Budgets and Forecasts release notes

Find out what's new and changed in each version of Budgets & Forecasts. This page lists all the releases in the last year, with the most recent release items at the top.


April 9, 2024 (version 3.9)

All users will benefit from the following two updates:

  • New menus: We completed the new menus work with the addition of the Row and Cell menus. These menus give you a range of functions for working with the rows and cells in the worksheet all in one place. The options are contextual, so their availability depends on your selected row or cell.

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  • New font: We updated the font to make the data easier to read.

Budget owners and administrators will benefit from these enhancements:

  • Headcount setup: The Headcount driver setup now opens in a panel that slides out from the right side of your screen, just like the setup of most other tabs. The functionality of the Headcount tab remains the same, however, the new setup streamlines the tab creation process and paves the way for us to add new feature in the coming months.
    Please note that Headcount user documentation and videos are currently being updated, so the current content might be out-of-date for a short time.

  • Tab clone and export options:

    • When you clone a tab, you can also now include the data (cell values) in the cloning process. Previously, the option to clone the data was not available; you could only clone the tab setup (structure).

    • You can now quickly export a single tab, bypassing the usual export process. The new export option is available when you right-click the tab name or use the new Tab contextual menu.

Both of these options are available when you right-click the tab name or use the new Tab contextual menu.

  • Custom measures in the Manual Entry tab: You can now customize the format of measures in each row on the Manual Entry tab to define the number of decimal places of the values and add a prefix or suffix to those values. We introduced custom measure formatting in February (version 3.7), but the Manual Entry tab was not included at that time.


April 3, 2024 (version 3.8)

All users will benefit from the following two updates:

  • Workflow enhancements: We’ve introduced a more efficient way to manage workflows. The new Expand and Select feature allows you to select an entire level in a worksheet hierarchy to view its workflow summary and then automatically expand and select rows of a specific workflow status. For example, in a Sales budget, all rows beneath a salesperson can be selected and assigned to a single user. Previously, the salesperson level would need to be fully expanded and each of the underlying rows selected individually. For more information and a video, see Reassign or submit multiple tasks in bulk (budget contributors) or Assign multiple tasks to a user simultaneously (budget owners and administrators).

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  • New menus: We’re in the process of introducing new menus to the workbooks to give you an easier way to discover all the great features and an alternative way to initiate specific actions. For example, some actions were previously only available by right-clicking on various parts of the workbook. In this release, you’ll see the improved Budget (or Forecast) menu and a new Tab menu. In the next release, we’ll introduce additional menus.

    Points to note:

    • We moved some of the action buttons (icons) from the right of the screen into the new menus.

    • We moved the ability to switch between a budget and its linked forecast(s) into the new Budget/Forecast menu.

    • We removed the ability to access your Budgets & Forecasts homepage via the Budgets button. To return to that homepage, simply use the Phocas menu on the right of your screen.

    • We removed the Refresh button and replaced it with the Refresh workbook option in the Budget/Forecast menu.

 

Budget owners and administrators now have these additional options in Database and Reference tab setups:

  • Add levels: Previously in a Database tab, you could add hierarchy levels to the worksheet via the blue Add button. This option is no longer available there, as you can now add levels within the tab setup. The new location ensures consistency with the Reference tab and allows for more flexibility; you can apply filters to the levels, control the level at which the workflow sits, and reorder the levels without being restricted by the workflow level.

  • Select the workflow level: Previously, the workflow sat at the lowest level in the tab setup, but now you can control where it sits. This change gives you more flexibility in your approach to the workflow. You might want to move the workflow to a higher level where you want to do the assignment. For example, you can put the workflow at the salesperson level, so you only need to assign that higher level row to the salesperson, but they’ll get all the child rows, such as customers or items, to complete.

