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Online reporting and analysis - because Microsoft Forecaster is browser based, users can view and collaborate on reports and budgets from most computers. The features and email capabilities greatly improve overall productivity and give financial professionals access to the right information when they need it.
Flexible models - revenue modeling, capital input, and HR input are additional detail areas interconnected to the main budget templates. Changes to one detail area will affect the budget, helping to correlate business activity with associated expenses, statistics or revenue accounts.
HR planning - the extended HR features let users plan for important issues, including: headcount additions, staffing, bonuses, overtime and benefits.
Detailed capital expense budgeting - with Microsoft Forecaster, users can take into consideration depreciation accounts and schedules for planned purchases.
Dynamic revenue forecasting - users can easily make adjustments to the budget at any time. Responding to and adjusting to various changes in the market and business strategy.
Drag-and-drop consolidations - users can create convenient summarization reports and reorganize aspects of the business for planning purposes.
Simplified installation - as part of Microsoft Corp.’s Trustworthy Computing initiative, deployment and application connectivity changes were made to Microsoft Forecaster 6.7. Two steps have been eliminated from the installation routine, and the connectivity between Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) and Microsoft SQL ServerTM has been redesigned to simplify installation; new installations now take a fraction of the time they used to take. In addition, password encryption has been implemented through the application.
Pay Type support - this functionality enables organizations to budget additional human resource (HR) planning details and better understand staffing needs and associated costs. Microsoft Forecaster 6.7 allows organizations to define and customize the Pay Types that are important to them - second shift, nonproductive time or personal time off, for example. Pay Types result in better decision-making in terms of staffing.
Views - Up to 12 additional HR views have been provided so users can analyze data in a variety of ways, regardless of the organization’s defined Pay Types,which may be broken down by full-time equivalent (FTE), dollars or hours. Flexible viewing allows users to focus on what is important to them so they can make informed decisions.
Importing HR data - The process of transferring HR data has been simplified and also now provides functionality that is required to support Pay Types within Microsoft Forecaster.
Exporting HR data - The exporting of HR data has been enhanced to allow users to get the right level of information from their system.
ExpressLink - this feature has been modified to allow organizations to flexibly map general ledger accounts to Microsoft Forecaster account segments in any order desired. For example, users that have a four-segment chart of accounts in their general ledger system can use ExpressLink to rearrange the segments to match how they budget. User guides. A Budget Administrators Guide and a Microsoft Forecaster Users Guide are packaged with Microsoft Forecaster 6.7. The user guides are designed to be a reference for performing common tasks.
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Microsoft Forecaster is a horizontal product. It offers functionality designed for usage across a wide variety of industries and business types.