Conquering the Rolling Forecast Challenge

I was building a budget and whipping up a Budget vs Actual report. But then I hit a snag with the forecast. I wanted it to automatically adjust based on the difference between what I budgeted and the actual revenue I was bringing in.

The issue was this: imagine I budgeted $1200 for revenue over a year ( $100 per month), but January only brought in $50. The remaining forecast needed to reflect the extra I had to hustle in the following months to make up the gap.

Here’s how I cracked the code:

Actual Data Takes the Wheel: Causal prioritizes actual data entries over formulas when it comes to forecasts. This meant as I plugged in the real revenue figures, the forecast would automatically adjust, reflecting the new situation.

Building the Rolling Forecast Machine: Causal’s formula capabilities came in handy here. I learned that the trick was to leverage a formula that considered two key things:

Total Revenue for the Year: This would be the initially planned amount, like my $1200 target.
Actual Revenue Received So Far: This would factor in the real numbers coming in, like the $50 I received in January.
By subtracting the actual revenue received so far from the total planned revenue for the year, I could calculate the remaining amount that needed to be earned.

Then, I could divide this remaining amount by the number of remaining months to get a new, adjusted monthly forecast that reflected the need to make up the shortfall.

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