  • Apply a filter: We introduced the concept of a tab-wide filter, similar to the budget-wide filter that’s available on the Main tab. This setting allows you to filter the data that is displayed in the tab for a single entity in one dimension. The dimension does not appear in the grid hierarchy. For example, if the Main tab has a budget filter (Country > Australia), you might want the same filter on the Sales database driver tab. Previously, a similar result could be achieved by adding levels filtered to a single dimension, but that added unnecessary hierarchy levels to the budget and reduced the number of levels available for other dimensions, given that we only allow a total of six levels in a tab.

Coming soon

In an upcoming release, we’ll move the Headcount setup to a side panel (drawer) to be consistent with the other tab setup processes. We’ll also introduce some more spread enhancements.


March 20, 2024 (version 3.7)

We made several backend improvements to enhance the performance of the Budgets & Forecasts module. Budget workbooks and the data within their tabs now load much faster, giving all users a smoother experience.

Budget owners and administrators:

  • When you add a Database driver tab to a financial budget, you can now select a Financial Statements template to determine the layout of the contents on the new tab. For example, you might want it to be the same as the Profit and Loss statement used in the Main tab. Selecting the same template as the Main tab template also ensures that any categories with reversed signs (to show negative values as positive and vice versa) will also have reversed signs in the Database tab. Previously, this could only be achieved via manual workarounds. You can edit the setup of existing Database tabs to apply a template.

  • The Publish feature now displays in a slide-out panel rather than a window. We also reinstated the message that informs you of the worksheet you are publishing and the destination database. The functionality remains the same.

  • We introduced several headcount enhancements, the first in a series of changes that form part of the headcount redesign:

    • You now manage headcount users at a global level, not at the headcount tab level. This user management is separate from the headcount tab setup. When a workbook has more than one Headcount tab, you now only need to invite a user once. After they create a password, they will be able to access all headcount tabs, so long as they are assigned to tasks in the respective tab workflows.

    • You now set headcount administrators at the worksheet (tab) level, not the workbook level. Previously, the headcount administrators were stored against the workbook, so when a workbook had more than one Headcount tab, each of those tabs had the same headcount administrators. This change brings additional security to your headcount data. You can have multiple headcount tabs, each with a different administrator. You continue to manage the headcount administrators from the Headcount setup window. The budget owner is always a headcount administrator. When the owner of a workbook is changed, the new owner is automatically added as a headcount administrator, and the old owner is removed.

    • If you delete a Headcount tab, you now have the option to delete the sum rows in the Main tab that would otherwise remain.

  • Enhancements to additional measures for driver-based budgeting:

    • We changed some labels to ensure consistency in the different places you can add additional measures.

    • You now have the option to publish the Days, Working, and Lookup rows to measures in the underlying database.

    • We added colored dots to visually connect the types of measures you can add with their respective rows.


February 13, 2024 (version 3.7)

Budget owners and administrators:

  • We redesigned the setup windows for workbook tabs, comparison rows, and forecasts. The new designs match those we recently released for the budget setup, where the windows were replaced with panels that slide out from the right side of your screen. In a future release, we’ll finalize these designs, so you might see some small changes to their wording and layouts.

  • As part of the above design changes, in the Database driver tabs:

    • You can now populate the worksheet with zero values instead of stream values. This option was previously only available in Reference tabs.

    • We made a small change to the way you manage who can edit Input and Working rows in additional measures (lock a row for editing).

  • You can now customize the format of measures that are displayed in the grid.

 

All users:

  • We enhanced the spread a target > evenly option that is available for calculated measures. The option is now called Evenly between periods. While the target is still spread proportionally between the rows, it is no longer spread proportionally across the period, as each month in the period gets the same target.

  • We renamed non-financial budgets to operational budgets, to better describe the contents of those budgets. Financial budgets are based on a financial database and operational (non-financial) budgets are based on other databases, such as Sales, Purchases, and Inventory.


January 8, 2024 (version 3.7)

Budget owners and administrators - Publishing enhancements:

  • We redesigned the Publish window. The new version makes it easier for you to select the publishing method, as tooltips clearly differentiate each one, and if you have already published a tab to a specific stream, that method and stream will be selected for you by default.

