Create a budget or forecast

You can use Spotlight Forecasting to create a budget or forecast for a period up to 60 months. When working in Spotlight Forecasting, there are two main tasks you can work on - creating a budget or forecast, and copying the budget or forecast to predict alternative possible outcomes.

Note: Before you can complete any of these tasks, you must have chosen and added a data source for your Forecasting organisation, as shown in this article.

To create a budget or forecast

To create a budget or forecast follow these steps:

  1. From the main Spotlight screen click the Go to Task Manager button alongside your organisation’s name.
  2. If you haven't already done so, add a data source.
  3. Click the option to Create a Profit & Loss Budget, Create a Three-Way Forecast, or if you already have one that you want to copy, click the Make a Copy option alongside the forecast or budget you want to copy.

    Note: If you're unsure which option to choose, you can see a brief description of each option and a quick demo video below.

  4. Enter your budget or forecast settings.
  5. Select a data source.
  6. Select which data to use.
  7. Save and Continue.
  8. Customise your data using the flexing options and rule modals.

You can go to the Task Manager at any time to perform a different task. To edit your budget or forecast, in the Actions column click the Edit button alongside the budget or forecast name.

How to create a budget

You can use the Create a Profit & Loss Budget option to set up or import budget values for profit and loss accounts, for a period of up to five years. If needed, you'll then be able to use this budget in a forecast. Creating a budget first, before setting up your forecast, means you always have a copy of the original budget values for reference, even if these are later changed within the forecast.

How to create a forecast

You can use the Create a Three-Way Forecast option to set up a profit and loss, balance sheet and cash flow forecast for a period of up to five years. You can base this on a budget you've already created, or on the data imported from your accounting software, Excel or manually enter the data. Once you've created this, you can work with the values, rules and other options, creating both cash and non-cash journals, to customise this to be accurate for the business.


How to create a copy of your forecast or budget

You can use the Make a Copy option alongside your budget or forecast to create a copy of this and flex the numbers as needed to predict other possible outcomes. For example, you can see the impact of an increase or decrease in revenue, cost of sales, and expenses, create a best or worst case forecast, or change payment terms to see the impact of improved debtor collection. You can now create up to 30 budgets and forecasts, so there's plenty of scope to predict possible outcomes and work with different business decisions.

Elsewhere in the Help Centre:

Create an audit trail
Customise your report layout and content
Export your report
Export your report

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