How to modify & present timeline start dates?

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I am modeling the cash flow for a startup. There will be a number of assumptions that are based on generic time periods, e.g. Y1 Q1, Q2, Q3 etc. but ultimately these assumptions will be reflected in actual calendar months/quarters/years, e.g. 2014 January, Feb etc.

Documentation on Timelines is very sparse, but I’ve at least managed to set up my model with the right [i:sjkouqbd]appearance[/i:sjkouqbd]. For instance, I have a main Matrix called Income Statement, with a Year + Quarter + Month non-fiscal Timeline with a start date of January 2014. And I have an assumptions matrix with a separate, unlinked timeline, configured with Year + Quarter + Month, defined as a Fiscal Year.

Say I have a headcount item on my assumptions matrix. If I want to define that I don’t start hiring until Month 4, I just set the Start Date to April 2014. Referencing that item in the Income Statement works fine in that the data is properly offset.

Now – how do I [b:sjkouqbd]present[/b:sjkouqbd] the assumption matrix’s start date for scenario planning? There doesn’t seem to be any way to set/configure the start date of a timeline via scripting, formulas, etc. It has to be done via the menu or right-click.

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This is good feedback. We should have a better way to dynamically control timeline start dates.

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Any replies? Anybody? Bueller?