Model Setup & Configuration

On the FD4Cast Ribbon, you will see the button “Configure Model” which has these options:

1.4.1 Configure from Blank Template

This enables the user to configure the model from scratch. This can be useful especially if you are not happy with the settings you made and instead of changing one by one, prefer to set up the model again.

When selected, a dialog is displayed for defining the categories and other settings in order.

1.4.2 Add / Remove Category Rows

This is one of the most crucial settings of FD4Cast model. At this menu you can add or remove categories. But first, let’s define what a “category” is in the model.

What is “Category”?

A Category is a separate item of revenue, cost, asset or liability for which the FD4Cast model requires input information in order to construct a forecast. Conceptually, these categories replicate the lines of information that you would see on the detailed Profit and Loss and Balance Sheet statements that your organisation currently uses.

Your nominal level trial balance may include many more categories of information that you might wish to use when producing a forecast. As a result, before you begin to use FD4Cast it may be necessary to undertake a mapping exercise to match and aggregate your nominal accounts/account codes to the summary categories of your forecast – as you would typically do when producing month‐end reports.

Managing Categories

When you hover over this menu item in the Configure Model menu, you will see these two options:

When you click on Add Rows to Categories, you will be prompted with a popup window:

You select which category you want to insert into a new row > If there are existing rows at that category, select after which one to insert > Number of Rows to insert.

This makes more sense when looking at the Admin Sheet. In our demo, we have defined the following rows for each category as you can see below:

For example, if we decided that we need two new expense items to be placed after Expenses B item, under the Direct Expenses category, our selection will be like this:

After adding your rows, you can rename new expense items according to your needs.

Similarly, when you want to remove any category items, just select “Remove Rows from Categories” and select the item to be removed.

FD4Cast models only use the exact number of categories the user requires. Users are not limited to a specific number of lines in each category and in theory can accommodate as many lines as they wish. Users are reminded, however, that the more lines per category, the bigger the model size and the longer it will take to calculate the outputs.

1.4.3 Change Model Start Date

In this menu, users can simply change the start date of the Financial Year for the model they are building:

1.4.4 Show / Hide Categories

As explained in the section 1.4.2, categories are important when managing FD4Cast model. You can add/remove and rename category items as you wish. In addition to that, if the user does not require certain categories of income, costs or balance sheet items according to the type of industry their business operates in or the format they report their results in, the possibility exists to hide these from view throughout the model. This makes reports, summary tables and input cells, easier to analyse by concealing empty rows from view and from printouts.

When clicked, this feature brings up a selection window in which the user can manage which categories to hide/unhide. For example, below we have hidden some Financing Categories:

This procedure can take some time to complete as there are many rows in the model and the VBA macro searches for multiple matching criteria in each sheet.

1.4.5 Length of Forecast Outlook

In FD4Cast models, the user can specify and change at any time the length of forecast outlook. The minimum length of outlook is 24 months, with the maximum being 120 months. The length of outlook is changed by the user by simply navigating to Configure Model > Length of Forecast Outlook, then selecting the outlook required as well as the first forecast period.

1.4.6 Total Model Reset

This option, as is evident from its name, clears everything, all inputs, selections and settings the user made:

Please note that, this action is irreversible, so use with caution!

1.4.7 Enter Unlock Key

Registered users can enter their license keys here to be able to use the full version of FD4Cast models.