Budget and forecast are terms often used in Figured, but what’s the difference between the two?
Your budget is your financial plan prepared at the start of each of your budget / financial years. It's something you generally prepare once, lock off, and make adjustments to later on.
Your forecast on the other hand is your rolling budget - it's where you make changes to your original budget based on circumstance changes like poor weather or an unexpected retirement.
Other points to note are:
- Locked budgets are used as comparative data in your reports against your actuals
- Forecasted figures are overwritten with actuals at the close of each month
The recommended flow in Figured is to build your budget, lock your budget, copy your budget to forecasts and then you can re-forecast throughout the year. Your budget remains unchanged throughout the year.
Building your budget
The budget in Figured is built in two places - your production trackers (held in your Production tab) and your Planning tab.
We recommend working in your production trackers first, and then moving onto your planning tab. Check out the articles below on building a budget in the various trackers:
Once your production budgets have been built, you can move on to completing the rest of the budget in your planning tab.
The planning tab is where any other operating expenses or income are held, along with any non-operating movements such as your assets, liabilities, or capex etc.
- To build your budget make sure your global settings are set to this years budget
- You can enter your budget (and your forecasts) on a cash or profit view - or a combination of the two
- This button is used to lock (approve) a budget, or unlock it when in your forecasts
- Set your budgeted opening balances for your bank account and GST
- Any cells in your planning tab are able to be budgeted against, just like an Excel spreadsheet
After you've finished up with your budget, the page will automatically save and then you can lock it off.
Working in your forecasts, and bringing in the actuals
Once you've approved your budget, your forecasts will unlock and allow you to work in them.
This means to budget your budget must be unlocked, and to forecast your budget must be locked.
- To work in your forecasts make sure your global settings are set to this years actuals + forecasts - you can use the actuals to dropdown option to determine what months you wish to be shown as actuals
- As with the budget, you can forecast in both a cash and profit view
- We recommend copying your budget to your forecasts as soon as your budget is locked
- All the blue numbers in your actuals view in the planning tab are able to be clicked - they'll open up your Xero account and show you exactly where those numbers have come from
- As in your budget, any cells in your planning tab are able to be forecasted against