Financial forecasting is an estimate of financial performance for a future period. Essentially, it’s an educated guess of the composition of future financial statements. It’s a guess as no one, no matter how good they are, can accurately predict the future. However, it’s an educated guess because one can use historical factors and adjust them for known current events and future plans to arrive at the forecasts. There is a difference between forecasting and planning. Forecasting is much faster and involves significant uses of estimates whereas planning entails the aggregation of a much greater level of detail to support the end result and to use as a comparison to actual results. This course will not cover planning nor a detail “build” of data. The intent is to use overall data to create summary forecasts of financial performance so that lenders may be timely informed of covenant issues, cash and debt needs may be anticipated and other issues may be addressed on a timely basis. There will not be supporting detail. However, the results will be explainable to shareholders, owners, potential investors or lenders and, more importantly, will make sense from an overall standpoint.
- Financial Forecasting Overview
- Forecasting Sales
- Forecasting Gross Margin
- Forecasting General and Administrative Expenses
- Identify historical trends and apply these trends to forecasts
- Appreciate the need to discuss current events and future plans with other parties and apply the results of these discussions to a forecasted amount
- Use the Forecast function in Excel
- Understand and use the Correlate function in Excel
- Understand financial ratios and their use in forecasting
- Create a financial statement forecast
Knowledge of basic computer and Excel skills: opening and closing files. Have an understanding of how Excel formulas work.
Have Excel 2007 or higher