Using the Forecast Designer

The Forecast Designer is an efficient way to build and manage the Chart of Accounts and to edit the properties of each element in Castaway.

This guide answers several common questions and then steps you through the Forecast Designer.

When can the Forecast Designer be used?

The Forecast Designer can be used any time you are:

  1. editing the Chart of Accounts or element properties for an existing forecast.
  2. creating a new forecast in Castaway


How do I open the Forecast Designer?

When creating a new forecast, the Forecast Designer launches by default after you complete the forecast setup screens.

In an existing forecast, you open the Forecast Designer by clicking the Forecast Designer button at the top of the Chart of Accounts panel on the main Castaway screen:


Do I have to use the Forecast Designer?

Not at all. If youi prefer, you can build and manage the Chart of Accounts from the main Castaway screen. You can then double-click an element to edit the element properties.


Why would I use the Forecast Designer?

Two words … Speed and Flexibility.

We set our internal Castaway team a series of timed challenges to compare the Forecast Designer with the traditional Chart of Accounts creation methods.  We found that our experts could add 30 elements to a Chart of Accounts with the Forecast Designer an average of 70% quicker than by using the Chart of Accounts panel on the main Castaway screen. When it came to changing element properties for those 30 elements, they were 35% quicker.

Our people are among the most experienced Castaway users in the world (as they should be!), and they were surprised at how much quicker they could get things done using the Forecast Designer.


Can I stop the Forecast Designer appearing automatically when I create a new forecast?

Absolutely. If you go to File > Options > General, you can choose to disable the default behaviour.


So, how does the Forecast Designer work?

The Forecast Designer includes two screens:

  1. Edit Chart of Accounts
  2. Edit Element Properties


Screen 1: Edit Chart of Accounts


The Edit Chart of Accounts screen makes it easy to create and maintain the Elements that make up your Castaway forecast. With one click, you can add or delete Sections, Subtotals and Elements. You can click to rename items, or click and drag to move them around.


Adding Elements

To add an Element:

  1. click the Section heading you want to add the Element to
  2. click the element type button to add the element
  3. edit the Element Name

From here, you can also:

  • Click & Drag to move an element up or down the Chart of Accounts
  • Double-click on a Chart Item to edit the name
  • Single-click on the element name to display the Delete icon

Once you’re happy with the Chart of Accounts, click Edit Element Properties to move to the next screen, or click OK to return to the main Castaway screen.


Screen 2: Edit Element Properties


The Edit Element Properties screen makes it easy to change the properties for every element from just one screen. Navigate to the element properties you want to edit in 3 quick steps:

  1. Select the element group by clicking on the Profit & Loss, Balance Sheet or Taxes/Others buttons

  2. Select the element type from the drop-down list

  3. Use the mode buttons to display some or all of the element properties for each type of element.

From here, you can change any of the element properties.

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