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Planning in Catalyst includes a Financial Planning module where you can plan, budget, or forecast at the Summary, Account, Balance, or Detail level. This tool provides a powerful resource to plan from a trusted source of truth and allows users to generate forward looking budgets, plans, and forecasts for the P&L and Balance Sheet.
Read on for detailed steps and recommendations for how to plan in Catalyst using the Financial Planning module.
The four primary pages for Financial Planning are Summary Planning, Account Planning, Balance Planning, and Detail Planning.
- Summary Planning allows users to input data at the highest level of the P&L (e.g. lines in the Income Statement). It allows users to plan at a summarized level of the Income Statement or Balance Sheet. This would be for users who do not budget at the GL Account level. Most frequently used after you've done your initial budget and are in a reforecasting cycle (e.g. You need to make some high level tweaks to the P&L rather than having to go down to a super granular level).
- Account Planning allows users to input data at the account level by monthly activity. This would be most common for inputting Income Statement data for line items from your Chart of Accounts.
- Balance Planning allows users to input data at the account level for month end balances. This would be most common for inputting Balance Sheet data.
- Detail Planning allows users to input additional detailed data within a General Ledger account (e.g. inputting individual salaries within a payroll GL account).
- Before beginning your planning, ensure you've already created a corresponding planning scenario.
- Each planning page will have a similar output where the user will need to select their preferred filters at the top of the page. The most important will be the Scenario you choose, which in the above example is a 3+9 Budget plan.
- To access any of the Planning pages, go to the Planning tab in Catalyst and select Summary, Account, Balance, or Detail.
- Choose your filters and be sure to select the right Scenario (e.g. budget, forecast, or plan) you want to plan on and edit. Click Apply Filter. Hint: The more specific you are in the filter the quicker the data will load.
- To edit an account click the edit button in the actions column. See below for edit options. Alternatively, to edit lines in Excel, select the Excel Options and Export option.
Making Your Edits
When you attempt to edit an account in the interface, you'll be given ways to tell Catalyst how to apply your adjustment to the selected period, such as by entering an absolute amount, creating a net change to the existing amount, or by a net percentage change to the existing amount.
- Abs: Electing to make an “Abs” change or absolute edit will change the entire value of the cell. (e.g. A field containing 300 would be modified to 500 if it received an absolute edit of 500.)
- Net: A “Net” change adjusts the amount up or down by the amount of the edit being made. (e.g. A field containing 300 would be modified to 800 if it received a net change of 500.)
- %: A “%” change adjusts the amount up or down by a percentage of the existing amount. (e.g. A field containing 300 would be modified to 330 if it received a % edit of 10.)
Before you can begin to plan, budget, or forecast you'll first have to create a scenario for your plan. The prior link will help you get started with a planning scenario.