Budgeting & Forecasting

Forecasting

The Forecasting module is an optional feature of Martus that allows you to project future budgets across multiple years.

Forecasting Module Basics

The Forecasting module is an optional feature of Martus that allows you to do three kinds of forecasts:


  • Project future budgets across multiple years
  • Compare multiple scenarios for possible changes to a full year's budget (what-if analysis)
  • Compare multiple scenarios for possible changes to the remaining months in a year (what-if analysis by month)

 

The Forecasting module is an optional feature of Martus that allows you to project future budgets across multiple years, showing the impact of possible changes at any detail level.

  • The forecast of year-over-year changes to any budget within Martus is based on the dimensions, accounts, or account categories you select.
  • Forecasts can be projected for the current year, or up to 9 years in the future – with the years shown side-by-side for easy comparison.
  • You can add notes to explain future adjustments and assumptions, and quickly see the results in the form of impact to your bottom line.  
  • Results can be viewed in the same summary/detail views used throughout Martus. Results can also be exported to Excel.

Forecasts is a selection on the Planner menu. This feature is automatically available to Admin users.  Permission to use this feature can also be assigned to any non-Admin user. A non-Admin user will only be able to see budget information and prepare forecasts for the dimensions to which he has access.


Setting Up and Reviewing Forecasts

Using the Forecast List

When you select Forecasts from the Planner menu, you see a list of existing forecasts.  The forecasts are listed for the current budget year, but you can change this if you wish to do so. An Admin user can see all forecasts. A non-Admin user can only see the forecasts that they have personally created.

 

You can take any of these steps from the Forecast list:

  • Create a new forecast with the Add a New Forecast button
  • Use the Edit button to view and change detail for a forecast, or to delete a forecast.
  • Use the Results button to proceed to the results reports for a forecast

 

About Forecasts


When you create a new forecast, you specify a name. When choosing a name, remember that the name can be any length, but the on-screen display of the name is usually limited to 30 characters.

Define the configuration of the forecast with this information:

  • number of years for the forecast (this is in addition to the budget year)
  • dimensions, accounts, and account categories to use for forecasting
  • the source budget (Admin users only); a forecast by a non-Admin user is always based on the default budget for the selected budget year

Once you’ve created a forecast, you can’t change the configuration.

When you are adding a new forecast, click Preview once you’ve specified the configuration in order to see the Forecast Detail screen and enter the adjustments that will shape your projections for that forecast.


Forecast Detail

The Forecast Detail screen summarizes your budget based on the configuration of the forecast (the dimensions and account information that you have selected to show).  You can filter the display and report on any of the dimensions that you’ve used in the configuration, but you can’t add or remove dimensions from the configuration.


You can delete any lines that you don’t want to consider in the Forecast, and you can add any lines that weren’t budgeted but that you want to include in your projections.


If you are an Admin user or have the privilege to view Excluded accounts, any budgeted amounts for those accounts will be included in the Forecast Detail.


The Forecast has totals for each type of account (Income, Expense, Other Income, Other Expense, and Cost of Goods Sold). It also shows the impact of your projects for each account type and each year.


Examples of the Forecast Detail with Various Configurations

If you select only to show account category in your forecast, the Forecast Detail would look like this:

 

If you select to show departments and category, the display might look like this.


Filtering the Forecast Display

You can use the filters at the top of the screen to limit the display. This example illustrates a filter to a specific department.

 

This example illustrates a filter to a particular account category:

 

Manipulating the Lines in the Forecast

Adding Lines. You can add lines to the forecast, based on combinations of the dimensions and account information used in its configuration. In this example, the forecast configuration was based on department and account category, so you can select a combination of department and account category that is not presently listed on the forecast. You also must indicate the account type in order to determine the section of the forecast in which the new line will be added.

 

Deleting Lines. Use the checkbox on the far right to select lines to be deleted, then use the Delete button at the bottom right side of the screen to delete lines from the forecast.

 

Entering Projections and Notes for the Forecast

The check boxes on the Forecast Detail are a powerful tool for selecting the lines to update with your projections. The check boxes can:

  • Select an entire column (all items for a year)
  • Select an entire column for a type of account (such as income or expense)

  • Select all years for a specific line (all years in the forecast)

Once you select some lines to change, click the Adjust Selected button.



Specify whether the increase is flat or a percentage, then add any notes. If you are affecting multiple years and/or lines, the same note will be applied to all years and lines.

 

After you click Apply, all projections are calculated and displayed as the amount of the change (not as a percentage). Totals for the section are updated. If notes have been entered, you’ll see a bright blue paperclip icon.      

If notes have not been entered, the paperclip icon is gray; you can click it to add notes for any specific adjustment.

 

After you’ve entered your projections, be sure to click Save at the bottom of the Forecast Detail!

 

Reviewing the Results of the Forecast

The Forecast Detail shows totals for each year, each account type, and overall.   More reporting options are available on the Forecast Results page. To access this, you can either select Results from the Forecast List, or select Results from the bottom of the Forecast Detail.

Options for the Rows dropdown include Detail view and summaries by anything used in the configuration of this forecast. You can also limit the display to any dimension or the level of account information included in the configuration. Results can be exported to Excel in order to be printed, for distribution, or for further analysis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forecasting (Video)

Click the link below for a video tutorial about Martus' Forecasting module.