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Making Excel Forecasting Simple

I have Excel as my only source for forecasting and have been tasked with making it less detailed and simpler to use and follow. The challenge is that our industry is very direct labor driven and without planning out billable hours per customer, it becomes difficult to plan revenue, margins, and resources needed. I do not have the option to move away from Excel so I was exploring using a very simple method of planning revenue and margins based on period of performance, percentage of completion, targeted margins and then using historical revenue data and historical timesheets to attempt planning resources on new forecasted revenue. Would that be too broad and irresponsible?

Answers

Shana Wild
Title: Controller Consultant
Company: Tier One Services, LLC
(Controller Consultant, Tier One Services, LLC) |

At a point in my career I too was faced with a complex forecast within excel. I was counseled to consider the main drivers of the business and attempt to simplify based on those drivers.

Shana Wild
Title: Controller Consultant
Company: Tier One Services, LLC
(Controller Consultant, Tier One Services, LLC) |

Hello! Just reaching out to see if the information was helpful and if you have any additional questions?

Dhruthi Shah
Title: Controller
Company: Expro
(Controller, Expro) |

Hi

I think doing forecasting based on historical data is not right approach. Old trend can just give u a guideline on how past has been, but not necessarily how future would be.

Doing away from excel doesn't seem right to me. You may try to simplify the calculations and make summaries so that it is easier to understand

Just wanted to bring your attention to IFRS 15 on revenue recognition. We no longer follow percentage of completion method. Revenue is recognised at a point in time or over a period of time based on completion of performance obligations.

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