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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.
Input Drivers record a set number: for example, square footage, number of stores, or a fee per person. An Input Driver can be one of three types:
- Monetary (such as a fee)
- Units (such as square footage)
- Percentage (such as a tax percentage)
To review, add to, edit, or delete the budgeted amounts for Input Drivers in Planning Maestro, use the Drivers application, which is in the Planning module.
This document shows you, a Planning Maestro user, how to set up the properties of an Input Driver.
Setting up the Properties of an Input Driver
To locate the Drivers application and create a new Input Driver, see Managing Drivers. After adding the Input Driver, click the Expand icon ( ) to open the Properties pane.
The Properties pane opens.
An Input Driver’s Properties pane contains the following fields:
Use the General section of the Properties pane to set up the name and description of this Input Driver.
- Name – If needed, click on this field to edit the line item’s name.
- Descriptions 1-4 – You can add up to four descriptions of this line item as reminders or extra information for yourself or other budget contributors. These notes do not appear in reports. To add a description, click on the space beside Description 1, Description 2, Description 3, or Description 4 and enter a description.
Use the Date section of the Properties pane to set up the timing of this Input Driver.
- Time Hierarchy – The structure of your calendar view, or how the columns on the right side of the table represent periods, quarters, and years.
- Start Date – Click on this field and enter the start date for this Input Driver. You can also select the date from the calendar.
- End Date – Click on this field and enter the end date for this Input Driver, or select the date from the calendar. You can also leave the date as Never Ends to let this expense continue indefinitely.
Use the Driver Basis section to determine the nature or function of this Input Driver.
- Driver Type – This field lists the Driver Type you chose (Input for an Input Driver).
Please Note: You can click on this field to open a dropdown menu and select a new Driver Type if needed. If you choose a new Driver Type, the Properties pane fields for this Driver change (thought they may keep some of the data you entered).
- Driver Data Type – Click on this dropdown menu and select one of the following options:
- Monetary – Select this type if this Input Driver is an amount of money.
Example: $20 per square foot (for rent).
- Unit – Select this type if this Input Driver is a simple unit.
Example: Number of stores, square footage.
- Percent – Select this type if this Input Driver is a percentage of something.
Example: Percent of bookings.
Use the Driver Input section to determine how this Input Driver’s amount functions.
- Use Data Link – To use information from another module to create this Input Driver (for example, connecting it to an Operating Expense) click on this toggle switch to turn it to the ON position.
- Allow User Input – This field only appears if you are not using a Data Link. To enable users to edit the amount for each period for line items in other Planning applications connected to this Input Driver, click on this toggle switch to switch it to the ON position.
Example: An Input Driver is connected to a line item in the Revenue module through a Data Link. To enable users to edit amounts for this Revenue line item (such as change the amount for this line item in January from $100 to $200), click on this toggle switch to switch it to the ON position.
- Amount – This field only appears if you are not using a Data Link. Enter the amount for this Input Driver in this field.
- Spread Method – Click on this dropdown menu and select a Spread Method.
- Increase/Decrease Method – If this Input Driver involves periodic increases or decreases, select 0 selected (Edit) to choose an Increase/Decrease Method.
- Recognition Schedule – Click on this dropdown menu and select a Recognition Schedule for this Input Driver.
Reviewing an Input Driver’s Details
The Details pane shows advanced accounting details, or how each Driver line item is debited and credited to various GL Accounts.
Please Note: The Details pane is useful for accountants who are running reports. If you are a budget contributor (department head or manager) who just needs to enter your budget for the coming year, you most likely do not need to use the Details pane.
Step 1: To open the Details pane, select the line item in the table, and then select the Expand icon ( ) in the bottom right.
The Details pane opens. This pane displays a table.
You can customize your calendar view in the Details pane separately from your view in the main module by using the Rows, Columns, and Filters at the top.
Example: You can set your Details pane to a different calendar view from the main module. In the screenshots below, the main module’s calendar view is of 2022, while the Details pane has a calendar view of 2020-2022.
The columns of the table present the following information:
- Transaction Type – This column displays what type of transaction this line item affects: GL Accounts, increases, decreases, and payments.
- DR/CR – This column shows whether the line item is a debit or credit in each transaction.
- Account Number – This column shows the GL Account Number for each transaction.
The rest of the columns display the calendar view you set up above.
Use the Driver section of the Details pane to review how this line item debits or credits statistical Driver GL Accounts over the time period displayed in this module.
- Use the [Time] dropdown menu under Columns to control your calendar view, or what periods, quarters, and years you can see in this pane.
- Use the Properties pane to edit the GL Accounts debited or credited for this line item.