Use Tasks in Microsoft Forecaster 7.0 to Automate Work and Save Time

If you are using Microsoft Forecaster, you may have used tasks to perform a recalculation of input set values, or possibly run an allocation. In addition to these items, there are several other great  things you can do with tasks.

 In many of the Forecaster implementations I’ve seen, tasks are always brought up at the very end of a project. Typically, this is when you are running out of time and have higher priorities to address.  So, today I’m going to let you know about the great functionality you might be missing out on by not taking advantage of the other types of tasks you can create using the task wizard.

 First, let’s make sure everyone has a good grasp on the Run Input Set Calculation task and the Recalculate and Resummarize tasks. These tasks can sometimes seem a little confusing.

 The easiest example is to look at a company who sells services and uses a service rate defined in an Input Set Calculation at $125/hr. If this company decides that for the next budget year the rate will rise to $133/hr, they need to change the calculation definition. The updated values based on the new calculation will then appear in the Input Set. But, this calculation change will only update what is seen in the input screen. It doesn’t run the calculation and save it to the database. That’s where the Run Input Set Calculation task comes into play. It does the equivalent of clicking calculate and save in each department and saves the value back down to the database department by department. This task can be run any time a calculation definition is modified that may impact a posting level account.

 The resummarize tasks are very similar to the Run Input Set Calculation task, but are specific to Revenue, Human Resources, or Capital. Any time a revenue calculation is changed, a pay grade is modified, or when the life of a capital type is modified, these tasks will recalculate and save for each department.


The second task you should be aware of is Global Calculations. Global Calculations perform updates on a period by period basis for all departments and all accounts. Some common uses for this is an global increase of 5%, zeroing out a period, or setting a period to a specific value.

The last one is the ability to print reports. The Print Report task can be given a list of departments or a line set with a set of departments so that a report can be printed for several departments at once. Many organizations like to print a hard copy of their reports after the budget is finalized and approved. This is an excellent time saver to create one task with several print jobs or create a print job for each of your reports. For your next budget you just need to change the task to point to the new report.

For more information on tasks check out Chapter 10 of the Supplemental Concepts training available on CustomerSource.


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