What is a Budget Accuracy Report?

Budget Accuracy reports are considered essential planning tools and are used by budget managers to help their department managers to increase the accuracy of their budgets. Some of the key functionality in this type of report is that it provides two years of historical actual to budget variances in addition to variances in the current year. This gives users a total of three years of data to see how well (or not) they have been able to predict revenues and expenses for their department. You find an example of this type of report below.

Purpose of Budget Accuracy Reports

Companies and organizations use Budget Accuracy Reports to detect repetitive misses in departmental budgets so that users can improve their planning accuracy in future years. In other words, the greater precision in planning that a company is able to achieve, the more successful it is likely to be. When used as part of good business practices in a Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) Department, a company can improve its hiring plans, capital investments and liquidity as well as reduce the risk that budgets repetitively are missing their targets with the result that managers lose faith in the value of the budget process.

Budget Accuracy Report Example

Here is an example of a Budget Accuracy Report with two years of variance history plus the variance for current year.

Budget Accuracy Analysis

You can find hundreds of additional examples here

Who Uses This Type of Report?

The typical users of this type of report are: Budget Managers and Department Heads.

Other Reports Often Used in Conjunction with Budget Accuracy Reports

Progressive Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) Departments sometimes use several different Budget Accuracy Reports, along with exception reports, drill down features and other management and control tools.

Where Does the Data for Analysis Originate From?

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

In analysis where budgets or forecasts are used, the data most often originates from in-house Excel spreadsheet models or from professional corporate performance management (CPM/EPM) solutions.

What Tools are Typically used for Reporting, Planning and Dashboards?

Examples of business software used with the data and ERPs mentioned above are:

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

Corporate Performance Management (CPM) Technology Solutions and More Examples