Spring 2012 Forecaster User Forum – Q&A
The following questions were brought up during the Spring 2012 Forecaster User Forum sponsored by the MSX Group. We have provided both the questions, answers and related links for more information on certain topics.
QUESTION: Can employee FTEs and hours be budgeted by month or only on an annual basis?
ANSWER: You can select to budget for FTEs and hours for employees on an annual or a monthly basis in the HR tab. This option is in the options tab of the Input set setup (Setup>Budgets>Input Sets>Options). The option selected for the input set applies to all employees in that input set. For example, you can’t budget salaried employees on an annual basis and hourly employees on a monthly basis.
Please refer to the following Microsoft KB article for additional details regarding HR: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/938429
QUESTION: How do I upload Human Resources detail to Forecaster?
ANSWER: Importing HR details is fairly straight forward using the HR Details Import Wizard.
Please refer to the following Microsoft KB article for additional details regarding Importing HR details: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/950733
QUESTION: What does the Regular Allocations checkbox on the HR input screen do?
ANSWER: The Regular Allocations checkbox determines if the displayed FTE or hours includes overtime or not. For example, if an employee has 10% overtime, the FTE at the top will show 1.1 instead of 1 as the allocation for the employee.
Please refer to the following Microsoft KB article for additional details regarding HR Regular Allocations: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/950730
QUESTION: How do you transfer an employee from one department to another?
ANSWER: Transferring of employees from one center to another can be accomplished either via the HR tab of the input set, or the HR Master screen. In the HR tab of the input screen, You can modify the allocation and/or start and end periods as appropriate. In the new center, add the employee in the HR tab and modify the allocation and start and end periods accordingly. In HR Master, double-click the line with the employee to be transferred. This will bring up the employee allocation window where you can view the current assignments. Select Reassign to transfer all or part of the employee to another center. Data transfers via the HR Input tab of the Data Input screen offer more options and flexibility for making transfers. Note, the HR Master screen will not reflect the change in the Assigned Center column for the employee. HR Master only includes one line per employee ID. In cases where employees have been transferred or if an employee works in multiple centers, the assigned center can be modified.
Please refer to the following Microsoft KB article for information on updating Assigned Centers: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/947422
QUESTION: Can Forecaster (Revenue details) calculate revenue based on service hours @ multiple rates per hour (ie. different rate per service so that the budget will update when hourly rate is updated)? Also, can it budget an amount based on another account budget (ie. Sales returns as a percentage of Sales)?
ANSWER: The Revenue details setup allows you to include as many rates as are appropriate using either the units and rates feature or the custom revenue calculations defined in the Revenue details setup. Also, you can use other accounts in your formulas as drivers. You will, however need to recalculate the Revenue details if changes in the driver accounts occurs to be sure the calculated amounts are updated to reflect the changes.
QUESTION: Can revenue details including rate codes and associated rates used in calculating revenue in Revenue details?
ANSWER: You can create detail reports in Forecaster to display and export all revenue details and other details (HR, Capital, Line Items, etc.). For more info on creating detail reports, search the Forecaster online help.
QUESTION: Can calculations be applied to line item details in the data input screen?
ANSWER: Calculations generally apply only to account level balances. However, you can use calculation with sub-ledger details on the optional Revenue tab.
QUESTION: If you have 10 companies, with different currencies, can you set them up in the same db, using the Segments for Company? Would you need to set up different input sets for each company in the db for different currencies?
ANSWER: Forecaster will allow you to combine as many companies into one database as you wish, even when different currencies are involved. Working with multiple currencies will require the use of two input sets, one for local currency (users input in their local currency), the second for corporate currency which will display all data converted to a pre-determined currency for use in consolidations.
Defining multiple companies in one Forecaster database can be easily accomplished when the companies have similar account or dimension structures. The task becomes more difficult when structures are substantially different.
QUESTION: If you have multiple allocations that impact the same account, is it necessary to create dummy accounts to receive the results and combine them using calculations?
ANSWER: You can combine multiple allocations tasks into one task using the ACCUMULATE command to accumulate the balances in the result accounts before posting the correct totals.
Please refer to the following Microsoft KB article for information on accumulating allocations: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/962504/c
QUESTION: What is the future of Forecaster? My partner is advising against implementing Forecaster since it will be going away.
ANSWER: Forecaster is not going away! Microsoft will offer extended support until at least mid 2019. Microsoft has said that they will be moving ahead with the next-generation budgeting tool for Dynamics customers, but have not determined if that will take the shape of expanding Management Reporter to include the necessary budget functionality or as a stand-alone application. In either case, Microsoft has pledged to provide a mechanism to allow customers using Forecaster to migrate to the new Budget tool.
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