The price of financial simplification

In a marketplace crowded with free tools, Green Sherpa hopes its cash-flow management system will draw paying users.

EMAIL  |   PRINT  |   SHARE  |   RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)

flow_meter.03.gif

(Fortune Small Business) -- What's wrong with cash flow management? When Masen Yaffee and Erin Lozano asked this question over coffee in 2007, the answer was: everything.

The team had a combined 30 years of experience modeling cash flow for giants like Hallmark, Pepsi (PEP, Fortune 500) and Wells Fargo (WFC, Fortune 500). The accounting and forecasting systems they'd seen typically required laborious expense logging and offered feeble analysis and no support for collaboration. Businesses were often forced to manage their budgets across multiple platforms, such as Quicken and Excel.

"There was no ideal system," recalls Lozano.

So the Santa Barbara pair set out to build a cash-management application powerful enough for big business bean counters but simple enough that soccer moms could use it to balance the family checkbook. The result: Green Sherpa, an online tool launching in May at a cost of $8 a month. Multiple users can chat and collaborate on the same cash flow projection. The software connects to your online banking site, so expenses are entered automatically. A patent-pending scenario tool shows how an invoice paid in May will affect spending in December.

Green Sherpa is entering a crowded marketplace. Other online services, such as Mint, Wesabe and Expensr, track expenses for free. But so far, only Green Sherpa offers collaboration and scenario planning.

"It'll be interesting to see if consumers are willing to pay the fee," says a dubious Dana Gould, senior analyst at Financial Insights, a research firm in Framingham, Mass.

Green Sherpa still has a few mountains to climb.  To top of page

To write a note to the editor about this article, click here.




QMy dream is to launch my own business someday. Now that it's time to choose a major, I'm debating if I should major in entrepreneurial studies or major in engineering to acquire a set of skills first. Is majoring in entrepreneurship a good choice? More
Get Answer
- Spate, Orange, Calif.

More Galleries
Most 'one percent' moments of 2014 This year was all about more money, more problems. Here's a look at the trials, tribulations and triumphs of the 1% over the last year. More
6 products to keep the skies friendly Plane travel can be stressful, especially during the holidays. These things can help keep the peace among travelers. More
2014: Helluva good year for stocks The bull market has been going for 2,115 days. If you put you're money in stocks, it's been a very happy year. More
Worry about the hackers you don't know 
Crime syndicates and government organizations pose a much greater cyber threat than renegade hacker groups like Anonymous. Play
GE CEO: Bringing jobs back to the U.S. 
Jeff Immelt says the U.S. is a cost competitive market for advanced manufacturing and that GE is bringing jobs back from Mexico. Play
Hamster wheel and wedgie-powered transit 
Red Bull Creation challenges hackers and engineers to invent new modes of transportation. Play

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.