To ensure you have transparency around your forecast values, Fathom has specific features designed to give you insight into the calculations and how your forecast was built. Some of the features are visuals, while others help you gain trust over the calculations in Fathom.
Value Rule Chart
From the main grid, you’re able to drill down into a chart of accounts line item to open up a right hand information panel. At the top of this panel you’ll see a graph, the solid green line represents your actuals figures, while the dotted green line represents your forecast data range. This allows you to quickly identify any outliers in your data set, view the trend of your forecasting data, and compare that trend to your actuals.
Timing Rule Preview
You can view the impact of timing rules on their linked accounts (and any cash implications) by using the ‘three dots’ icon next to the rule and entering the preview panel. This preview panel shows you how quickly things time to the balance sheet, allowing you to see the exact movements between the Balance Sheet and the P&L and the calculation of each months P&L values into their relevant linked accounts.
Balance Sheet Detail View
Within the Fathom forecast balance sheet you are able to fully reconcile the running total of a Balance Sheet account within a particular layer (e.g. within the baseline, or within a particular microforecast). This allows you to see exactly how your Profit and Loss accounts influence the balance sheet. Generally balance sheet accounts will carry forward with the same value unless changed.
There are 3 ways that balance sheet accounts change in a Fathom Forecast:
- From P&L Accounts
- From Balance Sheet schedule lines
- From journals (including ‘custom’, ‘auto-payment’ and ‘system’ journals)
Viewing the balance sheet layer detail
To access the balance layer detail:
- Navigate to the Balance Sheet in the main grid
- Click on a cell for the account you want to audit
- From the properties menu that opens on the right, select the Baseline
- Click the ‘Magnifying Glass’ icon in the top right corner to view all of the impacts on the account. This audit screen also details custom journals that impact this Balance Sheet account as well as the impact of any schedules that have been set up.
💡Pro Tip: If you select a microforecast associated with the account instead of the ‘Baseline’, you will be taken to the microforecast where you can view all of the movements associated with that particular microforecast.
As you edit or create new value rules or timing rules, you can add commentary to these rules. This allows you to note why you chose that particular value rule or timing profile for an account, heading, or classification. These forecast assumptions allow you to document and explain the most critical assumptions you have made when generating your forecast and help to substantiate the resulting numbers.
You can also include these notes or forecast assumptions in a Fathom report. For more detail on creating and reporting on assumptions in your forecast, please see this article.