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Using assumptions to add commentary to your forecast decisions

As you edit or create new value rules, timing profiles, or drivers, you can add commentary to them. This allows you to note why you chose that particular value rule or timing profile for an account, heading, or classification in your main forecast, a scenario, or a microforecast. You can also note how you’ve calculated or sourced your driver values in your main forecast or a scenario.

These forecast assumptions allow you to document and explain the most critical decisions you have made when generating your forecast and help to generate buy-in for the resulting numbers.

You can also include these notes or forecast assumptions in a Fathom report.


Creating an assumption

To add a note or assumption for a value rule or timing profile:

  1. Click on the specific account, heading, or classification the value rule or timing profile impacts

  2. In the properties menu that opens to the right, select the ‘three dots’ icon to the right of the value rule or timing profile

    Note: If you have microforecasts impacting the account, heading, or classification, then you’ll need to select the ‘Baseline’ before you can add or edit the value rule or timing profile.

  3. Choose to edit the rule or add a new rule

  4. In the new menu that opens, scroll down to the text box where you can type in your assumption note

  5. If you want to include this note in a report, check the option to ‘Include in Assumptions report’ that appears just underneath the note text box

To add a note or assumption to a driver:

  1. If you’re calculating a driver with a ‘Constant/Growing’ or ‘Formula’ rule, then you can add an assumptions note when you create the value rule to calculate the driver by selecting the green ‘+’ button in the ‘Notes’ section of the value rule menu.

  2. If you’ve input a direct entry for a driver value, then you can click on the cell for the direct entry in the Drivers Grid. This will open a menu on the right side of your screen.

    💡Pro Tip: Driver values imported into Fathom from Excel will display as direct entries in the Drivers Grid. If you want to include an assumption for several consecutive direct entries, then it is recommended to create an assumption note for only one of the direct entries.

  3. Click on the ‘three dot’ icon next to where the direct entry is listed in the menu.

  4. From the drop down menu, select ‘Add note’ to add an assumptions note or ‘Edit note’ to edit a previously recorded assumptions note.

  5. Type the note and check the option to ‘Include in assumptions report’ if you want to be able to surface the note in a report.

  6. Select the green ‘Apply changes’ button to save the note.

Because you can set value rules & timing profiles in your scenarios and microforecasts that differ from your main forecast, you’re also able to add assumptions notes for value rules & timing profiles in scenarios & microforecasts, as well as for drivers values in scenarios.

💡Pro Tip: Any assumptions that do not have the option ‘Include in assumptions’ report checked will not be able to appear in reports and will only be visible to users with editing capabilities in the forecast.



Including assumptions in a report

You have a few options to include assumptions in your report. You can simply add an assumptions table from the forecasting tables options or you can add an entire page of several assumptions related tables to your report.

An Assumptions Table can be filtered to display the assumptions for the main forecast or a scenario. You are also able to filter the table to display ‘Profit & Loss’ assumptions, ‘Drivers’ assumptions, or assumptions made in a microforecast. Profit & Loss assumptions will detail any value rule, timing profile, and tax rule assumptions you have made in your main forecast or scenario.

Assumptions need to have the ‘Include in assumptions report’ option checked in the forecast for them to appear in the assumptions table.

To add an assumptions table to a report:

  1. Select ‘Tables and Financials’ in the left-side navigation bar in a Fathom report.

  2. Click on the second bolded word option at the top of the menu that opens.

  3. Choose ‘Forecasting’ from the drop down menu.

  4. Select the ‘Assumptions’ table.

  5. To edit the table, hover over it and select the green ‘Pencil’ icon that appears in the top right corner of the table. You can then change the table’s title or filter the table to display the main forecast or scenario assumptions. You’re also able to filter the table to show the ‘Profit & Loss’ assumptions, the ‘Drivers’ assumptions, or assumptions made in a specific microforecast.

    💡Pro Tip: To be able to filter the table to display assumptions made in a microforecast, you will need to have the table filtered to show the ‘Main forecast’ and not a scenario. If the microforecast is turned on in a scenario and turned off in the main forecast, the assumptions table still needs to be filtered by the ‘Main forecast’ to be able to select the microforecast in the second drop down option.

Alternatively, you can add an 'Assumptions Page' to your report. This will add a section with multiple tables to your report, including:

  • Assumptions Table: This table will default to display the value rule, timing profile, and tax assumptions made in your main forecast. The table can be edited after being added to the report by hovering over the table and selecting the green ‘Pencil’ icon in the top right corner of the table.

  • Drivers Table: Displays any drivers or non-financial metrics that you’ve added to the forecast and their values. This table defaults to display all of the drivers in the main forecast. The table can be edited once added to the report.

  • Adjustments: Any adjustments made in ‘Step 1 - Update Data’ of the company Settings.

To add an Assumptions Page to a report:

  1. Select ‘Page Layouts’ from the content library on the left-side of the report editor

  2. Click the bolded word at the top of the menu that opens

  3. Choose ‘Forecasting’ from the drop down menu

  4. Choose the desired assumptions page orientation (portrait or landscape)

❗Note: If an assumption is not documented in the reports, return to the forecast main grid to ensure that the option to ‘Include is assumptions report’ has been checked for the assumption.


Additional knowledge & common questions

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