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Gaining Clarity with Planful’s Structured Planning Templates

Planning is the process of creating a comprehensive financial plan that outlines an organization’s financial goals and strategies packed with an action plan on how to achieve them. This includes analyzing current financial situations, identifying potential risks, developing a budget, and creating a roadmap to achieve financial objectives within your desired time frame. Utilizing Planful’s Structured Planning Templates helps organizations overcome challenges in that process. 

Structured Planning offers a clear and straightforward input template that has many customizable options to provide a great user experience. 

Man using a computer working on Planful Overall Template

Structured Planning Template Types: 

Global Template – Single Copy for instances where the user experience is for identical levels of input across multiple departments, business units, etc. 

Global Template – Entity Copy for use when the core format is consistent with minor variations across departments, functions, or business units.  

Line Item – template type used to forecast specific account(s) across multiple budget entities. The accounts available can be limited by administrative users and that list is then available to users for selection. 

Allocation Templates – are a template type designed specifically to create, calculate and post allocation amounts.  

Structured Planning Template Formatting: 

Traditional formatting options are Excel-like and include bold, italicized, color (font and background), borders, etc., and are all useful in Planful for creating and presenting user templates. 

Specific functionality within templates includes: 

  • Template Spread Examples: 
  • Calendar days 
  • Weekly (4-4-5, etc.) 
  • Work days (by country/region and month) 
  • Seasonality 

Line Level Subline Details & Notes: 

Other useful function within these templates includes the use of Subline Detail. By clicking the ‘L’ in the column adjacent to the row number, an Excel-like dialog box appears. The rows within the dialog box are freeform fields that enable users to add detail to the budgeted line item.  

Examples include individual software subscriptions, T&E by employee, and Professional Fees by Vendor or Purpose. This allows the budget preparer to provide transparency of details or assumptions with budget reviewers to create a readily accessible record of budget input and calculations. 

Of equal value is the ability to insert Notes into the template lines. Clicking on the ‘new document’ icon next to the ’L’ brings up a dialog box for freeform text with the option to attach a file. This functionality is a valuable one-stop-shop for documenting decisions made during the budget process as well as enabling ready access to source documentation. 

It is important to remember that once entered, data is stored within the template(s), and un-mapping the template deletes the entered data. This feature is also a useful alternative to the Clear Data function.   

Planful’s Structured Planning Templates and how CFO Solutions comes in 

CFO Solutions assesses the use of Structured Planning templates vs. other planning toolsets including considerations of user expertise and knowledge of Excel and other software as part of our Design process.  The best practice use case results in consistent user expectations and a high level of structure which minimizes opportunities for use errors and limits the administration needed. 

Learn how CFO Solutions can work with you to create optimal templates that help capture the data crucial for your business and its best foot forward. 

Learn more about our Planful Practice