When creating any forecast entry, you have two options for entering your numbers:
- Constant amount, which applies the same number to every month or year of your forecast
- Varying amounts over time, which allows you to manually enter different numbers for each month of your forecast, or to have certain months with no numbers at all
The example below shows you how to access these input types for a sample revenue entry, but the process is identical for direct costs, expenses, personnel, assets, or any other type of forecast item:
When do I use Varying amounts over time?
The Varying amounts over time input is useful in a number of different scenarios:
- Let's say you want to show growth in your revenues, or growth in your direct costs or expenses, as your business grows. In that case, you can use Varying amounts over time to enter larger amounts for each month of year of your plan.
- If the unit price of your product or service varies seasonally, Varying amounts over time allows you to set different unit prices for different months.
- If you're adding personnel to your forecast and you want to show seasonal fluctuations in the number of staff you'll be employing, Varying amounts over time allows you to enter a different number of employees each month. You can also use this method to show seasonal fluctuations in salary amounts.
In other words, the Varying amounts input can apply to any numeric entry in the forecast, whether it represents units sold, employees hired, unit prices, revenue earned, or costs incurred. Varying amounts over time adds flexibility to your forecast.
For more tips on using this input, read Using an interactive chart to forecast varying amounts over time.