What is a ‘Top Down’ Profit and Loss Budget Form? 

Top-down Profit and Loss (P&G) budgeting models are considered “what if”, “breakout”, or modeling templates (depending on who you ask) and are used by budget managers and analysts to create quickly budget or forecast scenarios. A key functionality used in these types of budget models includes the ability to automatically calculate income and expenses for all general ledger accounts and departments. The user can enter the target profit at the top of the form. The formulas then dynamically calculate all the rows and distribute the annual amounts across the months. You can either use a flat spread or follow the calculations based on last year’s seasonality. Each bead (row) can also be adjusted up or down if a unique treatment is required. Here is an example of this type of budget model.

Purpose of the ‘Top Down’ Profit and Loss Budget Forms

Businesses and organizations use top-down P&L budget forms to allow a budget manager to quickly and easily create one or more budget versions of P&L. When used as part of good business practice in a Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) Department, a company can improve its scenario planning capabilities, as well as reduce the risks associated with classic bottom-up budgets that drag the budgeting process. , or when a company only has time to create a single budget scenario.

Sample ‘Top Down’ Profit and Loss Budget Form

This is an example of a P&G budget entry form with various features like feedback, broadcast, etc …


Top-down Profit & Loss Budget Form

Top-down Profit & Loss Budget Form

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Who uses this type of budget model?

Typical users of this type of report are: CFOs, treasurers, budget managers, and department heads.

Other budget templates often used in conjunction with P&L ‘Top Down’ budget forms.

Most Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) departments use several different ‘Top Down’ profit and loss budgeting forms, along with the classic ascendant budget forms, which often cover detailed templates for payroll, capital expenditures, sales and other management and control tools.

Where does the data for the analysis come from?

Actual data (historical transactions) usually comes from enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems such as: Microsoft Dynamics 365 (D365) Finance, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (D365 BC), Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics SL , Sage Intacct, Sage 100, Sage 300, Sage 500, Sage X3, SAP Business One, SAP ByDesign, Netsuite and others.

In analyzes using budgeting or forecasting, the data typically comes from internal Excel spreadsheet models or from professional business performance management (CPM / EPM) solutions.

What tools are typically used for reporting, planning, and dashboards?

Examples of business software used with the data and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems mentioned above are:

  • Native ERP report writers and query tools
  • Spreadsheets (for example, Microsoft Excel)
  • Performance Management (CPM) tools (for example, Solver )
  • Dashboards (for example, Microsoft Power BI and Tableau)

Business Performance Management (CPM) Technology Solutions and More Examples

See hundreds of sample reports, consolidations, planning, budgets, forecasts and dashboards here