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The Official Blog of Forecast5 Analytics

David Torres
WRITTEN BY
David Torres

Forecasting, 5Cast, Monthly Financial Reporting, Monthly Budgeting

The Gift of Time: Ditch Manual Reports with the Power of Automation

Posted on Feb 26, 2018 9:30:42 AM

Why is it the hardest questions often start with “why?” Why is the transportation fund over budget in October? Why are revenues down from this time last year? Why are benefits a higher percentage of expenditures this year?

Why are you spending so much time figuring out the answers?

So much data, not enough time

Everything you need to know is stored in the line items in your financial system. Unfortunately, making the necessary correlations requires spending lots of time manually finding and transferring the right data to a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to create a report. Only then can you analyze the data to explain what’s happening with some level of confidence.

Think about how much time you’d save if you ditched the hassle of producing manual reports, especially at the end of every month. On average, K-12 school districts commit days of their limited resources’ time putting together monthly financial reports, not to mention extra stretches spent uncovering answers to one-off questions from administrators and school board members.

Read - Analyzing Monthly Financials to Better Manage Your Annual Budget

The power of automation

Until now, the missing piece has been a way to automate the process of extracting data from legacy financial systems to produce accurate analyses.

That’s where 5Cast™ Plus from Forecast5 Analytics offers financial teams the gift of time.

With 5Cast Plus, the process is automated. Simply upload monthly transactions from the financial system and the module does the hard work for you, analyzing the data and producing an immediate analysis of historical trends, short-term projections and a view of your current financial health. It’s all done in a matter of minutes versus the hours it takes to create manual reports.

Now you’re ready to answer all those “why” questions armed with the information you need to easily evaluate what’s happening at the end of each month, compare to the previous month or year, and project the budget to the end of the fiscal year.

Time to strategize

Automating the output of monthly reports also minimizes that margin of error in reports. You can confidently predict where you’ll be at the end of the fiscal year powered by more accurate, summative analyses.

Instead of manually preparing and verifying reports, you’ll finally have time to look more comprehensively at long-term planning for specific funds and the upcoming fiscal year. With easy access to a repository of historical data, you can conduct an analysis over multiple years to identify trends that are invaluable for understanding where you’re at today and more accurately predict year-end.

The only question now is why haven’t you automated your financial monthly reporting already?

 

Free eBook:
Stay Ahead of the Game: Tips for Managing
This Year's Budget While Planning for Next Year
 

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David joined Forecast5 Analytics in 2014 and is responsible for the product management, development, and outreach of Forecast5’ s quantitative analysis and financial projection engine – 5Cast.  He also assists with the management of 5Cast client relationships. Prior to joining Forecast5 Analytics, he worked as a Chief Financial Officer/Treasurer for over 30 years at Township High School District 211, in Palatine, Illinois.  During his extensive experience as a CFO, he successfully engaged in the development of several strategic planning projects and long-term capital improvement programs.  David received his BA in Business Economics, and has a MA and certification in school business management.

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