Managing Drivers

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Table of Contents

Drivers QuickView

Locating Drivers

Reviewing Drivers

Adding Drivers

Setting up a Line Item’s Properties

Editing Drivers

Editing Multiple Line Items

Deleting Drivers

In Planning Maestro, you can analyze your company’s data and create budgets and forecasts. These budgets can include Drivers: non-financial factors or variables (assumptions) involved in your company’s budgets. These factors or variables “drive” or directly influence operating expenses, revenue, and personnel in your company.

Example.png Example:

  • You can create a Driver named Square Footage that records the square footage of your office.
  • You can create a Driver named Price per square foot that records the rental price per square foot for your company’s office.
  • You can create a Driver named Shipping and handling that records a standard shipping and handling fee for packages.

To review, add to, edit, or delete the budgeted amounts for Drivers in Planning Maestro, use the Drivers application, which is in the Worksheets module.

This document shows you, a Planning Maestro user, how to:

Info.png Please Note: For specific instructions for setting up the properties of each of the five types of Drivers, see the following documents:

Drivers QuickView

There are five main types of Drivers:


The Drivers application has three main sections:

  1. Line items – The middle of the page or working screen displays Drivers in a table. You can add and remove columns or filter line items using the Rows, Columns, and Filters sections at the top.
  2. Properties – The Properties pane at the right side of the page enables you to add detailed information such as dates, descriptions, amounts, schedules, and other information about each line item.
  3. Details – The Details pane at the bottom of the page enables you to see how each line item debits and credits related GL Accounts.

Info.png Please Note: The Details pane is most useful for Input Drivers.

Info.png Please Note: First-time users: the Drivers application may not display any line items when you first open it. If it does not display any line items, the Properties and Details panes are blank (because they show information about selected line items).

Use the sections below to add, edit, and delete Drivers.

Locating Drivers

To manage your Drivers, open the Worksheets module and select Drivers.

The Drivers page opens.

On this page, you can:

  • Review existing Drivers (including filtering by name, account number, amount, spread method, and Dimension).
  • Add budgeted amounts for new Drivers.
  • Edit existing Drivers.
  • Delete Drivers.

Info.png Please Note: When you first open this page, the page may not display any line items. Use this page to build out your budget via templates or manually.

Reviewing Drivers

The Drivers page is designed as a table: each column represents a certain category of information, and each row represents one line item. You can set up this table with a certain layout to make it easier for you and other budget contributors to review and make changes.

To customize your view of this page and see all the information you need, review the current setup of Rows, Columns, and Filters at the top.

To add or remove columns or adjust the calendar view for the Driver application, see Navigating the Worksheets Modules.

Adding Drivers

Step 1: To add a new Driver, select the Add icon ( Add_line_item.png ).

The new Driver appears.

Step 2: Use the first few columns of this table to enter the necessary information about this Driver.

  • Name – Double-click on the Name field and enter a name for this line item that you and other employees can easily recognize.

  • Account Number – Double-click on this dropdown menu and select a statistical (non-financial) account to charge this Driver to.

  • Driver Type – Double-click on this field and select a type for this Driver. Each of the five Driver Types is designed to apply to a specific Worksheets application (see below).

Warning.png Please Note: The Properties pane for this line item (see Setting up a Line Item’s Properties section below) changes depending on which Driver Type you choose. Each of the five types of Drivers has its own set of fields, dropdown menus, and other setup options.

  • Input (you can use this type of Driver in any Worksheets application) – Select this type if this Driver involves a set number: for example, square footage, number of stores, or a fee per person.

Info.png Please Note: An Input Driver can be monetary (such as a fee), units (such as square footage), or percentages (such as a tax percentage).

  • Record Set (you can use this type of Driver in any Worksheets application) – Select this type if this Driver is based on a group of other line items from another application: for example, a total rent for all offices based on a set of individual office rents.
  • Related Cost (you can use this type of Driver in the Revenue application) – Select this type if this Driver is a cost attached a Revenue line item, such as a shipping and handling fee.
  • Hourly Related Expense (you can use this type of Driver in the Personnel application) – Select this type if this Driver is a Personnel cost budgeted by the hour, such as sick time, overtime, or vacation time.
  • Period Related Expense (you can use this type of Driver in the Personnel application) – Select this type if this Driver is a Personnel-related cost budgeted by period, such as health insurance, social security, or a 401K contribution.