  • You can now publish the data to a specific date range in the stream, giving you a different way to partially publish the budget.

  • For budgets set up with the Year period type, you can now publish to months. The new option splits the budget period value proportionally by 12 and publishes to each month in the year.

  • If you publish a tab that contains a lot of data, the data is now published in chunks. The publishing progress displays in a loading screen, with error messages and a Refresh button available in the case of any errors.

 

All users:

  • You can now refresh the audit log list and export the list to Microsoft Excel.

  • You can now spread by date. This new spread option allows you to spread a total using the number of days in each period as the proportion for the spread. You can select calendar days, weekdays, or a working day calendar to determine the number of days.

  • Dimension filter enhancement - We added functionality to the dimension filters to make it easier for you to see the number of entities you have selected.


December 7, 2023 (version 3.6)

Budget owners and administrators:

We redesigned the budget setup windows. The new versions of the setup windows have all the same functionality as the originals, although some items might be moved to a different location and some new functionality is introduced. The create and edit processes are the same as before but should be faster now, as the UI is more intuitive and some settings are now pre-populated.

 

All users:

  • We changed the new technology we use to provide the structure and baseline values for budgets. The new technology should considerably speed up the time it takes to load budgets and prevent timeout issues.

  • We added more filtering options to budget worksheets to enable you to find rows that meet a certain condition or contain errors, or remove rows that contain non zero values. The new Filter button replaces the All / Non zero toggle button that was introduced in the last release.

  • The transactions window now shows all the properties associated with the underlying database. The ability to view transactions is now also available in non-financial budgets and forecasts, and those based on custom periods.


November 9, 2023 (version 3.5)

New and enhanced features

All users can now:

In addition to the above features, budget owners and administrators can now:

Small changes

  • All users can now hide the rows that have zero (0.00) values from the budget.

  • In August (version 3.2) we released the ability for Headcount users to reset their passwords. As a result of the reset action, the headcount data was temporarily unavailable. In this release, we give budget owners and administrators the ability to refresh the corrupted data on the user’s behalf, so the user can continue to use the headcount data.


October 31, 2023 (version 3.4)

New and enhanced features

Budget owners and administrators can now:

  • Import data into the Lookup tab to save substantial data-entry time.

  • Partially publish a budget to have more control over what gets published into the selected stream. Only rows that are marked as completed in the workflow are published.

  • Clone the structure (setup) of tabs that were added to a workbook. This feature is available for all tabs except for the Main, Balance Sheet and Cash Flow tabs, as there should only be one instance of those tabs. If you clone a tab that has a baseline stream, the new tab will be populated with the baseline values but not any of the values that were entered into the original tab, since only the structure of the tab is cloned.

All users can now:

  • Easily switch between budgets and their related forecasts (and vice versa) using the arrow next to the Budget (or Forecast) button in the top left corner of the workbook.

  • View sparklines in the budget and forecast grids. These mini charts allow you to quickly see trends and spot anomalies in your data. They display by default next to each value in the Total columns in budgets and a new designated column in forecasts. If you do not want to see the sparklines, you can turn this feature off.

  • Vertically spread a value across multiple columns. In version 3.2 we released the ability to spread a value in the Total column vertically into the rows in that column. Now you can spread any column vertically or select multiple columns and spread a value vertically into their rows.

  • Partially spread a value into selected cells, which can span part of one or more columns or rows.

Resolved issues and small changes

  • We made two changes to the column groups feature:

    • You can now ungroup all column groupings at the same time.

    • Groupings are now removed when you copy a budget forward or change the budget start or end dates.

  • You can now hide the code or name of the entities in each dimension that is displayed in the grid.

  • We changed the right-click menu to make the paste values option more accessible.

  • We improved the way the Refresh action works. It now picks up financial statement changes more easily.

  • We added some limitations to the process of editing the setup of Lookup tabs. You can no longer delete or reorder lookup rows that contain a formula reference to another column. This change prevents errors from occurring in the worksheet.

