What If We Could “What-If” with Forecasts Easily – Quick Time-Saving Tips

By Jill King

October 15, 2012

Blog post by Jill King - Anaplan Pre-Sales I talked briefly in a previous blog about being able to create multiple versions of a forecast but I wanted to expand on that a little today.  Most Excel users are unable to create “what-if” versions of their forecast because it takes all the time between forecasts to create one version let alone several versions of the forecast. THE CRYSTAL BALL However, forecasts are full of assumptions that could be off from reality.  It can be so powerful to create a few “what-if” scenarios and see the impact to the bottom line.  What-if the price of fuel increases?  What-if we achieve growth at a slower rate due to a downturn in the economy?  What-if one of our products takes off and sells at a much higher rate than we anticipated?  In order to change the assumptions in an Excel model, you would have to recreate another version of your model, essentially doubling the time it takes to create the first version. Anaplan Solution As mentioned in an earlier blog, you can create a copy of your model by using the “bulk copy” feature, which adds a version to the model as well as copies over all of your assumptions.  Instead of using this feature to create the next forecast, you can use it to build up a few different ways of looking at the current forecast.  You can change your assumptions in your new version and see the impact to the bottom line. Another great feature of Anaplan is the dashboards.  You can insert your assumptions to your dashboard and then add in your P&L so as you make changes to the assumptions, you can see how it affects the bottom line side by side with the other versions.  Anaplan users can instantaneously see the impacts of their changes to the P&L without altering the original forecast.  Create a base, conservative, and aggressive forecast and see how your income is impacted.  You can’t predict the future so why not give yourself a way to be prepared for the possibilities. Jill King Quick Time-Saving Tips is updated every Monday on the Anaplan Blog. Interested in having Jill @jilleking review a tedious task or want to submit your own Time-Saving Tip? Tweet us at @anaplan and let us know!

Jill King

Jill King, President and CEO at Twelve Consulting Group Jill has 9+ years leading Accounting and Finance initiatives within large enterprises including United Health Group, CarVal Investors and UBS Global Asset Management. Jill is an expert in building automated and efficient financial models across a broad set of use cases.

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