Note: If your organization does not use the Contours feature for distributing financial entries, please ignore this topic :)
Different organizations, and different users, have different requirements/preferences for working with financial data. Using the Contours panel in conjunction with entry From and To Dates, you can do lump sum accounting, or distribute funds across months.
For example, you can:
- Hide the contours pane and simply enter lump sums for forecasts and actuals; From Date is still required
- Display the contours pane, enter a lump sum with a From Date only and distribute lump sum in From Date month
- Display the contours pane, enter a lump sum with a From Date and a To Date to automatically distribute the funds evenly between the dates
- Display the contours pane, edit individual months in the contour to distribute the funds unevenly between dates
Contouring allows you to enter a single recurring expense or revenue amount spanning a period of time, rather than having to enter one entry for each occurrence, saving time and effort, and keeping the recurring expenses or revenues together.
Editing Contours and Dates
Note that you can enter a specific date (06/01/2018), but the system evaluates in complete months only. So if you enter a From Date of 6/15 and a To Date of 8/1, the amount you enter will be distributed evenly across June, July, and August (6/1-8/31). You can customize the contours manually, but the auto-contour will work as described.
If you create a custom contour for an entry (by editing individual monthly values for an actual or a forecast) and then change the entry amount or date, you will see a confirmation modal like the one below informing you that your custom contours will be replaced with automatic (even) contours:
Click Yes to apply the change(s) and evenly redistribute the monthly values. If you want to retain your custom contours, click No. If you click No, no changes will be made to amounts or dates, however if you made a change to a title, for example, that change will be saved because it does not affect the contouring.
Also note that you can enter finance entries outside of project dates.