  • We updated the design of the windows that display when you create, edit or clone a worksheet tab. All these windows now have consistent options and look similar to each other, and those in other modules.

  • We redesigned the way we display error messages. The information is now displayed in a more familiar style and contains actions for you to take. You can copy the error message, contact our Support team (not available for Epicor users), or simply return to your homepage.

  • We made several performance improvements.


September 2023 - New side menu in Phocas

September 13, 2023 (version 3.3)

New and enhanced features

  • Layouts - All Budgets & Forecasts users can now configure and save multiple layouts for each worksheet, to get different views of the same data. A layout can include a combination of dimension filters, search results, and the status of the workflow column. This feature removes the need for budget owners and administrators to create multiple workbooks to satisfy the needs of different audiences. It also allows users to quickly view the information they need without carrying out multiple steps each time they open a worksheet.

  • Notes - Budget owners can now add notes to a budget or forecast workbook, which can be viewed by all users who have access to that workbook. The notes can contain instructions for completing the budget, details on how the budget model was built or any other useful information. This feature removes the need for budget owners to use Manual Reference tabs to write such notes.

  • Spread enhancement - After you use the spread function once, the next time you use the spread function in the same session your previously selected spread settings are automatically applied for you, to save you time. You can update those settings as required. Your settings are only remembered during the session, so the next time you open the workbook, the default spread settings are selected once again.

  • Enhanced tooltips for formulas - We updated the examples and descriptions that display when you use functions in formulas. The examples are dynamic, so they will always be relevant. The information is clearer to see than before and now includes links to this user documentation.

  • Lookup tab changes - When the lookup tab contains lookup columns (the Exclude Periods option is selected in the setup), to avoid breaking any formulas that reference those lookup items, we disabled some functionality in the lookup tab setup. You can no longer remove or change the order of the lookup items, nor change back to a non-excluded period configuration. To enable this functionality, you need to remove all the references to the lookup items in formulas.

  • Performance improvements - Budgets with multiple measures that include calculation and lookup items should now load substantially faster.

August 9, 2023 (version 3.2)

New and enhanced features

  • New Prune/Unprune feature - By default, a worksheet displays in a pruned view, which means all redundant rows are hidden. You can now switch to the unpruned view of the worksheet, which shows the full budget or forecast hierarchy. This feature is particularly useful to budget owners who want to add rows for new dimensions, entities or accounts, as they can clearly see where to add them.

  • Ability to add an entity without accounts - Budget owners and administrators can now add an entity row without having to copy (clone) accounts from another entity. This enhancement is possible as a result of the new Prune/Unprune feature above. The new entity row displays when the worksheet is in the unpruned view. You can then proceed to add account rows to the new entity row as required.

  • Ability to spread a column total - You can now spread the total of any column, vertically into the rows in that column. Previously, the spread functionality was limited to the rows in the Total column.

  • Workflow takeover - Budget administrators can now take over the workflow at any level. Previously, this action was only available to budget owners. This enhancement is useful when the budget owner is away, as an administrator can initiate and manage the workflow in the owner’s absence.

  • New copy down option - You can now copy down to specific rows directly. Previously, you had to search for the specific rows and use the Copy Down > Expanded Rows option. This enhancement is available for multiple measures and working rows.

  • Headcount enhancements -

    • Users who are invited to use the Headcount Input tab but forget their Headcount tab passwords can now reset their passwords (after five failed sign-in attempts). Previously, such users were locked out of the Headcount tab. The headcount password is separate from the Phocas sign-in password, so it can be saved in the browser’s password manager.

    • Headcount owners and administrators can now delete multiple rows at the same time in the Headcount Input tab.

    • Headcount owners and administrators now have the option to include headcount data when they export a workbook.

Resolved issues and small changes

  • In addition to the option to expand/collapse all rows at the same time, you can now expand/collapse one level at a time.

  • You can now show/hide all comparison rows at the same time.

