One of the best time-savers when working with Castaway is the ability to import actuals data from Excel. To make it even easier, Castaway provides an import template to make sure you have exactly the right format.
Using the 3 step process below, you can import actuals for one month or multiple months at the same time. You can also re-import updated data for earlier actuals months.
Of course, this process will only work if you have enabled actuals in Castaway. If you haven’t already done so, go to Data > Enable Actuals. Answer ‘Yes’ when Castaway asks if you are sure.
NB ... please note that enabling Actuals CANNOT BE UNDONE. So make sure you save a copy of your file before enabling Actuals.
Enabling Actuals for the first time sets only the first month of the forecast to Actuals. A few other things change at the same time. You will see the first month of your Profit & Loss now shows zeros. The Variance Reports option will now be available in the Reports menu as well.
To roll the Actuals month forward, go to Data > Actuals Data > Set Actuals Month and select the relevant period. You can jump forward multiple months, but the last month of the forecast can never be set to Actuals (TIP ... go to Data > Alter Forecast Dates and extend the forecast before rolling Actuals forward).
Step 1: Create the import template
In Castaway, go to Data > Actuals Data > Build Import Template. A popup menu appears with 2 options. We recommend choosing the first one: ‘Create a new workbook to insert the template’.
The import template opens in Excel. It provides data entry cells for Profit & Loss, Balance Sheet and Driver items. If you have enabled actuals for multiple months in Castaway, a separate column will be provided for each month. You can also add columns for additional months by copying & pasting, then making sure the month names in row 6 are sequential.
Column E, (which is hidden by default), contains the unique codes that Castaway uses to match the spreadsheet data with its internal records. If these codes are changed, the import will not work properly.
Step 2: Populate the import template
To add Actuals data to the import template, you can:
- manually enter data into the relevant cells
- copy & paste the data, or
- use formulas to extract the data from a trial balance or other accounting reports that you have exported from your general ledger system.
When you have finished entering your data, save the template.
Step 3: Import the actual data into Castaway
Next, switch back to Castaway and select ‘Data > Actuals Data > Import from Template’. Click the ‘Browse’ button at the top of the page to locate the saved Import Template. Tick the month(s) you want to import and then select ‘OK’. Once the import has run, check the reports screen. If necessary, refresh the report by clicking 'Run Report' in the top toolbar.
More time for analysing data
We often hear that Castaway users who have switched over to importing Actuals data are saving lots of time each month. Even better, they have more time to analyse the results and provide valuable insights.