Working with the Task Manager

The Task Manager in Spotlight Forecasting is the starting point for all forecasting tasks. From here, you can select your data source, import your data, create and copy budgets and forecasts and access additional drivers, KPIs and covenants.

To access the Task Manager, from the main Spotlight Forecasting screen, click the Go to Task Manager button alongside the organisation you want to work with. The Task Manager also opens automatically when you first create a Spotlight Forecasting organisation.

Just looking for what's changed recently? Take a look at our brief outline.

 

 

To add a data source

 

Import data from Xero


When you import data from Xero for the first time, you must set up the connection and authorise Spotlight to connect to your data. This is an easy process and normally only needs to be done once. 

  1. From the Task Manager tab, click Xero.  

    Xero

  2. A message appears to prompt you to connect to Xero. Click Continue.
  3. If required, enter your Xero login details then click Login.

    Note: If you're already logged in to Xero, the login window may not appear and you can continue to the next step.

  4. Choose the organisation you want to connect to, then click Allow access. Once the authorisation is complete, you are redirected back to Spotlight Forecasting and can now import your data.
  5. Select the actual and budget dates you’d like to import data for and click Import.  

    Note: You can choose not to import either Actuals or Budget data by unchecking the respective checkboxes however this will limit your choice when you select which data to use for your budget or forecast.

 

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Import data from QuickBooks Online


When you import data from Quickbooks Online for the first time, you must set up the connection and authorise Spotlight to connect to your data. This is an easy process and normally only needs to be done once. In the following months, you can simply import the updated data.

  1. From the Task Manager, click QuickBooks.

    QBO

  2. Click the Connect to QuickBooks button.  You're then redirected to QuickBooks.
  3. Enter your QBO account details and click Sign In.

    Note: If you're already logged in to Quickbooks Online, the login window may not appear and you can continue to the next step.

  4. Choose the organisation you want to connect to, then click Authorise.  Once the authorisation is complete, you are redirected back to Spotlight Forecasting and can now import your data..  

    Note: If you're a Pro Advisor firm, and your own firm's organisation doesn't appear, please click the Add app to firm link shown below the drop-down list.

  5. Select the actual and budget dates you’d like to import data for and click Import.

    Note: You can choose not to import either Actuals or Budget data by unchecking the respective check boxes, however this will limit your choice when you select which data to use for your budget or forecast.

 

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Import data from MYOB AccountRight Live


The first time you import from MYOB, you need to authorise Spotlight to connect to your data. 

  1. From the Task Manager, click the MYOB AccountRight option. 

    MYOB Online

  2. A message appears to prompt you to connect to MYOB AccountRight Live. Click Continue.
  3. Enter your MYOB login details, then click Sign in.  You will need either administrator or bookkeeper user roles and have access to reports in all areas. 
  4. Once the authorisation is complete, you are redirected back to Spotlight. From the Company File drop-down list, select the organisation you want to import, then click Open File.

    Note: If User ID and Password boxes appear, the login you entered into MYOB originally does not have the required access to import from this company. Select a different company or enter the required login information.

  5. Select the actual and budget dates you’d like to import data for and click Import.

    Note: You can choose not to import either Actuals or Budget data by unchecking the respective checkboxes however this will limit your choice when you select which data to use for your budget or forecast.

 

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Import data from Quickbooks Desktop

 

Note: If you haven't yet installed the Desktop Connector, for information about how to install this and add your files please refer to this article. Please note that you only need to install the Desktop Connector if you will not be connecting to files already set up in the Desktop Connector on another computer. 

  1. From the Task Manager, click the QuickBooks Desktop data source.

    QBD

  2. Enter the Desktop Connector ID, then click Submit.

    If this is the first time this organisation has been imported, open the Desktop Connector and in the Connections tab, click the Accept button alongside the name of the Spotlight user, to approve the connection. 

    If another user set up the Desktop Connector, or if you're accessing the organisation remotely, please request that the person who set up the Desktop Connector authorise this connection as above.

  3. Once the authorisation is complete, you are redirected back to Spotlight Forecasting and can now import your data.
  4. Select the actual and budget dates you’d like to import data for and click Import.

