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Changes between the old and the new forecast
Changes between the old and the new forecast
Miel De Rycke avatar
Written by Miel De Rycke
Updated over a week ago

The new forecast in wayahead packs a number of major and minor improvements from the old version. Given that many agencies rely on the new forecast day in day out, the new forecast will first appear as a new report alongside the old one, so you get to choose whether or not you start using it. But eventually the new forecast will replace the old one entirely. This article is not a full explanation of the forecast, but just focusses on the differences.

To learn more about the Forecast report in its original layout, please refer to the following article.

1. Automatically insert Streamtime expenses and purchase orders

Let's start by making clear that expenses means both expenses and purchase orders in Streamtime. Until now the forecast tool would only let you insert expenses as manual entries, by entering a negative value. A small helper tool inside the job details modal would let you pick multiple expenses and insert the total value automatically as one.

In the new version you can ask to automatically insert all expenses directly from Streamtime. To do this, click the configuration at the top of the page and tick on the top option under how to handle costs.

With this option on, there are now 3 types of costs that can become visible in the forecast: issued expenses, draft expenses and forecasted expenses. It's actually the same as for revenue, where you have issued invoices (previously green), draft invoices (previously silver) and forecasted invoices (previously orange).

With 6 pill types, the colour coding needed an update. Any revenue related pills are green, any cost related pills are blue. The darker the shade of the pill, the more certain the income/cost.

So a full blue pill is an issued expense out of Streamtime, it's set in stone. A 'white' blue pill is merely a forecasted value stored in wayahead, while a 'half' blue is a draft expense out of Streamtime.

Manipulating the Expense Date

The reason we need to see expenses in wayahead is obviously because we like to see the contribution of our projects for each given month. When I sell a project for $6k and I pay a supplier $5k, then the contribution for our agency is $1k. But when do we recognise that income? The expense could be booked in August in Streamtime, while the invoice is booked (or planned) for September. By default, the cost will remain in August (be deducted from the contribution in August and the income will be showing in September (added to the contribution in September).

Some agencies will prefer to see the two aligned, meaning if we charge out that expense to the client in September, we also want to see the full contribution booked in September.

You can do this in 2 ways:

  • Either change the expense date in Streamtime to September (this may of course not be an option)

  • Tick the option to overwrite the expense date in the configuration and use the job details to link the expense to the right invoice.

As a result, the two always remain linked to one another – even when you update the invoice date of the draft invoice in Streamtime or wayahead:

2. Clearer footer totals

The footers have been redesigned to show all the relevant totals in a clear overview. In yellow the forecasted values, green the actuals (confirmed in Streamtime) and blue shows the total projected sum of yellow and green.

3. Custom footers

You may like to see the forecast total broken down in a custom way. Perhaps you want to see all the retainer work separated from the project based work. Or you may want see the forecast broken down by probability. Fear not, wayahead's got your back.

You can add your own custom footers in the forecast based on job labels in Streamtime. Open the Configuration and add add the labels you used in Streamtime. Each line in the configuration will become a new footer line in the Forecast.

Default: This is the name we give the footer line for jobs without any special labeling.

Each footer line has the following definitions:

  • Label: This is the label name used in Streamtime to identify the jobs by. You can enter a comma separated list. That way you could make combinations of all jobs "retainer" for "digital" vs "retainer" for "design", by making 2 lines "retainer, digital" and "retainer, design".

  • Name: We don't want all the label names from Streamtime to show up int he footer, so you can give each line a nice readable name here.

  • Probability: By changing the probability, you determine the weighted total for each value. Say I set the probability for HIGH to 75%, then a $10k draft invoice will add up to $10k in the High summary, but only $7.5k in the Forecasted Revenue and Total Projected Revenue.

  • In Total: Let's say the LOW is only weighted at 10%, then you may find it so unlikely that you don't want to include its value in the totals. In a way, unchecking In Total is the same as setting the probability to 0%.

  • Colour: Choose your own colour code for each footer line. Either pick one from the colour picker or fill in a hex code.

Note that each job in the list will get marked with the colour code of the footer total it shows up in. In the example below, I know the Hudson Website Retainer counts for 75% in my totals because it is marked 'light' green. Jobs with no colour are 'confirmed projects' in my setup.

4. Improved chart

More types of values shown just required a better graph. Instead of the classic line chart, you can now see your revenue and income broken down in individual bar charts and the tooltip has also been remodelled to get more clarity on the breakdown for each month.

5. Summary tables

New summary tables at the bottom of the page, instantly break down the entire forecast by job lead (account manager), job type, branch and client. Even when you apply searches or filters to the main table, these summaries will update instantly.

You can use the toggle at the top right to view these tables as revenue, cost or contribution.

Click the name of summary item to automatically filter the main forecast table by that item. E.g. Click a job type name to filter the main forecast by that job type.

6. Use job plan in forecasting

When manually entering forecasts, you can either enter "2000" as a flat fee or "20%" to get wayahead to automatically enter a percentage of the job's budget. But we often invoice by job phase.

Just click open the job details modal (by clicking the job financials on the left hand panel), scroll down to the job phases and select individual items or phases to forecast. A new pill appears at the top right. Then click the pill to insert it into the forecast.

That way you don't have to go into Streamtime and add up all the values manually.

7. Navigation

With extra summaries and tables in the page, some navigation buttons have been added making it easier to jump to the right part of the page.

8. Remaining to Forecast

A clever new tooltip on the Forecast column shows you exactly why the value colours green, black or red.

It shows you the breakdown of the values and the sum as well as the variance to the budget. That way you always know where you stand with the job.

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9. Displaying Archived Jobs

Since June, the new Forecast also displays archived jobs. While you can not forecast archived jobs anymore, it was decided to change the behaviour of the Forecast and show them regardlessly, for several reasons:

  • The first reason is that it is confusing to see the invoice total in the footer not match up with the pills above. This was because some jobs could have been billed and since archived. By showing archived jobs, the totals match up with the pills.

  • Secondly, when you search and filter the Forecast, all the totals, including billing in the current and previous months now also filters along with the report.

  • The third reason is that it was necessary to bring these jobs into the forecast for the sake of Accruals and Deferrals. A job could be invoiced in February, with the income accrued to July. Today is June. If that job is archived, it won't bring up the July invoice anymore and we're not seeing the right results. Of course, you probably wouldn't archive a job in that case, but still – at least now the data is displaying correctly.

  • The last reason is that it gives you a chance to clean up issues in the system. You may have an invoices that was left as a draft instead of marked as sent. Or perhaps you weren't aware you had forecasted some income on a specific job.

Archived jobs are treated differently from other jobs:

  • Note that you can't add new forecast items to archived jobs.

  • wayahead doesn't add up forecast and draft records to the totals if the related job is archived.

  • wayahead will let you automatically delete all pills on an archived jobs. E.g. you forecasted 12 pills on a retainer job. But the job didn't go ahead and you archived it. When you delete the first forecast pill, wayahead will detect what you're doing and suggest to automatically remove all other pills too.

  • Archived jobs can be turned on or off via the filters, just like other job types.

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