In this post, I would like to tell you a few things about flow types.

They are an amazing and simple tool that can be used to classify different types of data and to make the most of all automatic calculation features, or automatic consolidation.

What exactly is a flow type?

In Farseer, all numbers (data) are entered in flows. Every calculation that’s being done in the background is done on flow level. But one number can mean different things, depending on the flow type it’s been entered in.

Simply put, flow types are instructions that users give to the Farseer consolidation engine, so it can tell the difference between different types of data.

A lot of Farseer’s flexibility rests on the fact that our engine can automatically recognize and sort what should go together and what should stay separated and make complex calculations while never “mixing apples and oranges”.

Here is the list of all flow types in Farseer, explained:

A list of all flow types

Summation flows: values for individual months are simply added together in the consolidator. Average/latest flows: the average (cost/revenue per unit) or latest month in the year (user base) is used in consolidation.

How does this work in company planning context?

When creating business plans, the majority of people often think only about financial data. Investments, debts, accounts payable, accounts receivable etc. Although arguably the most important, financials are not the only thing that should be considered when building plans.

Let’s say a company makes cleaning products and they want to set sales targets for the next year. When entering sales target figures, it’s possible not just to enter the targeted product revenues, but also the number of units the company aims to sell. Doing so gives the planning team more options because they can create precise plans that are exact down to a single unit. As a consequence, they can build more detailed reports.

To accomplish this in Farseer, users only have to create a unit flow by adding a new flow and selecting Units in the flow type dropdown menu.

Flow type dropdown menu

Flow type dropdown menu

The next step would be creating another flow with financial data, and connecting it to the first one via custom expression. After a user enters new data in the unit flow, the financial flow will be automatically filled out and ready to use in reports or additional calculations.

Here are some more ways of using the flow type tool in day to day planning activities:

  • automatically calculating user churn and migrations,
  • calculating the exact state of your total user base, no matter the size (for various subscription services, or Telecom companies)
  • automatic cash flow calculations
  • have multiple currencies calculated using helper flows etc.

If you have any additional questions about this or any other feature, please leave a comment, or contact us.

We will be happy to help you!