Planning Control Panel
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Planning Control Panel

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Article summary

Exploring the Planning Control Panel

The Planning Control Panel is where you will perform budgeting workflow tasks, it is where budget entities are organized in a hierarchy, where you will select templates for input or to view, as well as run reports.

Planning Control Panel Organization

The Planning Control Panel is organized in 3 panes; Budget Hierarchy (left pane), Template (middle pane), and Actions | Reports | Approvers (right pane).

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Note:
Icons in the menu may or may not be available to you as it is based on your role.

Scenario list-box - Scenarios represent a version of a budget or forecast during a fiscal year. Scenarios are set up by Admin users.

Scenario Description icon - Click the icon to the immediate right of the Scenario list-box. Enter a detailed description of the scenario.

Attach icon - Attach documents to the scenario.

Edit Scenario icon- Edit the selected scenario and template.

Status Report icon - Provides a summary status for all budget entities a user has access to.

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Your Admin user will provide you with access to scenarios, budget entities, and templates you will work with. The list-box is populated based on your access.

Budget Hierarchy

Once you select a scenario, the budget hierarchy associated with the scenario is displayed in the Budget Hierarchy pane. The budget hierarchy is set up by your Admin and is comprised of organized budget entities. The budget entities you have access to within the hierarchy are displayed on the screen.

Budget Entities

Budget entities represent business segments. For example, the marketing segment of an organization. In the example below, the budget hierarchy is called Total Company and it has a Sales & Marketing rollup. Under that rollup are leaf level entities. The Sales entity has several associated templates, which are displayed in the middle pane as shown below.

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Templates

When you select the posting (or lowest level) member of a hierarchy, the mapped templates appear in the Template pane.

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When you select a template in the middle pane, specific actions are available based on the template you select. The following actions might be available to you:

  • Input - Open budget templates in Input mode, which allows data input. You may or may not have access to this action as access is based on set up.
  • View - Open budget templates in read-only mode. You may or may not have access to this action as access is based on user set up. There are two types of View mode (based on the date your application was configured and whether you opted in to an update in February 2019). Read all about each type of View mode by clicking here.

The following actions will be available based on how your admin user set up your application and the approval role assigned to you:

  • Forward - Forward a template for approval. Templates that have been forwarded are locked and cannot be edited. You can forward a template once you input all the required information.
  • Approve - Approve a template that has been forwarded.
  • Send Back - Send back a forwarded template for changes or updates. You can send back templates until they are approved. This option is available after the template has been forwarded and before it receives an approval.
  • Mark Complete - Flag a template as completed. Completed templates cannot be opened in Input mode.
  • Mark Not Complete - Clear the Completed flag against a selected template. Once cleared, the template can be opened in Input mode.
  • Initiative Approval - Available for Initiative Budgets only.

Planful offers various template types to budget for Human Resources, Initiatives, Capital Expenditures, Operating Expenses, and more. The template you open in Input or View mode will look different based upon the template type you select in the middle pane.

Snapshot 

The Snapshot feature allows finance teams to take a backup of a template for the selected budget entity. Using this feature, finance teams can easily take a backup and restore the version of the template if needed.

Let's understand this with an example:

John from the finance team takes a Snapshot of the "Operating Expense" template and shares this template with a budget manager named Michel and wants him to update "T&E Accounts". Michel updates "T&E Accounts" but accidentally deletes some existing data. John gets a notification about the status of the template and verifies it. John observes some data discrepancies.

Now, with the Snapshot feature, John can use the backup of the template he created before sharing it with Michel and easily restore the backup version as the main version of the template and completely avoid using the template that came back from Michel.


Notes
  • The snapshot feature is available by default for all users. If you wish to disable this feature, you can deselect the Enable Template Snapshot checkbox in your user profile's Approval Role Setup screen.
  • This feature is only available for the GTSC templates. You should have the input permission to the template to create and restore any snapshot. If you have view permission, you can only see the existing snapshots of a template.


In practice: Creating a Snapshot

  1. Navigate to the Planning Control Panel. Select a Scenario > Budget Entity and a template.
  2. Click the Snapshot icon. You will see a dialog box on the screen.
  3. In the Create New tab, provide a name for the backup version of the template and click Save.


  4. Click the Saved tab to view the backup version. The latest backup version is saved at the top.


  5. Click the Export to Excel icon if you want to download the backup version of the template.

In practice: Restore a Snapshot

  1. Navigate to the Planning Control Panel. Select a Scenario > Budget Entity and a template with at least one snapshot.
  2. Click the Snapshot icon


    . You will see a dialog box on the screen.
  3. Click the Saved tab to view the list of backup versions.


  4. Click the Restore button associated with the snapshot you want to restore. A confirmation message will appear asking for your permission.
  5. Click Yes to restore this version of the template.

Notes:

  • You can take a snapshot of the entire template, but the application can restore only L-type lines when you restore a template.
  • You can only restore the latest backup for the Template. Although, you can download the older template versions with the Export to Excel icon.
  • In the Template Input screen, you can see the modified date and time for the template in the history window.
  • You cannot restore the backup version if the template is open in the input mode. You have to close all instances of a template before restoring its backup version.
  • If you have made structural changes to the template in the Template Setup mode, such as adding a new line type or updating a calculation formula, the latest backup version of the template will become invalid. Click here to learn more about structural changes.


  • The audit logs record all the activities performed related to the Snapshot feature.

Snapshot Restore Guidelines

The snapshot feature allows finance teams to take a backup of a GTSC template for the selected budget entity. Using this feature, finance teams can easily take a backup and restore the version of the template if needed. You need to have access to the GTSC template in Input mode to be able to restore a snapshot. Following are the cases when a snapshot can be restored:

  1. Latest Snapshot of the template or the restorable version of the template can be restored and has the delete option disabled.
  2. When you click on restore, the Planful system automatically generates a backup version of the snapshot which can be restored. 
  3. Only L-type lines are restored from the snapshot, while RA lines (Single & Multiple), RC lines, C-type Lines, and History account lines are not restored since these lines consist of data from a different template.
  4. Once a snapshot is restored, it can not be reverted and it can be downloaded in Excel format.
  5. In case a template is open in the setup or input mode, the scenario will be locked and you will not be able to restore a snapshot of the same template.
  6. Only data from the template is restored from the snapshot while the format changes from the template are retained.

Reports Available in the Planning Control Panel and Mapped to Templates

Run a report (deployed by your Admin) from the Planning Control Panel by clicking the Reports tab (shown below).

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Reports may also be mapped to a template when your Admin sets up the template. 

Approvers

Approvers are set up by an Admin user to approve budgets via the Planning Control Panel workflow. Click the Approvers tab to see a list of users that can approve budgets.

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Enhanced Workflow and Automated Task Creation

Admin users can configure this feature directly from the Planful application (refer to the Enable Enhanced Workflow section). Please note that once this functionality is enabled within your production environment, it cannot be disabled.

If the Workflow functionality is not enabled, the Planning Control Panel continues to function as per the existing behavior. However, if the Workflow functionality is enabled, the application behavior is as follows:

  • If you enable Workflow Setup for a scenario and Start the process, the automated tasks and multiple authorization functionalities are activated.
  • If you do not enable Workflow Setup for a scenario, the Planning Control Panel works as usual without automated tasks and multiple authorization functionalities.
  • Irrespective of whether Workflow Setup is enabled for a scenario or not, Workflow Actions for Templates are activated. This means that the Forward and Approve actions are available for templates.

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