Forecasting in Acumatica

  • 11 September 2020
  • 34 replies
  • 1384 views

Userlevel 2

Are you using Project Budget Forecasting (PM209600) or Cost Projections (PM305000)? 

  • If yes, are you getting the desired results? Do you wish you could do more? 
  • If no, why not? Do you need additional functionality for your specific workflows? 

Could you use a short training session to get you started? 


34 replies

Userlevel 2

Angela,

As a client that has just gone live - i agree with others that stated that the values from the latest projections need to flow into the WIP statement. This is our normal course of business so until this gets remedied we will have to workout out of manually updated spreadsheets.

Another aspect we would like to see improved is on the Cost Budget Tab of the Project, we would like to see totals of the different columns. As it is today you cannot quickly or accurately determine if the projected cost at completion is > or < the original budget.

Also we will reforecast a project several times before it is finally closed and our review always begins with incrementing the new forecast based on the last forecast. As such the history feature has a lot of value to us, but the overall functionality is limited, because to look at the history you have to go line by line per cost task- which limits the ability to see the project globally. It would be much more helpful to see all of tasks and prior forecast with a total and then provide a workspace to create a new forecast that is an iteration of the prior forecast.

Thanks for bringing up this topic- its an important one for us that we would like to use more.

John Wiebke

Envelop Group

Userlevel 3

One of our clients is using Project Budget Forecasting pretty heavily actually. The primary need for this is to report on project budget to actuals on a monthly trend basis. 

For the most part, it works very well for them. The only point I would bring up is the ability to create forecasts for multiple projects at a time. If you need to create many forecasts, doing this one by one can be very time consuming.

We kicked around the idea of import scenarios, but this has also proven to be difficult as well.

The other solution is Velixo’s project budget forecast import. This is fantastic, but not all clients will subscribe to Velixo.

 

Userlevel 3
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Unless working with an architect/engineer or developer, don’t use budget forecasting very often.  Of course, in those sub verticals, it’s very important.  I do show cost projections on every construction demo.

Specific to cost projections, since this is often a weekly/monthly exercise, the following would be helpful:

  • Add Columns to include:
    • Last Projected Amount
    • Weekly/Monthly Cost to Date

BTW, it would be super to have Sales/Training videos for all functionality as it’s added.  I understand this is a “big ask” but would certainly help the Partners and the customer.

Userlevel 6
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@Quest 

We will be delivering some updates to the Cost Projection Entry and WIP Report in our 2023 R1 release.  One mockup I’ve included is within the Cost Projection Entry, where you’ll now see information related to the specific forecast items, as well as, the impact to the overall project (including Gross Profit);

 

 

We will also deliver a revised WIP Report that allows users to decide if they want calculations based on Projections or System Calculated values (Planned Cost Estimate drop-down selection);

 

Look for more details as the release gets closer.  Thank you all for the comments, suggestions, feedback, etc.  It is very beneficial to us during our planning sessions.  Keep it coming!

 

Joel

Userlevel 2
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Yes, definitely should flow into the WIP reports.  Have not used Cost Projections extensively yet since we just started with Acumatica, but I don’t think Cost Projections brings in the projections from the previous projection.

Hi Angela,

I present Cost Projections often and the main comment I receive is that prospects need this information to flow into the WIP report.  I know it can currently flows into the Bonding Report but they want the WIP option as well.  Possibly a variation of the WIP based on the latest projections.

Thanks,

Kathy

Userlevel 1

@Quest

We will be delivering some updates to the Cost Projection Entry and WIP Report in our 2023 R1 release.  One mockup I’ve included is within the Cost Projection Entry, where you’ll now see information related to the specific forecast items, as well as, the impact to the overall project (including Gross Profit);

 

 

We will also deliver a revised WIP Report that allows users to decide if they want calculations based on Projections or System Calculated values (Planned Cost Estimate drop-down selection);

 

Look for more details as the release gets closer.  Thank you all for the comments, suggestions, feedback, etc.  It is very beneficial to us during our planning sessions.  Keep it coming!

 

Joel

Stunning - Thanks Joel!

Userlevel 6
Badge +2

@moniquelarcheveque8 - Thank you for the idea, I like it.  I’ll need to give some thought to whether the Percent Complete would be totaled, or just the Cost to Complete and Cost at Completion, as the Percentage is probably not cumulative, rather line by line.

In the meantime, you can create a Generic Inquiry that would do the consolidation and make it available to your PM’s.  Also, it could be used as a basis for Dashboard Information or Notifications, if it results in your companies tolerances being exceeded.

Userlevel 2
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Oh yea, one other item that would be very useful in Cost Projections as well as Project Summary.

In the header show Current Contract Amount, Current Projection Total and Current Profit and Profit %.  Profit % formula would be Profit divided by Contract Amount.  PM working on the cost projection then can easily see where the project is going regarding profit %.

