UTILITY RATE AND FINANCIAL ANALYSIS SOFTWARE FEATURES

REVENUE SUFFICIENCY

The Visual Cash Flow Pro forma comprises enterprise-level revenue sufficiency cash flow projections with drill-down granularity on demand. All elements related to organizing the financial projections are dynamic, using a powerful chart of accounts structure. To facilitate analysis, cash flow projections are generally calculated as two separate projection schedules: 

  • Operating: complete multi-year cash flow projection pro forma focused on operations-related revenue sufficiency 
  • Capital: complete multi-year cash flow projection pro forma focused on capital-related revenue sufficiency  

FINANCIAL ANALYSIS

Full Ratio Analysis is built into the Visual Cash Flow Proforma and can be calculated based on a defined formula. Ratio analysis is extremely valuable in supporting bond covenants and measuring the financial strength of cash flow projections. Ratio analysis, combined with the following platform capabilities, makes it possible to perform a documented bond feasibility study.  The types of ratios include: 

  • Debt service coverage 
  • Operating ratio
  • Operating expenses in reserves 
  • Any other type of financial ratio 

RATES TIMING VISUALIZER

Using the Rates Timing Visualizer, users can click on rate increase years and automatically recalculate rates across customer service classes.  The rate calculations are based on a complete and granular cost-of-service analysis. Computed rates can be inserted back into the revenue sufficiency cash flow projections and ratio analysis. Common scenarios include:

  • Baseline: There are no rate increases selected for any year
  • Single Rate Increase: A rate increase is made one time 
  • Just-in-Time Rates: A rate increase occurs every year  

RESERVES VISUALIZER

Automatically calculate and set aside reserves in the cash flow projections and apply them in any period!

  • Reserve funds can be sequestered for specific use and application on demand 
  • Typically, set side reserves includes a capital fund, a rate stabilization fund, and an operating fund  
  • Reserve funds are automatically calculated based on a numerical expression  
  • Through the selective application of rate stabilization reserves, the need for a rate increase can be delayed       

DASHBOARD ANALYTICS

A dashboard is a powerful analytical tool with content setup based upon user preferences. Think about a dashboard as a canvas on which meaningful analysis can be placed. Graphical content on the dashboard is referred to as a widget. Setting up a widget is as easy as clicking on a line item on the Visual Cashflow pro forma. Widgets include:  

  • Revenue by Product 
  • Breakout of Operating Expenses
  • Debt Service Coverage Ratios
  • Capital Pro Forma Balances
  • Operating Pro Forma Balances    

COST OF SERVICE ANALYSIS

  • Automatically create a multi-year cost-of-service analysis that calculates rates with complete documented results 
  • Automated calculations based on all directions of cost allocation factors
  • Ability to navigate through cost-of-service analysis calculations per year 
  • Integrated revenue sufficiency analysis 
  • Ability to drill down on results: 
    • By product 
    • Cost pool (charge type) or
    • Customer service class  

RISK MANAGEMENT

THE FUTURE

As a financial manager, you are tasked with answering critical questions regarding future financial operations and avoiding rate shock: 1. Revenue sufficiency: Can rates support the operations budget now and in the future? 2. Rate increases: How can you plan rates that recapture costs associated with capital infrastructure, O&M, and debt financing? 3. Document your findings: How can you create a comprehensive multi-year cost of service analysis to document and completely prove the need for a target rate structure?  And most importantly, how you can you, the financial utility manager, get hands on - yourself - to make decisions that impact the future? 

MORE CONTROL

Create and maintain a comprehensive financial plan including reserve fund planning for rate stabilization, capital expenditures, and emergencies. Experiment with the timing of rate increases with the Rates Visualizer. Perform what-if analysis by applying reserves to delay a rate increase. Test out the impact of a CIP master plan on cash flow and rates. Develop a CIP financing plan and automatically perform a bond feasibility study. Instantly calculate a  comprehensive cost of service analysis with any scenario. Paint the financial future of your utility operations on a canvas and securely share with colleagues or with the Board.