    Note: You can choose not to import either Actuals or Budget data by unchecking the respective checkboxes however this will limit your choice when you select which data to use for your budget or forecast.

 

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Import data from MYOB Desktop 

 

Note: If you haven't yet installed the Desktop Connector, for information about how to install this and add your files please refer to this article. Please note that you only need to install the Desktop Connector if you will not be connecting to files already set up in the Desktop Connector on another computer. 

  1. From the Task Manager tab, click the MYOB AccountRight Desktop data source.

    MYOBDesktop

  2. Enter the Desktop Connector ID, then click Submit.

    If this is the first time this organisation has been imported, open the Desktop Connector and in the Connections tab, click the Accept button alongside the name of the Spotlight user, to approve the connection. 

    If another user set up the Desktop Connector, or if you're accessing the organisation remotely, please request that the person who set up the Desktop Connector authorise this connection as above.

  3. Once the authorisation is complete, you are redirected back to Spotlight Forecasting and can now import your data.
  4. Select the actual and budget dates you’d like to import data for and click  Import.

    Note: You can choose not to import either Actuals or Budget data by unchecking the respective checkboxes however this will limit your choice when you select which data to use for your budget or forecast.

 

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Import data from Sage 50 Accounts

 

Note: If you haven't yet installed the Desktop Connector, for information about how to install this and add your files please refer to this article. Please note that you only need to install the Desktop Connector if you will not be connecting to files already set up in the Desktop Connector on another computer. 

  1. From the task Manager tab, click the Sage 50 Desktop data source.

    SageAccounts

  2. Enter the Desktop Connector ID, then click Submit.

    If this is the first time this organisation has been imported, open the Desktop Connector and in the Connections tab, click the Accept button alongside the name of the Spotlight user, to approve the connection. 

    If another user set up the Desktop Connector, or if you're accessing the organisation remotely, please request that the person who set up the Desktop Connector authorise this connection as above.
  3. Once the authorisation is complete, you are redirected back to Spotlight Forecasting and can now import your data.
  4. Select the actual and budget dates you’d like to import data for and click Import.

    Note: You can choose not to import either Actuals or Budget data by unchecking the respective checkboxes however this will limit your choice when you select which data to use for your budget or forecast.

 

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Import data from MS Excel

 

If the accounting system you use isn't listed, you can still bring the data in via Microsoft Excel.

  1. From the Task Manager tab, click the Excel data source.

    Excel


  2. Download the Excel template, then complete this as needed with your Actuals, Budget and Cash data.
  3. Once you're ready to import the file, click Choose File, then browse to and select the Excel file you want and click Open.
  4. To begin the import, click Import Data

 

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To create a profit and loss budget

 

Once you've selected a data source, you can set up and work on a profit and loss budget.

Note: In this option you'll work with profit and loss budget values only, however you can then use these budget values in a full three way forecast if needed.

  1. From the Task Manager tab, click the Create a Profit and Loss Budget option.

    Profit and Loss Budget

  2. In the Budget Settings section, enter a Name and Short Name for your budget. The short name is an abbreviated version which is used on some pages within the report.
  3. In the Budget From Date and Budget To Date boxes, select the date range you need for your budget. This date range can cover up to five years.
  4. In the Last Month of Actuals box, select the last month for which you want to show actuals instead of budget values. This can be any month up to and including the most recent calendar month.
  5. In the Data Source section, select the data source you added for this forecasting organisation.

    Note: There is also a Manually Enter option. If you choose this option, none of your imported accounts or values willl appear and you will need to manually create the full budget. Please note that if you use this option you will not be able to connect this budget, or any forecast based on it, to a data source in future.

  6. In the Select Data to Use section, select which data you will use as the basis for your budget. There are three options:

    • Imported budget - Use the budget imported from the accounting system or Excel.
    • Last year’s budget - Copy the budget from the previous year into the equivalent months of the current year.
    • Last year’s actuals - Copy the actuals from the previous year into the equivalent months of the current year.

      Please note that if your budget extends beyond the point to which the above data is available, once you've created your budget you will need to use the adjustment options to copy the data into the later months.
  7. To create your budget, click Save and Continue.

