Budgeting, modeling and reforecasting
Two primary interfaces are provided for developing and maintaining budgets. The first is a spreadsheet-like grid interface. This is very natural and familiar to users as it operates like a spreadsheet, but with additional controls built into it. Editing views are defined by the budget administrator, which determine how a user sees the data, for example the selection criteria and how it is arranged on the spreadsheet, how drill downs are arranged, which columns are included, formatting and a host of other options. A sophisticated security, audit trail and synchronization system ensures that all data is edited and changes are tracked in accordance with a set of centrally established rules. Any data changes are committed directly to the central data warehouse, once they have passed the edits and rules established.
A line-item level is also available for building budgets. For example the general ledger might include an account for Travel and Conferences, but in FMW Web a user building a budget might want to detail individual conferences with their associated costs by month, and have this detail build up to the budget for this account.
Text notes (including fonts, colors, tables, bullets etc.) can be attached to various levels of the budget to document things like budget assumptions, justifications and explanations. This text can then be integrated into reports.
The second interface is a journal entry system. While this is counter-intuitive and is not included in many budgeting systems, this is a vital component for those organizations that perform planning / budgeting within a Fund structure, or who wish to enforce other types of balanced entries. Additional journal entry edit rules, specific to an organization, can also be attached to the journal entry system.
A variety of modeling tools are provided to assist users in creating budgets and forecasts. These can be applied selectively against a limited set of data or may be applied at a corporate level. These include calendarization (period spreading) tools, allocations, calculations, rolling reforecasts and add-ins (specialized business logic or calculations). In addition a sophisticated, multi-level workflow system allows budget administrators precise control over the budget development process.
All data access and manipulation is done within the framework of the security manager (which is both a security system and view manager), which is controlled by one or more FMW security administrators, who determine who can either view or update specific parts of the overall data set.