  • We updated the design of the budget loading screen that we introduced in the last release.


June 12, 2023 (version 3)

New and enhanced features

  • Faster loading of budgets and forecasts - We released a major enhancement to the way budgets and forecasts are loaded. While most of the work is behind the scenes, you will see a new loading screen and your workbooks will load significantly faster. This enhancement gives us a stronger platform upon which we can continue to improve performance and further reduce the time it takes to load workbooks. The new loading screen displays a line for each tab in the budget, showing the loading status. When a tab successfully loads, it disappears from the loading screen. If a tab fails to load, you will see this clearly on the loading screen, along with information on why it failed, for example, if a stream was missing.

  • UI design changes - You might notice that we’ve moved some things around! The following image shows the differences - we moved the filters below the search box and replaced the separate All and My Tasks buttons with one toggle button. We also added new Undo and Redo buttons. While the undo/redo functionality was previously available using keyboard shortcuts, you can now also perform these actions quickly with your mouse.

  • Ability to restore historical cell entries - If you are assigned to a row in a worksheet, in addition to viewing the history of each cell, you can now restore any of those historical cell entries. This ability to roll back to a previous value or formula is handy when you are trying out different scenarios or realize you made a mistake. It is particularly useful in the case of complex formulas, as you no longer have to write them again, saving you a lot of time.

  • More spread options - We added two options to the spread functionality:

    • Spread by target - Spread a target across input rows that are based on calculated measures. This is particularly useful for sales budgets, where you need to budget sales margin percentages directly in conjunction with either the sales value or cost, rather than budgeting value and cost and having margin be calculated.

    • Spread based on entered data - Spread a total based on the current values that are in the worksheet. This works well in conjunction with spreads based on comparison rows. For example, you might start with a broad-based spread uplift of 10% based on last year’s values and manually adjust some individual values. Then you can either change all the values displayed in the budget, or a selected row, by a % value.

  • Tab design enhancements - We made the following enhancements to the design of the worksheet tabs:

    • The tab type now displays on each tab (above its name), so you can see at a glance what type of tab it is and therefore, get an idea of the data it might contain. This is particularly useful if you have multiple tabs with unhelpful names and are finding it difficult to work with.

    • The Main tab now displays the type of database upon which the budget or forecast workbook is based, so you can quickly identify if it’s financial (such as a Profit and Loss) or non-financial (such as Sales).

    • A description of the tab type displays when you hover over a tab. This is handy for budget contributors who might not be familiar with the budget setup and the relationship between the tabs.

    • The look of the Headcount tab is now more in line with the other types of tabs.

    • It is now easier to see what tab you are working on, due to more of a contrast between background colors and a thicker blue line (which displays at the bottom).

    • When there are a lot of tabs, the Add tab button is always visible, so you do not need to scroll across to find it. There’s also a new tab menu button at the beginning of the tab list that you can click to display a list of all the tabs (full names) and use to quickly open a specific tab.

  • Operator suggestions - When you are writing or editing a formula, a list of the available operators now displays. This will help you with your formulas and prevent any errors. You can either use this list as a reference, so you know which operators you can use, or click the required operator to insert it into the formula.

Resolved issues and small changes

  • You can now create a Headcount driver tab for budgets and forecasts that are based on a custom period, such as quarters. Previously, the Headcount tab was only available in monthly budgets.

  • You can now export a forecast workbook. Previously this functionality was only available for budget workbooks.

  • We improved the information that displays when you enter functions in formulas.

  • We fixed an issue whereby no one could open a budget because the owner user no longer exists.


May 22, 2023 (version 2.9)

New and enhanced features

  • Charts! - We are excited to announce that you can now view the data in your budget worksheet in a chart format, giving you a more powerful way of visually exploring and interacting with that information. If you have the Financial Statements module, this feature will be very familiar to you. The new chart pane slides out from the right side of the screen with the click of a button. It displays alongside the budget worksheet, so you can continue to interact with the worksheet and the chart will dynamically respond to the changes you make. For example, you can select other rows or change the budget values and the chart will update accordingly. You can quickly switch between different types of charts and customize each chart configuration to meet your analysis requirements.

