FAQ: Can I start with last year's actuals to build my forecast in Fathom?

Yes. To create a forecast that is linked to last year’s actuals you will need to build out value rules. Value rules determine how amounts are calculated in the Fathom main forecast grid. You can build value rules on prior period’s actuals for a new forecast (within a company you have never created a forecast for) or for an existing Fathom forecast.

Alternatively, when starting with our ‘Quick Start Forecast’ option, we apply a linear regression to predict future values, based on your prior period values. Indirectly using these ‘actuals values’ to find the line of best fit for future periods. For more information on how we calculate our Quick Start forecasts, please see this article.

New Forecast

Use the ‘Forecast’ icon from the home page to enter the forecasting onboarding. Next select ‘Create a custom forecast’. Here you can add specific settings to your accounts and tax before you generate your forecast.

When you create a custom forecast, the first step will allow you to set up default value rules & timing profiles. For the Value rules, use the pencil icon to edit the value rule calculation at the overall classification level. This can be done by using the drop down to change the selection from ‘Smart Prediction’ to ‘Link to previous period’ here you can select from last month’s, quarter’s or last year’s numbers with a percent % or dollar $ increase or decrease at a monthly cadence.

You will then move through the remainder of the custom forecast set up, where you will answer some additional basic questions surrounding Default Accounts (account linkages), Tax Settings, Loans & Depreciation.

💡Pro Tip: Once your forecast is created using any method, you can edit or change the designations made in the forecast settings area at any point.

Existing Forecast

To create a forecast based on last year’s actuals in an existing forecast, you will need to change the value rules for each of the classification headings on the profit and loss to last year’s actuals.

To do this:

  1. Click on a classification heading, custom heading or account name
  2. In the right hand properties panel, select the ‘Pencil’ icon when hovering over the baseline value rule to edit the applicable rules
  3. Use the drop down menu to select ‘Link to previous period’. Here you can select from last month’s, quarter’s or last year’s numbers with a percent % or dollar $ increase or decrease at a monthly cadence.

This can be done at overall classification, custom heading and individual account level. This allows you to paint quickly with a wide brush and link all accounts to prior year balances, or, to be more selective and go through each account, setting up individual value rules for each line.

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