Using Microforecasts in Fathom

Plan for and model business events and actions in your forecast

Updated over a week ago


What is a microforecast?

Microforecasts are a self-contained set of P&L and Balance Sheet movements that represent an event in your business and its financial impacts.

Microforecasts can be used to model and isolate the impacts of individual business decisions for greater visibility on how these decisions contribute to the main forecasting grid. You’re able to easily turn microforecasts on or off and to change their timing for greater flexibility in planning of events or decisions.

Find answers to some of the following questions:

  • Should I start selling my products through Uber Eats?

  • Should I sell a new product or release a new product line?

  • Is it financially feasible to hire a new sales person?

  • Should I buy a new truck for deliveries? Do I need to take out a loan to buy the truck?

You can create up to 50 microforecasts per company or consolidated group forecast.

Creating a Microforecast

To create a microforecast,

  1. Click on the ‘Microscope’ icon on the left sidebar of the main forecast grid. This will open up the Microforecast Manager.

  2. Select the ‘+ Create a new microforecast’ button at the bottom of the Microforecast Manager.

  3. Once selected, you will be prompted to:

    1. Name the microforecast

    2. Give the event/action a start date (this can be changed at any time once the microforecast has been created)

    3. Log it into a category, if applicable. If the desired category is not listed, categories can be created after the microforecast has been created.

  4. You can then select a Microforecast Wizard (e.g. hire an employee, take out a loan, purchase an asset) to help you build out your microforecast. Alternatively, you can start from scratch and build a microforecast with individual chart of account line items, selected by using the ‘Add account’ option.

Whether you choose to use a wizard or start a microforecast from scratch, as soon as the wizard is complete or you add your first account, you’ll be taken to the microforecast grid.

Any Profit & Loss Revenue accounts will be listed in the ‘Incomings’ section with Cost of Sales and Expense accounts listed under ‘Outgoings’. Balance Sheet accounts added to the microforecast will appear under the applicable ‘Assets’, ‘Liabilities’, and ‘Equity’ section.

Value rules and timing profiles that are set up in your main forecast will be respected in the microforecast, however you can override these items by clicking into a cell for an account in the microforecast grid.

Changes you make in the microforecast will only impact the microforecast, they will not impact the value rules, timing profiles, and account linkages in the main forecasting grid for the baseline forecast or any scenarios.

💡 Pro Tip: If an account does not yet exist in your Chart of Accounts, but is needed to forecast, then you can create a future account.

An example microforecast

Example: A business needs to model hiring a new sales associate. The associate is expected to be a full-time, permanent employee with an annual salary of $65,000. They will be in training for the first two months on the job before they are expected to bring in additional revenue and increase their performance by 5% month-over-month.

Editing a microforecast

You can return to a microforecast to edit it at any time. To return to a microforecast,

  1. Select the ‘Microscope’ icon from the left sidebar

  2. Click on the microforecast you wish to edit

This will take you to the microforecast grid where you can change the value rules and timing profiles in the microforecast.

Changing the start date of a microforecast

You can easily change the timing of microforecasts from the Business Roadmap. You can change the timing of a microforecast by grabbing the bar and sliding it from left to right. This allows you to explore the various impacts of possible microforecast timings on your Quick Metrics.

Learn more in our 'Using the Business Roadmap' article.

Categorising your microforecasts

A category allows you to group a series of microforecasts together and is handy for looking at items together on the business roadmap. You can use the filter in the microforecast panel to toggle between your categories, to see just the items that belong to that category of microforecasts.

If you did not categorise your microforecast when you first created it, you can categorise or re-categorise it at any time.

  1. Select the ‘Microscope’ icon from the left sidebar to open the Microforecast Manager

  2. Hover over the microforecast and select the ‘Three dot’ icon that appears to the right of the microforecast name

  3. Choose ‘Change category’ from the drop down menu

  4. In the menu that opens, choose to move the microforecast to an existing category or type in the name of a new category to create a new one

  5. Confirm the selection

Next steps

Continue the 'Forecast Creation & Setup Workflow' by choosing from one of the next steps below:

What you want to do:

Where to go next:

Change the timing of microforecasts & strategise the best plan for success

Create different versions of your forecast to explore multiple scenarios

Report on the forecast you've created to show others your findings

Additional knowledge & common questions:

Did this answer your question?