  • Lookup tab - We are delighted to introduce a new type of tab that you can add to your budget and forecast workbooks. Similar to the Manual Entry tab, the Lookup tab holds reference data that can be used for assumptions, such as tax or growth rates. However, rather than a blank worksheet, the Lookup tab has a structure based on a related tab. The Lookup tab is designed to be used with the Lookup measure row type in driver-based budgeting but it is also useful by itself in other circumstances.

  • Column groups - You can now group several period columns in a worksheet to form one period column that displays the total of the values in the individual periods. You can also carry the grouping forward, to quickly group columns throughout the worksheet. This feature gives budget owners another way to customize the layout of the worksheet.

  • Publishing enhancements - We made the following two enhancements to the publishing feature:

    • You can now publish the data to a working day calendar. This enhancement allows you to split the budget period values proportionally by the number of days in a predefined working days calendar (set up by your Phocas administrator). For example, you might have a working day calendar for Monday through to Friday or perhaps you operate in different regions, and each region has their own working day calendar that takes the public holidays into account.

    • Now when you publish the data, you can open the selected stream straight away, in either the Financial Statements or Analytics module (as applicable). This shortcut allows you to begin analyzing your budget data immediately. The stream is opened in the same configuration as in the budget, including any levels, dimension filters, budget filters, and budget period.

  • Easier way to delete published streams - If you have permission to manage budgets and forecasts, you now have an easier way to delete redundant streams - via the new Published Streams tab on your Budgets & Forecasts homepage. The previous way to delete these streams within Budgets & Forecasts was not intuitive and involved a lot of steps. There was also a problem in that not all streams displayed in the list (only those with same structure as current budget display). The new Published Streams tab you can view a list of all your published streams and delete any streams you no longer use.

  • Reference tab enhancements - We made the following two enhancements to the Reference feature:

    • You can now prevent the data in your Reference Only tabs from being edited by other users. This enhancement protects the integrity of that reference data. When you remove the ability to edit, the rows are white, indicating to users that the values are not editable.

    • You can now add Reference Only tabs to your forecast workbooks. This enhancement allows you to display data from another database alongside your forecasts, just as you can with your budgets. Note that this type of tab does not have the flag pole that is in other forecast tabs.

  • 3-statement budgeting mapping enhancements - In version 2.7 we released a new way of mapping dimensions in a driver database to dimensions in the main budget database, which saves time and makes the process more intuitive. We have now enabled this new way of mapping in the 3-statement budgeting setup, so it is quicker for you to map the selected entities to the Retained Earnings and Cash/Bank account codes.

  • Absolute references in formulas - You can now quickly switch between relative and absolute referencing in formulas. When you copy values, in the majority of cases, the cell references are relative by default. Previously, the only way to have an absolute cell reference was through manually editing the formula string. Now, in the formula bar, you can select the reference element of the formula and press F4 to switch to an absolute reference. A dollar sign displays next to the date to indicate it is an absolute reference.

  • Ability to restore deleted workbooks - If you have permission to manage budgets and forecasts, you can now restore deleted workbooks yourself, via the new Restore tab on your Budgets & Forecasts homepage. Previously, you had to contact us to get a workbook restored. The new Restore tab acts as an archive, where you can view a list of all deleted workbooks and restore any workbooks you want to use again, such as any that were deleted accidentally.

Resolved issues and small changes

  • As a result of the introduction of the new column grouping feature above, we changed the way you sort columns. Previously, you clicked a column header to access the sort options but now you right-click the column header instead.

  • You can now create a budget up to -3 years from the current date. Previously, in the budget setup screen, the period selection was restricted to -1 years from the current date. This enhancement allows you to go slightly further back in history when creating a budget.