 

Thanks----

Userlevel 3

Our project managers review their cost vs actual amounts on a monthly basis.  When they forecast the cost remaining per line item, this has direct effect on the estimated gross profit remaining (if est. cost to complete goes down, GP goes up, and vice versa).  However, the forecast feature in Acumatica doesn’t have an effect on Gross Profit.  And, neither of these fields are updated on the WIP report.

 

Thus, we are still calculating the monthly over/under billing in excel.

Userlevel 6
Badge +2

@johnshaddix38  and others;

Thank you for the feedback.  The two items represent different areas of focus.  

Project Budget Forecast helps clients to compare actual costs and income to budgeted entries, by financial period.

Cost Projection is used when clients wish to forecast a few specific numbers (Cost to Complete, Cost at Completion, Percent Complete).  It is geared toward a Project Manager projection/review, allowing different levels of consolidation (Cost Projection Classes).

Currently, the Cost Projection values are not on the standard WIP Report but could be added via the Report Designer.  They are visible within the Project/Cost Budget tab, and can be added to any Generic Inquiries you may have (you’ll see CostProjectionxxx fields within the PMCostBudget table).

​We are working to enhance the entry and reporting capabilities surrounding Cost Projections and have been reviewing the excellent suggestions made here.
 

@bbarker3  – There should be a ‘Copy Revision’ button available in the header section of Cost Projections.  This will allow you to bring in prior entries.
 

We also have a short video on Cost Projection usage, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCrhpU8f0iw

 

Userlevel 7
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@brandontfrank thank you for all the kind words. I truly enjoyed working with you and rest of your team. You really have a well developed business process and because of that expected results was very clear from the beginning and along with all the support yourself and rest of executives offered to the success of project lead us to have something really neat and functional. It is one of my top three favorites above all the rest. If it is ok with you @brandontfrank, I will write up a short list of needs/shortcomings highlights and how we addressed it and put here in case someone else comes across this post.

Userlevel 2

@pchappell19 and @dcote70 - Thank you for sharing your feedback. I will pass along the idea of short recordings and create backlog items for the additional columns.

 

@dcote70 - Would you be open to scheduling a call so we can learn more about your clients workflow for creating multiple project budget forecasts at the same time? 

Userlevel 6
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Hi Toon,

I assume you’re asking about Project Totals for each column within the Balances tab?  Currently, we total by account group, so I wanted to confirm your suggestion.

Thanks.

Joel

 

Userlevel 7
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@joelhoffman

I was curious about the changes made in Acumatica 2023R1 re Cost Projection. So I reviewed the code in detail and compared it to 2022R2 as I know I have developed a huge customization on it. The major changes I noticed were

  • Introducing a few extra DACs mostly for reporting purposes at the Project level more specifically to show Project Revenue and profitability on top of the form.
  • Some additional control/methods for the Released projections
  • Adding Quantity and Amount variance fields to the lines and Amount variance to the document level. Not sure why Acumatica got the calculation for these two fields the other way around but I believe you need to fix this before the 2023R1 final release. Always when something is good we show positive (green or black) and when bad we show negative (red typically). For example, if we have a profit it is going to be good and positive and if we have a loss, it is bad and negative. If we are going to finish our project at a lower cost than what we budgeted for is good so should be positive (black/green) and if we are exceeding our cost budget in fact, we are losing money, and is bad and should be negative (Red). To comply with this logic for the variance you should have formulated the variance as “Variance = RevisedBudget - ProjectedCostAtCompletion” but surprisingly Acumatica has managed to re-invent the logic and in code has switched the Budget place with Projection. As a result, if we perform better we show negative variance and if we do worse we show positive variance which I believe is wrong and need to be fixed.
  • Thanks for removing the enormous amount of extra blank lines which makes reading the code for people more convenient.
  • other than a few exceptions, the majority of the classes/methods are declared as “private” classes which makes the customization a pain and high maintenance. can you please have your team review them and make them public so that we can call/override them instead of copying/pasting them? What harm it is causing to decorate them as the public that can be called from extensions without hacking?
  • The rest of the major issues and shortcomings that cost projection had and I presented some of them to you during the meeting we had, still exist. 
  • There is an error in Copy Dialog DAC declaration as follows “public abstract class refreshBudget : PX.Data.BQL.BqlBool.Field<copyFiles> { }” that need to be fixed. Someone seems copied from “CopyFiles” and forgot to edit.

 

Userlevel 1

Hi, looking forward to the new features in the WIP reports for Cost projections.  Were you also planning on having the Cost projections columns totaled when you group by task in the Cost Budget tab of the project?  This could be a simple way for PM to look at the projection compared to budgeted and actual amounts.

Thanks,

Userlevel 2
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We have not found the “Project Budget Forecast” tool useful for us.  We are planning on using “Cost Projections”.  I am not sure if the “Project Budget Forecast” tool feeds into the WIP or not, but would be interested in finding out.

