Switchover, use it or build your own?


Hi All - 


In the context of an FP&A use case, we're trying to evaluate whether to use switchover or just build a system module to dictate where the forecast begins and the actuals end.  Would love to hear about pros and cons of both approaches.  Here's what I have so far:


Pros of using native switchover:

1) Ability to use formula scope, thereby allowing for a formula to work for actuals and then allow for direct data input for forecasted months.


Cons of using native switchover:

1) Potential for reducing size of model by removing "Actual" version altogether.


Any more insight/preferences/best practices would be appreciated here.


Thank you!




  • @jbrass 


    Funny, I got asked this exact question this morning...Here are some thoughts, but every case is different even if they are the same "use case".  It depends on the requirements and how the model will be used.  With that said, here are some of my Pros and Cons:


    Pros (to use Native Versions):

    • formula scope - you nailed this one
    • Version formulas
    • line items mixing version is actually cheaper at the cell level (Actuals don't take up cells because they have already been calculated)
    • you can store larger amounts (at the cell level) with Native Versions than customer versions because of the way the data is stored at the disk level (Native Time x Native Versions x Custom Lists)
    • some formulas will be easier to right (no crazy IF THEN ELSE statements) to get the correct version
    • you can use PreviousVersion(), NextVersion(), and ActualVersion() 
    • Selects will have to be used, no lookups
    • it may perform better


    • you can use subsets with a Custom Version list
    • you have to use actions or nasty formulas to pull the consolidated data into a module
    • You can use the custom versions as list formatted line item
    • Lookups can be used
    • It may perform better depending on the number of versions


    Before you decide, take a look at this article by David To Version or Not to Version


    At the end of the day, the decision should be made on a model to model basis, not so much at the use case level.


    Hope this helps,



  • Thanks Rob.  Very helpful.  The initial consideration was to still use versions but just not use switchover, however you bring up a good point: maybe we shouldn't use versions at all.  I think it comes down to how much we value the ability to use version subsets.  Appreciate the insight.



  • As well as the points Rob makes out, one other item would be do your actuals change / get restated and the impact that would have on the stored versions.

    We've started to think about for stored forecasts to move away from using switchover particularly on this point so that if they get restated it doesn't impact that particular version.

  • True that you are restricted to one set of actuals using switchover.  Makes sense.  Thanks Andrew