  • You can now filter a dimension (level) in the Reference tab setup.

  • In the setup screens for additional measures (driver-based budgeting):

    • We updated the error message that displays when calculated measures are missing a measure. The message is now more descriptive, so the error is easier to resolve.

    • We made some visual improvements; all elements are now consistent in size and alignment.

  • We changed the icon that we use on all the ‘Add’ buttons (the functionality remains the same). A new square icon replaces the old round icon.

  • We removed the requirement that DAYS functions had to be entered in upper case text. These functions are now case insensitive, just like the other functions.

  • We fixed a performance issue that occurred when the driver-based budgeting and budget filter features were used together. The filter was not being applied to the additional measures rows when queries were made, so performance was slow. Queries are now faster.


February 17, 2023 (version 2.8)

New and enhanced features

  • Property row in driver-based budgeting - We added a new measures row type of Property, which allows you to bring in data from a property in the underlying database. Properties are static information stored about dimensions, such as a unit of measure or price list for a product. This new row type allows you to reference the properties in your database directly within your budget. You can also use this data in formulas in other cells to calculate the budget values.

  • Days based functions in formulas - In the last release (version 2.7) we added the Days row type in the driver-based budgeting setup. As days is a common driver of sales and other business activity, we have now added it as a function that you can use in formulas. There are three days options available:

    • Number of days, for example, February has 28 days.

    • Number of weekdays (Monday through to Friday), for example February 2023 has 20 weekdays.

    • Number of working days based on a predefined calendar, for example, you might have a calendar for your region or one that excludes public holidays.

  • Ability to publish to days - We added a new option in the Publish window that allows you to publish a budget by ‘days’. This option is useful if you are managing monthly sales budgets and want to track the budget month-to-date. This option splits each value in the budget period (such as a month) by the number of days in that period, then attributes the proportional value to each day in that period. For example, suppose you have a monthly budget, in which the September value is $30,000. By default, that $30,000 is published into the first day of September. If you select the Publish to days option, the $30,000 monthly value is spread evenly by day. As there are 30 week days in September, the $30,000 is divided by 30, so $1,000 is attributed to each day in September. You can use either Calendar days or Week Days to calculate the number of days in the period. Coming in March is the ability to select from a working day calendar.

  • Refresh workbook option available for all users - In release version 2.5, we added the Refresh workbook option in the budget menu. However, as this menu is only available to users with the Manage budgets and forecasts user profile setting, many users missed out on this handy feature. We have moved this feature outside the menu, so it is now accessible to all Budgets & Forecasts users. Click the Refresh button in the top left corner of your workbook to clear the cache and ensure you have the most up to date data in your budget and forecast workbooks.

Resolved issues and small changes

  • In the setup screens for additional measures (driver-based budgeting), we use a yellow calculator icon to differentiate calculated measures from other measures. We have now carried this concept through to other parts of the Budgets & Forecasts module, wherever you see calculated measures, such as in the comparison row, budget and driver tab setup windows.

  • We added a legend to the top of the additional measures screen in the driver tab setup that explains the different row lock options. This legend was already available in the same screen in the budget setup.


January 31, 2023 (version 2.7)

New and enhanced features

  • Reference Only tab enhancements - Previously, to add a Reference Only tab, you had to add a Database driver tab and select the Reference Only option. As a result, the setup options for that tab were limited. Now when you add a tab in your workbook, you can select the new Reference type of tab, saving you time and giving you more flexibility in how it is set up. The new Reference Only tab type:

    • Does not require any mapping of entities.

    • Does not need to have the same number of levels as in the Main tab.

    • Can include a financial statement, when based on a Financial Statements database.

    • Can include additional measures for driver-based budgeting.

The functionality of the Reference Only tab remains the same - you can simply use the data for reference purposes or refer to the data in formulas in the other workbook tabs. These enhancements to the Reference Only tab enable the creation of multi-currency budgets.

