Popular Tasks in Microsoft Forecaster

Do you use Microsoft Forecaster for budgeting? Do you use the calculation set feature, which allows you to specify calculations for an input set and automatically calculate budget numbers? Do you use the Human Resources details capabilities, allowing you to track detailed HR information used as the basis for budget calculations? If so, you may benefit from these tasks you can configure.

A Forecaster task can process a single action, or a series of actions, on demand. To create a task, navigate to Data | Tasks in Forecaster, then right-click and choose “New.”

Enter a name for the task and mark the Create Using Wizard checkbox. Then click “OK.”

Click “Next” on the Welcome window.

To insert a command into the task, click the “Insert Task Package” icon in the upper right corner.

Then select the command to insert from the dropdown list. Depending on the task package you select, you may receive different options. We are going to look at two particularly useful task packages/commands. The first is the “Run Input Set Calculations” task package. This command will process the calculation set(s) defined for the selected input set and departments and save the results. Normally, calculations run (either automatically or manually) for departments as they are accessed in Data | Input. However, this would require each department to be accessed before the calculated results would be saved. By creating and running a task to run these calculations automatically, you can update all departments with the latest calculation results. This can be particularly useful if you have changed a calculation set or made other budget adjustments.

The second task package we are going to look at is “Recalculate Human Resources.”

You may have seen references to this task package as the COMP task. When you make a change that may impact calculations in Setup | Budgets | Human Resources, you are prompted to automatically run a COMP task when saving. This task recalculates the results of the HR details for all departments, or you can define a line set (Build | Lines) with the departments you want to include in the resummarization. This does not affect the detail; it recalculates the amounts in resulting accounts like wages, hours and FTE, as well as benefit amounts.

Once you have selected the task package, click “OK”, then “Next” and “Finish” to create the task. To run the task, you can right-click on the task and choose Run (in the Data | Tasks) view or select Data | Run Task.

For tasks that involve printing, like reports, you can complete the printing options. Otherwise, click “OK” to process the task and the status will be displayed until the process has completed. Beware! Tasks will change information in Forecaster; when in doubt, make sure you have backup before running a task, and always review the results afterward. Tasks can be very helpful in ensuring your Forecaster data is up-to-date and reflects the latest information and calculations.

For more information on configuring and using tasks in Forecaster, contact your Microsoft partner or email gpsupport@bkd.com.

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