process.  Just “right-mouseclick” on the mapped-to row and type in a new nam
    • ability to deal with duplicate account numbers (but different descriptions) when mapping financial statements originating from accounting systems other than QuickBooks.  SurvivalWare really shines at importing data from weird formats produced by niche accounting software.
  • ZIP Files – the Simple Model and Fort Knox Model now create a single zip file with all relevant company files in one place – including row maps and imported financial statements.  This makes it easy to send SurvivalWare data from one person to another.  The zip files are typically 3 or 4 MB or less in size, and can be sent easily as email attachments.  Note: the AlphaGraphics Model has been doing this for years.


What’s New in SurvivalWare Pro

Coming soon… in Part 2 of “SurvivalWare 2014 Officially Released”












The Power Menu


Setting up SurvivalWare to Run on a Network – Part 1: Sharing Data

Many customers have asked how to setup SurvivalWare to run on a network so that a common data file can be shared.  This is desirable when you have a controller updating monthly data for an owner or CFO, and both want access to the data.   Keeping the data on the network is nice for a single user as well.   That way, the data is backed up regularly whenever the network is backed up.

This blog article shows you how to point SurvivalWare to access data in a shared folder.   We will publish Part 2:  Sharing custom logic and reports in a later article.

Here’s how to share SurvivalWare data on a network:

1. Set up a common data folder on the network (you may need to get a network administrator to do this for you)

2. Copy the files from the data folder on your local PC to the network folder.

NOTE: If you are using the Simple model, the data folder is called c:\survware\simple\data\.  If you are running the FortKnox model, it is called  c:\survware\FortKnox\data\.

Then from each PC running SurvivalWare:

3. In User Settings, set the default data path to this new network folder

4. Open your MTX file on the network by selecting File / Open Existing Company

NOTE:   If two people open a SurvivalWare file at the same time, the person who saves last “wins” – i.e. any changes made by that person prior to saving will be the changes saved in that file.


The contents of the local data folder have already been copied to the S: drive on the network.

In SurvivalWare,  select Company Setup from the Main Menu:

Company Setup





Then select User Settings:




Set the Default Data Path to the shared folder on the S: drive:

Default Data Path







Click “Save” and you are done.

Look before you Leap

Building a business is about constantly testing and evaluating business models to see what works best.  You often have to take a leap of faith because the outcome of a major decision – such as a project  – or  a new marketing campaign – or an acquisition –  is uncertain and unknowable.  Yet you don’t do these things blindly.  You have certain expectations about what will happen and when you’ll know if something is a success.  “Look Before You Leap” means that you state these assumptions and expectations explicitly, and analyze what might happen from a financial standpoint.

Back of a cocktail napkin is a good place to start.  But then things can get complicated as you learn and pivot and spend and invest and pivot some more.  All of a sudden you have employees and leases and inventory and receivables.  A portfolio of credit cards becomes a major source of working capital.

So how much is this project XYZ going to cost?  Month by month?

What impact will it have on sales?  Margins?  Month by month?  Also: what are the ranges of possible values?  Best case?  Worst case?

Suppose I sell licenses only and not subscriptions?  How about the other way around?

What if customers take 45 days to pay?

How much money do I need?

Look before You Leap with Financial Modeling.

Financial modeling is a tool that allows you to look at different business models “on paper” first.    Unless you have unlimited funds, you need to plan each move carefully.  Over time things get more complex.  There are many moving parts.  You can’t keep track of everything in your head.

You start with the facts. This is where you are today.  Cash, Inventory, Debt, recent sales.  A few years of monthly financial statements if you’ve been around that long.

The financial model is a structure to accumulate this data and make sense of it.  It also allows you to peek into the future

This is what SurvivalWare is all about.   It is a tool to help you Look before You Leap.

The SurvivalWare Experience

You first look at historical performance to inform your decisions about what is possible going forward.

You look at trends graphically, efficiently, with push button ease.

The provided financial models show you everything you need to make assumptions about in order to do a complete financial projection (Income Statement, Balance Sheet, and Cash Flow).

You can base your assumption on history or on judgement.  Or “back of the napkin” sketches.  Days of market research.  Coin flip.  Whatever.

You look at what happens to the cash as the end result of everything else.

The secret about financial modeling is that the income statement and the balance sheet have to be in balance.  Once you’ve got estimates for everything else, your cash balance is the plug.  It is the end result of everything that goes on in the business.  The model calculates cash for future months based on your assumptions about sales, inventory, receivables, expenses, credit cards, etc. etc.

Look before You Leap – try it out for 30 days!

SurvivalWare Simple is a great way to start, and is yours free for 30 days.

If you decide to take this step – do it right!  Call or email to arrange a free consultation.  Let us help you get your data loaded, and give you some pointers on how to peek into the future financially.