You can now view the budget values and, if required, use the adjustment options to update or adjust the values.

 

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To create a three way forecast

 

In the Task Manager, you can set up a three way forecast based on imported data, or on a budget that you've created.

  1. From the Task Manager tab, click the Create a Three-Way Forecast option.

    Three Way Forecast

  2. In the Forecast Settings section, enter a Name and Short Name for your forecast. The short name is an abbreviated version which is used on some pages within the report.
  3. In the Forecast From Date and Forecast To Date boxes, select the date range you need for your forecast. This date range can cover up to five years.
  4. In the Last Month of Actuals box, select the last month for which you want to show actuals instead of forecast values. This can be any month up to and including the most recent calendar month.
  5. Select the basis on which GST, VAT or sales tax is calculated for this organisation. 
  6. Select the schedule to use for GST, VAT, or sales tax, and for the employee and employer payroll taxes for the organisation. If you don't see the schedule you need, you can create a custom schedule later.
  7. Select whether the cashflow should calculate on a tax inclusive or exclusive basis. When importing from an accounting system, we recommend the Tax Inclusive setting.
  8. In the Data Source section, select the budget on which you want to base the forecast, or the data source you added for this forecasting organisation.

    Note: There is also a Manually Enter option. If you choose this option, none of your imported accounts or values willl appear and you will need to manually create the full budget. Please note that if you use this option you will not be able to connect this budget, or any forecast based on it, to a data source in future.

  9. If you selected a data source in step 5, in the Select Data to Use section, select which data you will use as the basis for the profit and loss budget values in your forecast. There are three options:

    • Imported budget - Use the budget imported from the accounting system or Excel.
    • Last year’s budget - Copy the budget from the previous year into the equivalent months of the current year.
    • Last year’s actuals - Copy the actuals from the previous year into the equivalent months of the current year.

      Please note that if your forecast extends beyond the point to which the above data is available, once you've created your forecast you will need to use the adjustment options to copy the data into the later months.
  10. To create your forecast click Save and Continue.

You've now created a three-way forecast and can view the data on the Profit and Loss, Balance Sheet and Cashflow Forecast tabs. You can also work with the rules, values, and settings in your forecast to ensure the most accuracy for the business. Please see the following articles for help with adjusting and working with your forecast:

 

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To copy a forecast or budget

 

Once you've set up a forecast or budget, you can make a copy if needed. For example, you may want to take an existing forecast and amend it to show a different potential outcome for the business, such as increased revenue or costs, or a possible loan or asset purchase.

Note: Once you create a copy of your forecast or budget, any changes made to the original do not affect the new copy, and vice-versa.

  1. From the Task Manager tab, click the Make a Copy option alongside the forecast or budget you want to copy. 

    Make a Copy2

  2. Enter a name and short name for the copied forecast. The short name is an abbreviated version which is used on some pages within the report.
  3. If you chose to copy a budget, you can select the Copy and convert this budget to become a three-way forecast check box if required.
  4. If required, enter an optional percentage adjustment to Revenue, Cost of Sales, or Expenses.
  5. To finish, click Copy.

Your new copy now appears on the list. To open it, click the Edit option. You can now work with the new copy in the same way as any other budget or forecast, without amending the original.

 

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To delete a forecast or budget

 

If you need to delete a forecast or budget, from the Task Manager tab, click the Delete button alongside it.

Delete2 

Note: If a forecast is in use within a consolidated forecast, you cannot delete it from the Task Manager. If this forecast is no longer needed in the consolidation, you can remove it from there and then delete the individual forecast.

 

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To access forecasting drivers

 

To access the forecasting drivers, from the Task Manager tab, click the Drivers button on the right-hand side of the page. You can then set up and work with your drivers.

Screen Shot 2022 05 30 at 12.50.55 am

 

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To access KPIs and Covenants

 

To access the KPIs and banking covenants, from the Task Manager tab, click the KPIs and Covenants button on the right-hand side of the page. You can then set up and work with your KPIs and covenants.

Screen Shot 2022 05 30 at 11.50.55 am

 

 

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