Tweaking forecasts

I was amused by this secondary heading in a recent article in the Wall Street Journal

It reads:

“Finance chiefs say they have had to tweak their forecasts …” (see Note below)

I remember revising my forecasts as a CFO, but never tweaking them, nor twisting them, jerking them or pinching them. And perhaps in the USA CFOs might yank a forecast, whereas in Britain they would pull one. These are some of the words dictionaries use to explain the meaning of tweak.

Twisting a forecast has the connotations of doing something dishonest and so must be put aside. I would contend that as accountants, we are serious and do not tweak forecasts, we revise them.

To be fair, the serious meaning of tweak means to make a minor adjustment. But here too, I beg to differ. If I have a forecast which requires a minor adjustment, then I wouldn’t bother to change it. I would only adjust a forecast when there was a significant change to make.

I would suggest that American accountants might tweak forecasts but British ones adjust them revise them and change them, but do not tweak them. Still the sentence reads better with the word ‘tweak’. It is, after all, more fun to tweak a forecast than to revise it!

Note: How CFOs Set Their Outlooks Amid Waves of Virus: One Day at a Time by Kristin Broughton and Mark Maurer, 18th October 2021,Wall Street Journal.