Forecast Builder - Design Forecast Templates Article

Forecast Builder - Design Forecast Templates Article

This tool has three tabs:

  1. Define - create and manage forecast template using existing BudgetIDs;
  2. Preview - Preview template and push the preview result to the Import Budget Assumptions screen; and
  3. Update - Synchronize data for "Isforecast" BudgetIDs.

Expand Column Width functionality is available and is helpful in exposing the full name of items that are available for selection in pulldown menus.  Copy and Paste is available too.

A) Adding a New Template

  1. Select the Company DB that to which you wish to add the Template;
  2. Click on the "Add New Template" button and the "Add New Forecast Template" message box will appear;
  3. Enter the name of the Template;
  4. Click the "Add New" button and the standard template will be generated as below.

5. Select  from the dropdown menu the "BudgetID" you wish to use;
6. Select the Fiscal Period you wish to use; and
7.  Select the one of the following options from the "Month/YTD" dropdown menu:


8. To save the Template click "Save".

The checked "Form Enabled" box means that the Template's data can be previewed/searched for.  Unchecking the box deactivates the Template's preview and search functions.

The Report Level should be set to  "GLCode" only.  The standard column format should be used as it mirrors that format on the Account Details tab; therefore please do not add columns.

To illustrate the options available for setting up Forecast columns the above template will be used as an example.

i) Column 2:  The selection of "2014 Actuals", "Jan" and " Month" results in a display of January 2014 Actuals.

ii) Column 4: The selection of "2014 Actuals", "Feb" and "YTD" results in a display of the sum of January and February 2014 Actuals added together (Jan+Feb=Feb YTD).

iii) Column 5:  The selection of "2014 Actuals", Feb" and "YTD-Avg" results in an the average of January and February 2014 Actuals ((Jan+Feb)/2 = Feb YTD-Avg)

iv) Column 7: The selection of "FY15", "Jun" and "Month" results in a display of FY15 Budget for June.

The following "Right-Click" menu is available:

B) To Clone a Template

Cloning allows the copying and renaming of an existing Template which can then be edited.  A Template can also be setup for a single company and then cloned/copied to multiple companies.

Cloning to a Single Company

  1. From the dropdown menu, select the Template Name you wish to clone;
  2. Click the "Clone this Template" button which will be bring up the "Clone Forecast Template" box;
  3. Select "Single Company" tab.  The CompanyDB will default to the Company DB for which the Template was originally setup;
  4. Enter the "Forecast Template Name";
  5. Click the "Clone" button to create the clone.

Cloning to Multi-Company

  1. From the dropdown menu select the "Template Name" you wish to clone;
  2. Click the "Clone this Template" button which will be bring up the "Clone Forecast Template" box;
  3. Select "Multi-Company" tab;
  4. Enter the "Form Name";
  5. Using Right and Left Pointing Arrows to Select/Deselect choose the "Company DB to Clone Form In";
  6. By checking this box same-named Templates, if they exist will be overwritten; and 
  7. Click the "Save" button to create the Clones in the selected multiple companies.

C) Deleting a Template

  1. Select the Template you wish to delete;
  2. Click the "Delete Template" button which will bring up the Confirm message box;
  3. Click "Yes" to delete the Template.

D) Previewing and Pushing Results to Import Budget Assumptions Screen

Standard functionality is available including Print, Export to Excel, Print to PDF,  Auto-fit Columns, Column Data Sort-Ascending/Descending, and Expand/Reduce Column Width.

The format of the on screen data can be customized by using the Display Level, Row Format, Show Rollup Sub-Totals and Expand/Collapse Rows functionality.

  1. Select the "Preview" tab;
  2. From the dropdown menu, select the "Template Name" you wish to preview;
  3. Search on the report criteria you wish to preview.  The CompanyDB will pre-populate according to how the Template was setup. To review the full forecast, select <all> for all other search options.
  4. Please note that the Advanced search functionality is available.
  5. Once the Search results are displayed per below, the results can be pushed to the Import Budget Assumptions screen by clicking this button.
  6. When the "Push Results to Import Assumptions" button is clicked the below "Confirm" screen appears.  Click "Yes" to continue and an "Import Budget Assumptions" tab is open with a time stamp.  Please see below.

Below is what the screen looks like once search results are displayed:

Below is what the Import Budget Assumptions screen looks like when the results are pushed to the screen:

Please note the Assumption description needs to be completed in order for the Import to execute.  This data populates the Assumption Sub-tab on the Account Details tab and is useful as a reminder of the data source.  Example which can be copied and pasted down the import rows include:
"Imported forecast"
"2016 projection as of Jul 7th"
"Imported from Nancy's July 7 update"
Or my favorite "." Just a period to force them through.

7.  Click "Save Assumptions" to complete the Import Budget Assumptions process.

E. Updating Data for "IsForecast" BudgetID/s
When a BudgetID is setup as an "IsForecast" on Manage Budgets and you wish to add additional months of locked Actuals data to the Forecast the first step to change the YTD month drop down on Manage Budgets - see number 15.  However, this action does not update the line item data as below; originally Jan- Mar were locked and we then locked Apr - Jul but the Accounts Details tab data for Apr remained $250 and data for May $750 as was originally budgeted. It can be seen on both the "Actuals/Forecast Total" row and the 2014 Actual information the Budget Summary Apr should be $0, June should be $48 and July $0.

To update the Actual data the "Synchronize" routine on this screen needs to be run.

1. From the drop down select an appropriate Forecast Template.  In our example, we need to update Jan - July with FY14 Actual ("2014 Actual") data and August - December will retain the original budget data ("Exporter"). The Actual and Budget BudgetIDs used in the Template are the same as those used to setup the "Isforecast" BudgetID on Manage Budgets.  Below is an example of how the Template would be setup to update the data as required in our example.

2. When the Template is selected the "Available CompanyDB" will populate.  Using Using Right and Left Pointing Arrows to Select/Deselect select the required CompanyDB.
3. When 2. is completed the "Available BudgetIDs" for the selected CompanyDB will populate.  Using the Using Right and Left Pointing Arrows to Select/Deselect- select the BudgetID that wish to update.  In our example, we selected 2014 Forecast.
4. Click the "Synchronize" button and the Confirm screen will appear. 

5. Click "Yes" to continue.

Below is "log" that shows a completed process:

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