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Forecasting

Forecasting is the process of making predictions of the future based on past and present data and most commonly by analysis of trends. A commonplace example might be estimation of some variable of interest at some specified future date. Prediction is a similar, but more general term. Both might refer to formal statistical methods employing time series, cross-sectional or longitudinal data, or alternatively to less formal judgmental methods. Usage can differ between areas of application: for example, in hydrology the terms “forecast” and “forecasting” are sometimes reserved for estimates of values at certain specific future times, while the term “prediction” is used for more general estimates, such as the number of times floods will occur over a long period.

Risk and uncertainty are central to forecasting and prediction; it is generally considered good practice to indicate the degree of uncertainty attaching to forecasts. In any case, the data must be up to date in order for the forecast to be as accurate as possible.

The purpose of the financial forecast is to evaluate current and future fiscal conditions to guide policy and programmatic decisions. A financial forecast is a fiscal management tool that presents estimated information based on past, current, and projected financial conditions. This will help identify future revenue and expenditure trends that may have an immediate or long-term influence on government policies, strategic goals, or community services. The forecast is an integral part of the annual budget process. An effective forecast allows for improved decision-making in maintaining fiscal discipline and delivering essential community services.

The forecast should extend several years into the future. The forecast, along with its underlying assumptions and methodology, should be clearly stated and made available to stakeholders in the budget process. It also should be concisely presented in the final budget document.

In order to maximize decision maker’s interest in the forecast, it will be important to emphasize the importance of the forecast as a key factor in the planning and budgeting process. This means imparting a long term perspective to the budgeting process and emphasizing financially sustainable decisions.

Thus Projecting is in itself a unique branch of finance, which needs precision and a branch of professional studies, BMS has it all and can always be there for you.

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