I never have to reinvent the wheel. And as a professional accountant, you can imagine how many different "wheels" I use every day! Profit & Loss statements, Balance Sheets, Cash Flow Forecasts, Time Sheets, Break_Even Analyses, Margin Calculations, Business Plans, etc, etc. When using your own prior work as a financial template, you get another benefit _ you are so familiar with the template that it takes you no time to figure out how to use it. And each time you refine it just a little bit more. So pretty soon your templates run like a Swiss watch! All the bugs have been worked out, you have tested it with many different clients and many different business scenarios and you know you have something you can depend on. Financial Templates as Tools _ For someone who is not a finance professional, financial templates serve a slightly different purpose. They still save time, of course, but they also provide a tool that person would have to pay someone else to develop.
Once this person has a financial template, they can use it to create forms the template will simply guide them through. The mere fact that the template has certain line items _ like the Balance Sheet, for example, forces you to think in a well_organized fashion and gather the information according to the structure of the template _ cash balances, accounts receivable, fixed assets, liabilities, etc. The same goes for a Business Plan. A well_designed financial template can steer you away from making some fundamental mistakes. A client of mine brought me a self_prepared Business Plan once and we both smiled at the many line items he had on his Profit & Loss statement which really belonged on a Balance Sheet. With a professionally designed template, he wouldn't have made that mistake.