As in MS Excel, there may come a time when you encounter a loop while working with models, derived expenses, or employee expenses in Sage Intacct Planning (SIP). A loop is a circular reference or dependency where a formula refers to its own calculation, either directly or indirectly, which results in incorrect calculations.
In SIP, although a loop might be detected, additional activity isn’t restricted even when the calculation of the budget or model line eventually fails. While in Excel loops are hard to detect, in SIP you can use the Show map option to detect the origin of loops.
Show map shows the budget lines and model lines that are in use in a specific model or budget line, as well as where that respective model or budget line is being used. You might have to step through multiple steps, like Go to or Show map from different budget or model lines until you find the cause of the loop.
Types of loops
SIP has 4 different types of loops that can occur:
A model loop occurs when the formula in a budget line contains a calculation from another model line that simultaneously refers to itself.
Model 1 uses Model 2 in its calculation
Model 2 uses Model 3 in its calculation
Model 3 uses Model 1 in its calculation (causing a loop)
In this case, a loop notification is displayed on the Model 3 model line. After the calculation error in Model 3, a loop notification is also displayed on the Model 1 model line.
Model/budget line loop
A loop between a model line and a budget line occurs when the formula in a budget line type (i.e., Expense from model) is based on the calculation of a model line that has been added to the budget in the same budget line.
For example, if the calculation for Model line 1 is taken from a revenue budget line (i.e. Revenue - On premises service) and the Revenue - On premises service budget line calculation is Revenue from model from the same model line, a loop occurs. Similarly, if the calculation for Model line 1 is taken from a revenue budget line and then added to the budget in the same budget line used in the calculation, a loop occurs.
Derived expense loop
A loop on a derived expense budget line occurred in the past when the budget line uses its parent budget line to calculate a derived expense. This action is no longer allowed in Sage Intacct Planning (SIP). However, it can still appear on budgets created in older versions, resulting in a loop notification.
Employee type per headcount loop
When an employee type expense is calculated, you can choose to allocate the expense by dimensions (e.g., department). If, for example, you choose to allocate the expense to departments by headcount, the expense is calculated first by the budget headcount and then allocated to the departments by the relevant headcount percentage.
For example, say you have a multi-employee budget line for new hires from model with 3 new employees of which 2 are in R&D and 1 is in Sales & Marketing. Additionally, you have a model line (i.e., Take from budget) which is based on the multi-employee budget line.
Now, you create an expense budget line for laptops for new employees. If you allocate the expense for laptops between the two departments (mentioned above), you have approximately 66% for R&D and 33% for Sales & Marketing. However, if you now allocate the expense budget line to department by headcount, a loop occurs on the model line.
This happens because the model line calculation is dependent on the budget for all of the budget employees, while the allocation to department in the Laptops per new employee expense budget line is also related to the headcount, as well as dependent on the model line that is based on the multi-employee budget line.