Product Update: Tracking Forecasting
Posted on 16th March 2018 in Advisory
Written by Freya Hughes
Tracking forecasting is your secret weapon when it comes to accurately forecasting and reporting key revenue and cost centres across a business. Tracked forecasts can be used in dashboards to create accurate snapshots and comparisons, so you can stay in total control and dive deeper into your financial information.
Xero’s tracking functionality allows you to add information to all invoices and journals. You might need to use it for different areas, departments, commissions, or whether a cost is fixed or variable. What you need to track depends on your own business and the information that is important to you.
There is almost always something worth tracking for every business. If you are not using this functionality then it is definitely something worth looking into. We’ve now added the ability to use tracking to look into the future, as well as the past, providing a more granular basis for decision making.
Dig deeper into your data
As an example, if you’re working with a not-for-profit, a lot of what you do will be broken down by individual projects. And your clients will need to maintain financial accountability for every penny. This product update adds this tracking functionality to budgeting and forecasting, so users can tag each individual part of a forecast with that project. This allows for a clear view of how each project is looking over time and also allows us to assess actual performance at a project level.
Similarly, if you’re working with a company selling subscriptions or products, you might need to forecast the revenue their sales team are likely to bring in per month. This figure is liable to change, that’s why being able to project an estimate forward is helpful for a business owner. Working from an assumption created from historical and forecast data means you’ll know where your business stands and if you need to increase your efforts to bring in more cash.
Our update gives you the option to track individual forecasts, look at specific metrics and be able to predict the growth or decline of those metrics within a larger context.
Tracking forecasting in action
When you click on a scenario for an organisation which is utilising Xero’s tracking, you’ll see that you’re able to tag individual forecasts with tracking codes. Once the scenario is sufficiently tracked, this information can be viewed on any of our dashboards and existing reports.
Along with the tracking card, we can now filter any of our existing cards by tracking category. So, if you wanted to see how one project is performing against forecast, simply add a comparison card and filter it by the relevant tracking code.
Any untracked forecasts will work as before, and any tracked forecasts you set up won’t alter your existing forecasts.
Our tracking forecasting feature is ready to help you become more organised and see a much more detailed view of your business. This granular view – made up of historical data and a future projection – means you can make better business decisions.
That’s all for now but watch out for more exciting updates to the platform during 2018!