Thanks to Kevin Salter for drawing my attention to his new Business Analyst app in my last blog posting. I thought I'd blow £1.79 on it and see how well he has managed to put a business development tool on this handheld device.
If you have ever used Kevin's PC version of this tool, which dates back to the early years of 2020, or maybe even earlier, you'll be familiar with the idea. You input the main profit and loss account figures - sales, other income, cost of sales, wages, expenses and depreciation - from your latest accounts, then you try some 'what if's to see how you might improve results in future.
Using a simple slider control, you can flex expenses, sales volume or selling prices by a percentage and see what effect this could have on your net profit. The slider is deceptively easy to control, and with care you can slide it to exactly the percentage you require, even though it covers 0 to 100% over less than the width of the iPhone's screen. You can also drill down on prices to see how much sales volume you could afford to lose if you increase prices, and vice versa for a price reduction.
Once you appreciate the limitations of the app it's very useful, and a great tool for impromptu business planning conversations with clients. There's no facility to save data, so calculations have to be made on the fly, which might be a bit awkward if you're out somewhere with a client, but you only need six figures to work on, so just go prepared or at least make sure you are familiar with the client's accounts so you can work on round sum estimates.
Overall it's a good start, it's certainly £1.79 I'll be able to recover on client development work so it gets my vote. Just a word of warning on the iTunes App store though. Beware new apps that have just one five star review - the chances are this was posted by the software author just to boost the app's ratings. Nice try Kevin!
For further details look up Business Analyst on the Apple iTunes Store or go to the BBS Computing site.
About Nigel Harris
I'm a partner with Burton Sweet, chartered accountants & business advisers, and run the Shepton Mallet office down in beautiful Somerset. Despite the name, Shepton Mallet is actually the home of Glastonbury Festival! I trained in audit and corporate tax with Grant Thornton and came to my current position in 1991 via small local practices and a stint with a training consortium.
I have the distinction of being one of the original members of the AccountingWEB editorial team, having been a freelance writer here for a year or so before John Stockdyk joined!