What is a Modern Balance Sheet Variance Report with KPIs?

Balance Sheet variance reports are considered month end analysis tools and are often used by CFOs and analysts to track key metrics and their variances. Some of the key functionality in this type of report is that it enhances analysis by providing a three section report: 1) Charts for Assets, Cash and Ratios, 2) Automated narrative, 3) Balance sheet report. The user can drill down to see transaction detail. The latter shows current month versus prior month and prior year with variances. You find an example of this type of report below.

Purpose of Balance Sheet Variance Reports with KPIs

Companies and organizations use Balance Sheet Variance Reports with KPIs to easily analyze changes in assets and liabilities. When used as part of good business practices in a Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) department, a company can improve its monthly analysis as well as reduce the chances that managers miss important exceptions or changes.

Balance Sheet Variance Reports with KPI Example

Here is an example of a Balance Sheet Variance Report with KPI Analysis.

Modern Balance Sheet Variance Report Example with KPI Analysis

Modern Balance Sheet Variance Report Example with KPI Analysis

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Who Uses This Type of Report?

The typical users of this type of report are: CFOs, Analysts and Executives.

Other Reports Often Used in Conjunction with Balance Sheet Variance Reports with KPIs

Progressive Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) Departments sometimes use several different Balance Sheet Variance Reports with KPIs, along with monthly Balance Sheet trend reports, KPI dashboards, trended P&Ls and cash flow statements 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, Acumatica, Netsuite and others.

In analyses where budgets or forecasts are used, the planning 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)

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