Comparison pages

With the comparison pages in Spotlight Forecasting, you can show figures from your budget, forecast and scenario side-by-side on a single page. For example, you may have created a budget on which your forecast was based, but now want to see how the current forecast differs from the budget.

 

 

To set the short name for your budget, forecast or scenario

Note: If you do not set a short name, the system will automatically populate the short name with the first ten characters from the task name. You can change this name later by following the steps below.

  1. From the Task Manager tab, select the required task.
  2. Click Show Settings, then in the Short name of Budget, Forecast or Scenario box, enter an abbreviated name to use.
  3. Click Save and Continue.
  4. The new short name is now saved, and you can use it to select the options you want as part of the comparison pages.

To add a comparison page

The comparison pages are available in all new forecasts, but if your forecast was created before these pages became available, you’ll need to add them to your forecast. To do this:

  1. Open the Customise Layout tab, then click Add Page.
  2. From the Page Type drop-down list, choose the required comparison page.
  3. If required, amend the page name.
  4. From the Insert After drop-down list, choose the page you want the new one to follow.
  5. To add your new page, click Save.

To edit a comparison page

Before you can display any of the comparison pages, you’ll need to customise them and select the settings you want to show.

  1. From the Customise Layout screen, click the Customise option for the appropriate page.
  2. When you customise the page for the first time, the Customise Columns option automatically appears. Select the options you need as follows:
    • From and To dates - For profit and loss and cashflow forecast pages, enter the date range you want to compare, for example April 2019 to March 2020. If you’re working with a balance sheet page, enter the date to which you want to see the cumulative balance.

      Note: The full value for the date range is compared as a single figure, not individual months. If required, you can add additional comparison pages for different months.

    • Base - Choose the base values to compare against. This can be your budget (profit and loss page only), forecast, or one of your scenarios.

      Note: For your options to appear correctly on this drop-down list you must have entered a short name for your budget, forecast or scenario within the relevant Show Settings option.

    • Compare - Choose the data you want to compare against the base values. You must select at least one comparison option.
    • Show $ Variance - If you want to show the variance as a currency value, select this check box.
    • Show % Variance - If you want to show the variance as a percentage, select this check box.
  3. To save your changes, click Save.

If required, to amend the page options further, you can then open the Show Settings option and select the report type/format, detail level and (if applicable) row options you want to see.

To prepare rolling forecasts

A forecast can be created and compared to a scenario for the purposes of working with rolling forecasts. To do this:

  1. From the Task Manager screen, click the purple button to create and finalise your original forecast.
  2. Once finalised, from the Task Manager screen, click the orange button to create a scenario called, "Rolling Forecast".
  3. In the Data Source column, select the forecast you created from Step 1 and click 'Save and Continue'.
  4. From the Scenario called "Rolling Forecast", use the 'Update Data from' button in the top right corner of the Customise Data screen to import Actuals for the completed months. 

    Note: use only the 'Update Actuals' tick box in order to update Actuals in your forecast. Using the 'Update Budget' tick box will overwrite the budget values. Please ensure that you 'Update Actuals' only in the orange Scenario task.

  5. Each month, repeat the process outlined in Step 4 to import the most recently completed month to update the "Rolling Forecast". 

To compare your Rolling Forecast to the Original Forecast, you can use one or all of the Comparison pages.

 

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