Forecast

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Planning Maestro’s Forecast feature is a Data Tool that enables you to combine current year Actuals version with a Budget version into a static Forecast version. This tool is a Data Tool available in the Tools module.

This document shows you, a Planning Maestro Administrator, how to use the Forecast tool.

Forecast Tool

There are two action panels for the Forecast Tool. The left panel displays a list of versions that have been created.  These are shown as Forecast Cards.  Each card displays details about the version. The right panel is where you will make selections for how to create the forecast version. You will enter a name and if desired a description.  Then you select the source versions for both actuals and budget. Once the version is created, you can use this panel to change the Name and Description for the version as desired.

Forecast Version Overview

The Forecast version is static, meaning you will not be able to edit any of the records throughout the Tools Module. These records are created without Properties, same as data that is imported to Planning Maestro from an outside source.

Info.png Please Note: You can use the Copy Data/What If? tool to copy a Forecast Version to a Budget Version, which can be edited in the Tools module.

You can refresh your forecast version to update for any changes that have occurred to either source version and to update for any completed periods since the version was created.

For any existing Forecast Version you can edit the name and description for the version, but you are unable to change the source versions that were used to create the Forecast Version. If you would like to view other combinations of source versions, you must create a new Forecast Version.

You can delete forecast versions from the Forecast Version Card.

Forecast Card

Forecast Versions are displayed as cards that display several important characteristics to help you identify the version.

The details included in a Forecast Version Card are as follows:

  • Forecast Name
  • Forecast Description
  • Last Refresh Status
  • Processing Date
  • Created By
  • Actuals (Periods)
  • Budget (Periods)
  • Fiscal Year
  • Created Date

From within a Forecast Card, based on version security, you can perform the following actions:

  • Refresh the version
  • Copy the version to create a new Forecast Version (This action requires you to enter a new name for the new Forecast Version.)
  • Delete the version

Forecast Versions are created for the current full fiscal year. The time frame for which the version is created and refreshed is based on the calendar date of the action.  

Info.png Please Note: Fiscal year is defined in the Time Dimension for your instance.

The tool automatically populates the Forecast Version with actuals and budget amounts as follows:

Actuals Data: Completed historical periods within the current year are populated with actuals amounts from the selected Actuals Version.

Budget Data: The current period and remaining periods for the current fiscal year are populated with budget amounts from the selected Budget Version

Example.png Example: If you follow a calendar year and create a Forecast version on September 15, Actuals data is pulled for periods 1-8 and Budget data for periods 9-12.

Info.png Please Note: The forecast version is created using all assigned properties and allocated budget values from the source Budget Version.

 

Create a Forecast Version

Once you have determined what you would like to use as your source versions for Actuals and Budget, follow these steps to create a Forecast Version.

 

Step 1: On the Forecast page, click +New Forecast.

A New Forecast pane opens on the right.

Step 2: Enter the following information in the fields provided:

Name– Enter a name.

Description (Optional)– Enter a description. This description will be displayed on the Forecast Version card and Reports.

Step 3:  In the Select Versions section, select Actuals and Budget Versions to be combined to create the new Forecast Version.

For each option, click on the dropdown menu and select a Version.

Info.png Please Note: You must have an existing Budget Version to create a Forecast Version.  Forecasts may not be created using a Plan Basis Version as the source Budget Version.

More information on creating a Budget Version based on your Plan Basis Version to be used as a source for Forecasting can be found in the “Making a New Version & Copy” Attachment below.

Step 4: Click Create Forecast.

  •  Your Forecast Version is created.
  • A confirmation message appears in the upper right corner of the page.

This Forecast Version is now available for use within Planning Maestro’s Tools, Reports, and Charts modules.

Info.png Please Note: Upon initial creation, the Forecast version is only available to Administrator users.  Go to version Dimension security settings to allow other Planning Maestro users desired access. For more information on this topic, review Managing Security in Planning Maestro

Refresh a Forecast Version

A Forecast Version can be refreshed by clicking the Refresh button on the Forecast Card. 

