How can Forecast Input Forms Drive Faster and Better Decisions?
As Budget Managers increasingly become key advisors in the Forecasting Process, they must rely on modern self-service corporate performance management (CPM) and business intelligence (BI) tools. Using interactive Forecast Input Forms like the 5 Year P&L Forecast template shown below enables them and users from the FP&A team to experience near real time multi-year projections that help drive faster and better decisions.
Who uses 5 Year P&L Forecasts and What are Some Key Analytical Features?
In today’s fast-paced business environment, Budget Managers are under high pressure to supply end users like executives and board members with multi-year Forecasts. Companies use key features like the ones below to support their users with easy and effective planning capabilities that help drive more informed long-range planning and decisions:
- Dynamic rolling input columns for the 5 years following the current year
- Actual history columns with YTD data and current year annualized
- Current year budget and forecast read-only columns
The 5 Year P&L Forecast template can be used as a key element of the Forecasting process:
The 5 Year P&L Forecast is a ready-to-use Forecast Input Form from the Solver Marketplace.
A Brief Description of the 5 Year P&L Forecast Template
Forecast Input Forms like the one seen in the image above are interactive and parameter driven and typically contain sections with historical actual data and data entry input cells. One of the important features that aid the user in the analysis process is the ability for the user to see historical actual data to maximize the accuracy of their five-year forecast inputs. 5 Year P&L Forecasts Input Forms are often used in conjunction with multi-year forecast reports and dashboards, and annual budgets.
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
- Templates from Solver that are pre-built and that work out-of-the-box using the Solver CPM cloud. Click here.
- Template examples: You find more than 500 CPM and BI Template examples here.
- Interactive Dashboard examples: Try Power BI dashboard templates from Solver here.
- Software evaluation and selection:
- Vendor Comparison and ROI (free interactive tool)
- Evaluating planning, budgeting and forecasting functionality
- Evaluating Financial Reporting functionality
- Evaluating Dashboard functionality
- Evaluating Data Warehouse functionality to achieve “one version of the truth”
- Demonstrations and other specific assets: Solver Tour Central
- Using third party analysts and consultants to aid in vendor selection
- Creating efficient processes: