How can Forecast Input Forms Drive Faster and Better Decisions?

As Budget Managers increasingly become innovators in the Planning Process, they must rely on modern self-service corporate performance management (CPM) and business intelligence (BI) tools. Using interactive forecast input forms like the Profit & Loss Top Down Driver-based Forecast Template shown below enables them and users from the leadership teams to experience near real time planning that help drive faster and better decisions.

Who uses Profit & Loss Top Down Driver-based Forecasts and What are Some Key Analytical Features?

In today’s fast-paced business environment, Budget Manager are under high pressure to supply end users like executives with timely and concise forecasts, often on a quarterly or monthly basis. Companies use key features like the ones below to support their users with effective analysis that helps drive more informed and quicker decisions:

  • Input of drivers like Target Net Income and adjustments that automatically generate forecast figures for the remaining periods of the year
  • Conveniently available actual year-to-date figures with automated annualization
  • Expandable (seen collapsed in the image below) columns and rows to view individual periods and GL accounts

The Profit & Loss Top Down Driver-based Forecast template can be used as a key element of the Planning process:

Example of a Profit & Loss Top Down Driver-based Forecast Template to Streamline the Planning Process

Example of a Profit & Loss Top Down Driver-based Forecast Template to Streamline the Planning Process

The Profit & Loss Top Down Driver-based Forecast is a ready-to-use forecast input form from the Solver Marketplace.

A Brief Description of the Profit & Loss Top Down Driver-based Forecast Template

Forecast input forms like the one seen in the image above are interactive and parameter driven and typically contain sections with revenues, expenses, sub-totals and totals. One of the important features that aid the user in the analysis process is the ability to automatically generate monthly forecast figures. Profit & Loss Top Down Driver-based Forecasts are often used in conjunction with bottom-up forecast- and annual budget templates, P&L reports, balance sheets, cash flow reports, and budget/forecast analysis dashboards.

Data Integration to Transaction Systems

Most organizations these days want automated and streamlined planning, reporting and analysis. However, many of the benefits described earlier rely on best of breed Corporate Performance Management (CPM) tools and/or Business Intelligence (BI) capabilities as well as data marts or data warehouses that use pre-built integrations to the organization’s ERP system. Oftentimes, they also need integrations to other key data sources like CRM, subscription systems, payroll tools, etc.

Modern, cloud-based ERPs like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance (D365 Finance), Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (D365 BC), Sage Intacct, Acumatica, Netsuite and SAP have robust APIs which allow for dynamic integrations to CPM and BI tools that are fully automated and flexible to run on a schedule or on-demand.

Additional Resources to Aid with Research of Templates, CPM and BI Tools