  • Multiple-currency financial budgets - The recently released Budget and Forecast features and enhancements, in particular the Reference Only tab, have provided two interim solutions for multi-currency budgeting. 

    • Option 1 - Within Budgets & Forecasts, use the Reference Only tab with multiple measures (driver-based budgeting) to convert the budgeted local currency value to a reporting currency value.

    • Option 2 - In the Designer module, add a transform column to the Budgets & Forecasts stream to convert the budgeted local currency value to a reporting currency value.

  • Rolling budgets - You can now have a rolling budget, whereby you are always budgeting for the same number of future periods, for example, the next 12 or 18 months. Previously, the date range settings in the budget setup were locked as soon as you entered a value into the budget worksheet. You can now edit these settings, so you are free to change the start and end dates of your budget period at any time.

  • Driver-based budgeting enhancements - We made two enhancements to the driver-based budgeting setup:

    • Days row type - We added a new measures row type of Days, which allows you to bring in data from a working day calendar and display the relevant number of working days for each budget column. You also have the option to use the number of weekdays or calendar days in the budget period. You can use this data, for example, to calculate the budgeted monthly sales values. You enter the daily sales targets and multiply them by the number of working days in a month.

    • User security - We added the ability to lock individual measures rows for editing, which allows you to add a layer of security around budget values, as you can be sure that only the appropriate people can edit certain budget values. For example, you can allow a row, such as product price, to be initially set by the budget owner or pricing manager (administrator), then lock that row, so that budget contributors cannot edit the price. The following user roles are available for each measure row, in order of restricted to full access: Budget owner can edit the values, Budget owner or administrator can edit the values, and Contributors can edit the values.

  • Driver tab mapping enhancements - We now have a new way of mapping dimensions in a driver database to dimensions in the main budget database, which saves time and makes the process more intuitive. Rather than drag and drop, you now either:

    • Click the Mapped to button for an entity and select the corresponding entity from the list that displays, or

    • Click the Auto match button at the top of the screen to automatically map entities, where matches exist between the databases.

  • Conditional logic in formulas - You can now use an if-then-else type of logic when entering formulas, similar to how you would in other spreadsheet software. This functionality can be very useful for setting thresholds for various parts of a model. For example, you can set a discount level based on the value of sales.

  • Spread enhancements - We added three options to the Spread functionality. These options are available when you select multiple rows or a total row:

    • Spread the total evenly by row: The total is spread evenly down each applicable row, so the total of each of those rows is the same. Then each subtotal is spread evenly across the cells in the budget period, so each cell gets the same amount.

    • Spread the historical total proportionally by row: The total is spread down each applicable row according to the underlying proportionality of the original values. Then each subtotal is spread across the period according to the comparison stream’s phasing (seasonality).

    • Spread the historical total evenly by row: The total is spread down each applicable row according to the underlying proportionality of the original values. Then each subtotal is spread evenly across the cells in the budget period, so each cell gets the same amount.

  • Ability to add sum and working rows in bulk - You can now select multiple rows in a worksheet then add a sum or working row to all those rows simultaneously. This enhancement has the potential to save you a lot of time when it comes to setting up your budget worksheet.

  • Feedback - Your feedback is important to us, so we have made it easier for you to give it to us by adding the Give Feedback link that is available in other Phocas modules to the top navigation bar in Budgets & Forecasts. So you can now provide in-product feedback on any aspect of budgeting or forecasting, while it is fresh in your mind. We look forward to receiving your comments and suggestions for improvements.

Resolved issues and small changes

  • In addition to the spread enhancements described above, we made two small changes in the Spread window:

    • You can now press Enter to apply your changes, as an alternative to clicking the Apply button.

    • We changed the multiplied by text to changed by, to more accurately reflect what happens.

  • We changed the label on the main budget context menu button from New to Menu. This change highlights the range of tasks you can now initiate from this button, not just the creation of a new budget.

  • We changed a label in the New Tab window, from Driver type to Tab type. Due to recent releases, there are now different types of tabs and not all of them act as drivers.


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