As actuals and budget data are updated over time, you may wish to refresh the Forecast Version to reflect the most recent available data within Planning Maestro.  Refreshing updates the forecast version to show the data for the source versions at the time of the refresh. 

Example.png Example: If you click to Refresh an existing Forecast version on October 15, Actuals data is pulled for periods 1-9 and Budget data for periods 10-12.

 

Step 1: On the Forecast Card, click Refresh.

A message is displayed describing the result of this action.

Step 2: Click Confirm.

  • The Forecast Version is updated.
  • The  Forecast Card is updated
    • Last Refresh Status
    • Processing Date with the current date/time the refresh completed
    • Actuals (Periods) to show data periods that were pulled from Actuals source
    • Budget (Periods) to show data periods that were pulled from Budget source
  • A confirmation message appears in the upper right corner of the page.

Best_practice_icon.png Please Note: A best practice is to update the Name and Description after you Refresh.

Edit Forecast Name or Description

Step 1: Click the white space on the forecast card you would like to delete. The card is now displayed with a green border to indicate it has been selected.

The right panel displays the Name and Description fields.

Step 2: Reenter the following information in the fields as desired.

Info.png Please Note: You will not be able to change the Source versions.

Step 2: Click Save.

  • The Forecast Version Name and/or Description are updated on the Forecast Card.
  • A confirmation message appears in the upper right corner of the page.

Copy a Forecast Version

You can create a copy of a Forecast Version by clicking the Copy icon on the Forecast Card. 

This enables you to preserve an existing Forecast Version’s data from the point in time when it was originally created or last updated/refreshed and also see the most current data from the two source versions based on the current date.

Example.png Example: If you have an Forecast Version that was created in April and it is now May.  You may want to create a version based on the same sources, but will not update the P4 Data to be Actuals.

Step 1: Click the white space on the forecast card you would like to delete. The card is now displayed with a green border to indicate it has been selected.

Step 2: Click the Copy icon ( Copy_hierarchy.png ).

From this point forward, the process is the same as for Create a Forecast Version.

 

Delete a Forecast Version

You can delete a Forecast Version by clicking the Delete icon on the Forecast Card. This action will completely remove the version from Planning Maestro and cannot be undone. For existing resources in Charts, Tools and Reports modules where this version is selected, the deleted version will be replaced by the (Default) Plan Basis Version.

Info.png Please Note: If the (Default) Plan Basis Version is already in use for example, as one of the selected versions in the Variance Report, the deleted Forecast Version will be replaced with the  Actuals Version. 

Step 1: Click the white space on the forecast card you would like to delete. The card is now displayed with a green border to indicate it has been selected.

Step 2: Click the Delete icon ( Delete.png ).

A message is displayed to remind you of the results of this action.

Step 3: Type the Forecast Name exactly as it is on the Forecast card.

When the appropriate value is typed, the Confirm button is activated.

Step 4: Click Confirm.

  • The Forecast Version is deleted.
  • A confirmation message appears in the upper right corner of the page.

Example.png Example: If the Forecast Version is selected as the Default view for Operating Expenses, the software will now use (Default) Plan Basis as the selected version.

Example.png Example: If the Forecast Version is selected as the Default view for Operating Expenses, the software will now use (Default) Plan Basis as the selected version.

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Comments

2 comments
  • I note the following in the directions - Actuals Data: Completed historical periods within the current year are populated with actuals amounts from the selected Actuals Version. How does Planning Maestro know when the historical period is complete. For example, I created a forecast on August 7th and we have not closed the month of July, although there are entries there. The forecast is assuming that July is closed but I would like to stop at June actuals given the information is incomplete. What would I need to do?

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  • Hi Scott,

    We have a Beta option that allows you to create the Forecast version for specific periods. Toggle off Rolling Forecast and then you can select the periods for each source version.

    The Rolling Forecast option pulls data through the most recent completed calendar month.

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