How do I create a forecast?
It is easy to make a forecast in Silverfin using an existing budget and the actuals to date.
Step 1: Ensure your report has a period that includes 'budget'
To unlock the budget functionality, you need to open a report for a particular client and add a 'budget' measure within the 'periods' element of the report editor.
An example: You can configure all the PTD periods as ‘actuals’ and all the following periods as 'budget.'
This means the report will show actuals for all periods up to the current period and budget figures (forecast) for the following periods.
actuals & budget: There is also an option to add 'actuals & budget' that you can add. This will just show the 2 columns next to each other, but not sum them together.
actuals + budget: You can add an extra period that you configure as YTD: actuals + budget. This column will then show the total of the actuals to date (current period) and the forecast figures for the following periods.
It is quite common to show both of these in a report.
Step 2: Edit the budget
To create / update the budget numbers, select 'Edit budget' in the top-left. If this is a monthly client, you will see all 12 months, if quarterly, all 4 quarters, and if yearly, simply one column for the annual budget.
Some tools to help you:
1) Which budget are you editing: Use the drop down in the top left to select which year you are setting the budget for. You can use the pencil on the far right to rename the budget. You can also use that copy button to copy the budget you are working on, or the plus button to simply add a new budget. The bin button will allow you to delete a whole budget.
2) Use actuals as a base in building a budget: You can select the year that you want to view the actuals of in the first column (by selecting the drop down). This is the YTD actual.
Note, the next 3 items, you can do for either all accounts, or on an individual account line, depending where you click.
3) Split actuals between periods. The symbol with 2 arrows will allow you to copy the values across (from actual to the budget columns), and here you can select how to divide this. E.g. If monthly, it will suggest you divide by 12. You can also edit the number that you want to be divided.
4) Copy actuals from the past (and inflate/deflate them): The copy button allows you to copy over the values, from that previous period, but to amend by a certain %. E.g. If you wanted to increase last year's performance by 5%, you would select 105% in this box. It will
5) Delete a budget line: The bin button allows you to delete an item
6) Manually enter a budget: You can always override the values and manually enter a budget
7) Use the padlock to exclude certain periods from your calculations: The padlock button allows you to lock a period, so that this period is excluded from any of your calculations