Get started with Budgets and Forecasts

This page lists the key things for your organization to consider before you start your budgeting process. It also explains the types of users in the Budgets and Forecasts module and the factors that impact user access to the budget and forecasts.

Prerequisites for the budgeting process

Before you start the budgeting process by creating a budget workbook, we recommend you take the following steps:

  1. (Financial budgets only) Ensure your Profit and Loss statement categorization is complete.

  2. Get a clear understanding of how your organization currently budgets, and at what level of detail, then consider if you want to change the current process. It's best to plan how you want to structure your budget before you create the budget workbook. Right after you create the budget, you have the chance to change the workbook setup but when you edit any of the budget values, you will not be able to make many changes to the workbook setup.

  3. Identify who needs to access your budgets and forecasts. The information on this page will help you make that decision. Then work with your administrator to ensure the right users have adequate user permissions and data access.

Types of users

Consider which individuals in your organization need to be involved in the budgeting process and what responsibilities they should have. This will determine what type of user role they’ll have in Budgets and Forecasts. The Budgets and Forecasts module has four types of users:

Budget owner

The budget owner is the user who creates the budget workbook. The owner controls the budget and its workflow and can perform all actions in the budget workbook. Ownership can be changed over time, as your business needs change.

To be a budget owner you need these user permissions: Budgets & Forecasts and Manage Budgets & Forecasts.

Budget administrator

The budget administrator is a user who can help the owner with workflow management and other tasks. Administrators can do more within the budget workbook than the other users (contributors). In addition to the standard data entry, administrators can change the budget owner to themselves, add comparison rows, assign tasks in the workflow (but not change the workflow baseline, which is the owner), and add and publish worksheet tabs.

To be a budget administrator you need these user permissions: Budgets & Forecasts and Manage Budgets & Forecasts. You also need to be added as an administrator in the budget workbook setup by the budget owner.

A budget administrator is different to a Phocas administrator. The Phocas administrator manages the administration settings for your Phocas site.

A budget administrator is also different to a headcount administrator. This separation of tasks is an additional layer of security to protect the privacy of your employee headcount data. See Manage Headcount driver users for more information.

Budget contributor

A budget contributor is a user who is responsible for entering and editing the values in the worksheets.

To be a budget contributor you need the Budgets & Forecasts user permission, and the budget owner or administrator must assign you to a task in the budget workflow.

A budget contributors can only be assigned to tasks in the headcount workflow if they have been added as headcount user. See Manage Headcount driver users for more information.


The budget owner or administrators can add other users to a workbook as viewers. This type of user is useful if you want to allow one or more Phocas users to view the budget but not contribute to it (edit any values).

User access and data security

As your organization's financial and budget information is sensitive, your Phocas administrator controls who can access the Budgets and Forecasts module and what data they can see there. This security gives you the freedom to share and assign work as required, without worrying about who can see what. The following factors impact user access to a budget or forecast workbook.

User permissions and type of user

The Phocas user permissions are the first line of defense in your organization’s budget security. If you can’t access the Budgets and Forecasts module, you can’t edit any of the budgets or forecasts. Your Phocas administrator controls who can access the Budgets and Forecasts module and who can create budget and forecast workbooks.

The type of Budgets and Forecasts user you are determines the actions you can take within the module. For example, a budget administrator can publish a budget but a contributor cannot.

Phocas database access and restrictions

Even when you have permission to access the Budgets and Forecasts module, to see any data in a budget or forecast, you need access to the underlying database. In general, database permissions and restrictions are carried through to the budget, so you can only view rows (budget lines) for which you have permission.

As stated in the Types of users section above, your Phocas administrator controls who can access a database and what information they can see within that database. If the budget data comes from multiple databases, your administrator can control access to each database and set different restrictions for each. Restrictions can be customized at a fine level and applied to individuals or groups of users.

For example, your administrator can:

  • Set a default restriction on a database, so all users can see branch data but not the company-wide data.

  • Apply specific database restrictions to individual users to ensure:

    • A regional manager only sees the budget items for their region (Australia) and not others (UK and USA).

    • The Warehouse Manager only sees the operating costs for their branch.

    • A member of the Sales team only sees the Gross Margin and higher-level information.

    • A user can access the Cost of Sales data in one database but not in another.

Administrators, see Manage a user's database access and restrictions for more information.

Budgets and Forecasts workflow

Even with the required user permission and data access, you can only edit budget and forecast data when the budget owner or administrator assigns rows to you in the workflow.

See Use workflows and Contribute to the workflow to learn more.

Administrators: User and database permissions

When the Budgets and Forecasts module is enabled for your Phocas site, your Phocas administrator needs to:

  • Update the relevant Phocas user accounts to allow the applicable users to access the Budgets and Forecast module and manage the budgets and forecasts. See Budgets and Forecasts permissions to learn about the two user permissions.

  • Ensure each user has applicable access to the database(s) upon which the budgets and forecasts are based. See Manage a user's database access and restrictions and read the User access and data security section above.

  • Ensure the relevant users can access the Financial Statements module to view the completed financial budgets and forecasts.