Info.png Please Note: The Amount and Spread Method fields described below mostly apply for Input and Related Cost Drivers. The amounts for the other Drivers depend on line items from other Worksheets applications.

  • Amount – Double-click on this field and enter the total amount for this Input or Related Cost Driver for the time period in this view of data (one year, two years, three quarters, etc.).

  • Spread Method – Double-click on this dropdown menu and select a Spread Method, or a method for distributing the expense of this Input or Related Cost Driver across a certain time period. Planning Maestro comes with several default Spread Methods. You or other users can also add custom Spread Methods.

Best_practice_icon.png *Please Note: If you are budgeting for a line item that remains the same all year (for example, the square footage of an office that remains the same size), use the Period Amount Spread Method or enter the full amount in the first period. Otherwise, Planning Maestro automatically uses the Even Spread Method and assigns an equal amount of this line item across the calendar view, which may result in decimal numbers (which might not make sense for all line items).

The right side of the table updates to show the amount and Spread Method you chose.

Setting up a Line Item’s Properties

After you enter the basic information for each Driver, use the Properties pane to add advanced information about the line item (including rates, schedules, and links to other information).

Info.png Please Note: The fields in the Properties pane change depending on which Driver Type you chose for this line item (Input, Related Cost, Record Set, Hourly Related Expense, or Period Related Expense). View the linked documents for information about the unique fields for each Driver Type.

Step 1: To add advanced information about this line item, click on the Expand icon ( Expand_properties_pane.png  ) above Properties.

The Properties pane opens on the right. The screenshot below shows this pane for an Input Driver.

Properties pane for an Input Driver:

To edit the properties and details for each type of Driver, see the following documents:

Editing Drivers

After adding Drivers and setting up their properties through the Properties pane, you can edit them individually or in bulk.

Editing Using the Transaction Row Filter

To edit the amounts for multiple Input Drivers or Related Cost Drivers at once, use the Transaction Row filter.

Info.png Please Note: Because Record Set, HRE, and PRE amounts depend on the line items they are connected to through Data Links, the Transaction Row filter is most useful for Input and Related Cost Drivers.

Click on the Transaction Row dropdown menu to filter the page to see the type of transaction amount you want to edit. Then, edit each cell to change the amounts.

Example.png Example: To change the amount per period for a Monetary Input Driver, click on the Transaction Row dropdown menu and select Monetary (Input). The Amount field in the table changes to reflect the Monetary (Input) of each Monetary Input Driver. Then, you can edit each Driver’s amount per period individually on the right side of the table.

Editing Using an Excel Spreadsheet

To edit multiple line items quickly and easily, you can use the Export/Import tool to export this page as an Excel spreadsheet, edit as needed, and then import it back in. To export an Excel spreadsheet, hover over the Export/Import icon ( Export-import_icon.png  ) and select Export Data Projections to Excel.

Info.png Please Note: For specific guidelines for exporting and importing Excel spreadsheets, see Exporting/Importing Excel Templates in Worksheets.

Deleting Drivers

Warning.png Please Note: You cannot recover a deleted Driver.

Use the following steps to delete unwanted Drivers from the Drivers application.

Step 1: To remove a line item from the Drivers page, select the line item and select the Delete icon ( Delete_line_item.png  ).

Step 2: A popup message appears. Click Confirm.


The line item disappears from the page.

Info.png Please Note: You cannot delete a line item connected to other line items through a Data Link. If you try, a warning message appears and shows you how this line item is used in other Data Projections (other line items).


To delete this line item, remove all the Data Links connected to it (listed in the popup message) first. You can:

  • Remove this line item from a Record Set.
  • Remove the Data Link from the other item(s) connected to it.
  • Delete the other items connected to this line item through Data Links.

For detailed instructions for using Data Links, see Using Data Links in Planning Maestro.








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