Financial advisers have been warned against sticking too rigidly to the plans they draw up through cash flow modelling.
Speaking at the Personal Finance Society's conference in London today (November 22), EY's Jason Whyte said advisers were polarised between those who were ardent believers in cash flow modelling and those who were not.
But he said both sides of this debate could learn from each other.
Mr Whyte said: "When you get stuck by the models you create, you end up being defenders of maps you have drawn that are instantly out of date rather than doing our jobs which is to be guides in a changing landscape.
"But without creating a plan, how can we go through the financial planning?"
Mr Whyte said adviser should use cash flow modelling but should start with the assumption the worst will happen.
He said: "We start with the most conservative assumptions we can put in and we raise them only grudgingly.
"One of the few good things about the last decade is we have lived through the financial crisis. That's a pretty food model for how bad things can get."
Mr Whyte added that cash flow modelling can help clients understand their finances better.
He said: "People make good decisions when they have a story they can follow and when that story gives them a degree of clarity."
Earlier today the conference heard from Mark Harman, the chief executive of I4C, who recently launched a cash flow modelling tool in response to "latent demand" among advisers for more options.
Mr Harman said the tool was aimed at being more comprehensive than some of its competitors'.
He said: "There has been latent demand for more cash flow modelling tools in the market for a while.
"There are some good products in the market but some are complicated and some are simple. Some advice firms use a bit of this and a bit of that.
"We are offering something that can be used by all advisers for all clients, irrespective of how complicated those clients are and irrespective of how comfortable the adviser is with technology."