Userlevel 3
Badge +1

 

 

And are there any changes happening with calculation formulas in certain columns? The system does not seem to calculate completed / 100% projected percentages correctly.

Example below… we were over budget on this specific line item by say 300%. The task is now complete so we change it to manually be 100% completed. Why does it still say there is 6.51 quantity to complete?

 

Also seems weird that changing projected quantity to complete to 0 doesn’t automatically trigger the projected completed % to 100%.

 

Finally… it would be HUGE to allow us to use the calendar date selection to reflect actual amounts from that date in time.


Hi @brandontfrank ,

If you set Mode = Manual Quantity in the cost projection line, you will be able to set Projected Completed % = 100% and set Projected Quantity to Complete = 0 too.
In this mode, the system does not react on changes in the quantity fields in this line.

Userlevel 6
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@Angela Bloomer Construction was a training ever set up for this? if so, could you share the link to the recording? 

Hi @iqraharrison48 , I will check for a training recording, but I do not believe one was completed.  We do plan to have a session around Projections at 2024 Summit.

Userlevel 3
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And are there any changes happening with calculation formulas in certain columns? The system does not seem to calculate completed / 100% projected percentages correctly.

Example below… we were over budget on this specific line item by say 300%. The task is now complete so we change it to manually be 100% completed. Why does it still say there is 6.51 quantity to complete?

 

Also seems weird that changing projected quantity to complete to 0 doesn’t automatically trigger the projected completed % to 100%.

 

Finally… it would be HUGE to allow us to use the calendar date selection to reflect actual amounts from that date in time.


Hi @brandontfrank ,

If you set Mode = Manual Quantity in the cost projection line, you will be able to set Projected Completed % = 100% and set Projected Quantity to Complete = 0 too.
In this mode, the system does not react on changes in the quantity fields in this line.

 

Hello @ESTEPALINA 

We were able to customize the cost projections module with the excellent help of @aaghaei  Our goal was for Project Managers to never have to toggle the mode – didn’t even want them to have to know about it.

Now, when 100% completion is logged into the system, it automatically zeros out the projected cost and project units remaining. This has been particularly beneficial, as it accurately represents our business model wherein 100% completion signifies no further time or expense allocated to that code. Any projection exceeding 100% activates an immediate alert, signaling Project Managers to conduct a thorough evaluation.

The other functionality change he was able to make for us (which would be outstanding out of the box) is percent % column will recalculate if you enter into the projected cost to complete OR projected units to complete without having to manually change the mode. It recalculates each time based on whatever field you’re forecasting off, dollars and units.

The out-of-box Cost Projections simply lacks key columns, calculations, and filtering capabilities. Most of our team was just exporting to Excel and forecasting from there. If Acumatica ever decides to revamp and enhance the cost projection module - I would HIGHLY suggest they ping @aaghaei to see some of the work he’s done. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +6

@Angela Bloomer Construction was a training ever set up for this? if so, could you share the link to the recording? 

Userlevel 3
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@moniquelarcheveque8 - Thank you for the idea, I like it.  I’ll need to give some thought to whether the Percent Complete would be totaled, or just the Cost to Complete and Cost at Completion, as the Percentage is probably not cumulative, rather line by line.

In the meantime, you can create a Generic Inquiry that would do the consolidation and make it available to your PM’s.  Also, it could be used as a basis for Dashboard Information or Notifications, if it results in your companies tolerances being exceeded.

 

Joel - will the 2023 R1 update of Cost Projections include the ability to copy a revision, refresh actual costs, but keep projected amounts from previous revision?

And are there any changes happening with calculation formulas in certain columns? The system does not seem to calculate completed / 100% projected percentages correctly.

Example below… we were over budget on this specific line item by say 300%. The task is now complete so we change it to manually be 100% completed. Why does it still say there is 6.51 quantity to complete?

 

Also seems weird that changing projected quantity to complete to 0 doesn’t automatically trigger the projected completed % to 100%.

 

Finally… it would be HUGE to allow us to use the calendar date selection to reflect actual amounts from that date in time.

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

@joelhoffman

Joel, I might be wrong but I guess Acumatica’s development team who are working on Cost Projection have missed the calculation of VarianceQuantity & VarianceAmount in the InitFieldsFromBudget method. I thought to point this out here that they may want to have a look.

Also PLEASE have your team remove protected from the methods (public virtual please) and change private methods to public virtual to take away the pain of being forced toward abstract classes … and hacking private methods which Acumatica itself is against it for customization purposes.

Userlevel 1
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We have a client who uses the forecasting extensively and is hindered by Acumatica’s lack of functionality.  The numbers won’t even multiply.  When you spread the budget evenly, Acumatica can’t do that correctly.  We are hoping that we can get them into the Velixo product but in the mean time back to spreadsheets and email.  

Userlevel 2

@mcoman - Thank you for your candid reply. Would you be open to scheduling a call so we can learn more about the challenges and the expected workflows? 

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