WHAT-IF?

The software package is remarkably easy to use and puts the financial manager hands-on to experiment and immediately view the impact on revenue sufficiency and rates. For instance, click on the growth rates folder clone button -  now experiment with alternative growth rates for customer classes -  view the impact on cash flow projections in seconds! Click on the clone button for the CIP master plan - experiment with alternative project start dates - view the impact on the cost of service analysis in seconds! Develop more confidence about the future by taking a hands-on approach to financial planning!

MITIGATE RATE SHOCK RISK!

DATA FEATURES

OPERATING BUDGET

  • Develop the operations & maintenance budget (O&M) and automatically include in scenario calculations
  • Completely flexible chart of accounts organized in a hierarchy 
  • Create & maintain multiple versions of O&M budgets and include in a scenario on demand
  • Allocate to product, cost pools and customer service classes using direction of costs allocation factors

SERVICE PROJECTIONS

  • Input budget period connection or volume figures and project out years
  • Alternatively, input the service class projections directly for the forecast periods
  • Setup folders containing alternative projections and tie  into a rate design to calculate a scenario
  • Experiment with unit and volume growth rates with folder version and tie into a calculation scenario

RATE/ CHARGES DESIGN

  • Structure any rate design with products, cost pools and service classes
  • Model fixed, variable, uniform, decreasing block, increasing block, seasonal, surcharge rates or any kind of customer service class
  • Test calculated rates on revenue sufficiency
  • Experiment with rate design in combination with alternative service class projections

CIP MASTER PLAN

  • Develop a comprehensive capital expenditure outlay plan
  • Manage multiple CIP master plan versions
  • Model incremental O&M associated with CIP and automatically Include in a calculation scenario
  • Turn projects off and on and experiment with the timing of capital outlays
  • Finance with debt, equity, grants or pay as you go from a reserve fund

CAPITAL FUNDING

  • Create debt instruments to finance CIP and automatically include proceeds and debt service calculations in a calculated scenario
  • Model pay as you go applying specific capital reserve funds 
  • Model interest rates, level debt payments, principal only payments and balloons 
  • Alternatively, set up equity infusion with an investor targeted rate of return for public/private partnerships


DIRECTION OF COSTS

To support the cost of service analysis, all cash flow accounts can be allocated in terms of direction of costs. Each account can be explicitly allocated by percentage for recapture of the cost by rates by:

  1. Product 
  2. Cost Pool (charge type)
  3. Customer Service Class  

This core methodology for the allocation of costs is extremely robust and can accommodate any rate or fee structure.  

MODERN DESIGN - SUPERIOR ENGINEERING

PLANNER APPLICATION FRAMEWORK

Access these mission critical  applications on a PC, Mac, IPAD or another hand-held device 24/7. Securely access these powerful capabilities on various devices from anywhere on the planet. The PLANNER APPLICATION FRAMEWORK is the common technology core utilized by: 

  1. THE AQUA RATES PLANNER
  2. THE ENERGY RATES PLANNER
  3. THE INFRASTRUCTURE PLANNER


GET OFF SPREADSHEETS

Spreadsheets represent personalized, compartmentalized, non-enterprise data. Typically, these models are maintained on the desktop of an expert in your organization or a consultant. Harness the power to make better decisions by moving to enterprise level data and analysis.  Get your data when you need it - the Links Feature makes it possible to export data out to Excel on demand!

TECHNOLOGY

Our cutting edge UTILITY RATE AND FINANCIAL ANALYSIS SOFTWARE utilizes Microsoft technology, and Microsoft Azure cloud hosting for deployment.  Our technology architecture and deployment stresses security, reliability and performance.  Our security framework includes robust user authentication, user access control , and data encryption. 

GRANULARITY ON DEMAND