Tired of creating one driver for each account? Ever wish you could create a driver that automatically adjusts your forecast based on year-to-date actuals? If so, you’ll love what’s new in Jirav this month.
The team has been hard at work improving Jirav, and I’ve got two exciting new features to share with you. Our main focus has been on making it easier to add drivers so you can create and update plans faster than ever:
- When adding new drivers to your plan, you can now select from Standard Drivers. Jirav will guide you through some of the most popular configurations.
- Additionally, we’ve enabled Bulk Driver Creation, meaning you can create a single driver, then apply it to multiple accounts and departments at once.
Here are the details:
Now it's easier than ever to build drivers from scratch. Jirav will guide you through some of the most popular configurations. To start, we’ve given you three options:
1. Annual Target Driver
This is a great option for holding an account to an annual budget. Select an account and an amount. Jirav will spread the amount over your fiscal year. Your forecast will automatically adjust to what has already been spent in your actuals.
Here’s an example:
Let’s say your advertising account was over budget in January and February. With the Annual Target Driver, your plan will automatically adjust to reduce the forecasted spend in March through December so that you stay on target for annual spend through the remainder of the year.
By default, the annual amount will be allocated evenly over the remaining period. But what if your spend is seasonal?
Perhaps you are in the hospitality industry and most of your advertising spend comes in the spring to drive summer bookings. In that case you would expect your budget rise in those months and fall in the autumn and winter.
Jirav can handle that.
Simply select the Seasonality option when creating your Annual Target Driver. Jirav will look back over the previous fiscal year, calculate the seasonality of the spend, then spread out the forecasted spend to match, taking into account what has already been spent in the current year.
2. Fixed Spread Driver
Maybe you don’t want your forecast to adjust to actuals. With the Fixed Spread Driver, you can spread an amount over a period of time. Your forecast will not update based on the actual spend.
This is a good option for any account where the spend is committed, such as rent. (Even if you get a break on one month’s rent, that shouldn’t necessarily affect your forecast.)
You can also choose to evenly apply the spread over the period, or allocate based on the previous year’s seasonality.
3. Growth on Historicals Driver
Sometimes you just want to use your historical growth rate to project into the future. The Growth on Historicals Driver allows you to do just that for any account.
To calculate the growth rate, Jirav divides your previous year by the year before.
Here’s an example:
In FY20, annual revenue was $120k. In FY19, annual revenue was $100k. Jirav divides FY20 by FY19 and calculates a growth rate of $120k/$100k = 20% for FY21.
To create your forecast starting in March 2021, Jirav looks at March 2020 (the base) and grows it by 20%. So March 2020 revenue of $8,000 would result in forecasted March 2021 revenue of $8,000 * 1.2 = $9,600.
More Standard Drivers are on the way!
These three Standard Drivers are just a starting point. The Jirav team is already working on adding more options. Look for these in our upcoming spring and summer product releases.
Standard Drivers make it faster than ever to start building financial models, but we’re not done yet. The team just released another big feature, Bulk Driver Creation.
Paired with Standard Drivers, Bulk Driver Creation allows you to create a simple financial forecast for your business in just minutes.
Bulk Driver Creation
Let’s say you want to apply the same driver to a bunch of revenue accounts, or a bunch of COGS accounts, or a bunch of OpEx accounts, all at the same time. Now you can, with Bulk Driver Creation.
For example, you want to apply the Growth on Historicals driver to all your OpEx accounts across all your departments. This is a quick way to generate a simple spend forecast based on your historical year-over-year trends.
To do this, you follow the same steps as above when creating a single Growth on Historicals driver. The only difference is, you select all the OpEx accounts and departments from the list, not just one.
When you save, Jirav will automatically create all the drivers in bulk. You can then modify individual drivers to your liking.
You can also bulk create custom drivers (drivers where you write the formula).
Perhaps you want to drive Office Expense by headcount — a constant $25 per head for each department.
To do this, select all the departments under the Office Expense account, then write your formula. Jirav will automatically create all five drivers, one for each department, mapped to your headcount for each department.
So if Sales and Marketing has 10 headcount, the Office Expense for that department will be $250. If Product has 5 headcount, the expense will be $125.
If the forecasted headcount for either department goes up or down, your plan will automatically adjust the forecasted Office Expense to match.
Bonus: User Experience Improvements
I’m sure you’re excited to try out Standard Drivers and Bulk Driver Creation.
To make it easier for you to get started, we’ve added a prominent “Add Driver” button to the top of each plan table. This is in addition to the ability to add a driver in the … action menu to the left of each plan row.
By the way, that “…” option next to each row is now always visible when filtering by department.
Also, to make it easier for our users to understand how existing drivers work, we’ve added a formula bar to the top of select plan modules. This formula bar shows at a glance the driver type and formula used in the driver.
A Word of Caution
We made these product updates to make it faster and easier to build a driver-based financial model for your business. With the powerful combo of Standard Drivers and Bulk Driver Creation, you can now create a simple forecast in minutes after importing two years of historical financial data.
However, we must remember that past financial results are no guarantee of future performance!
That’s why we encourage you to take the next step and incorporate your operational and workforce data into your plan. Then you can build custom formulas based on the non-financial metrics that really drive your business forward.
Not yet using Jirav and want to try these new features out? Start your risk-free trial of Jirav today and build a plan today!
Jirav delivers smarter financials and faster insights, helping you understand where your business has been and forecast where it’s going. Our all-in-one budgeting, forecasting, reporting, and dashboarding solution offers faster implementation and a more intuitive interface allowing finance leaders to build financial models in hours, not days, and generate financial reports in minutes, not hours.