What is a Profit & Loss Report with Department Comparisons?

Financial statements with organizational units in the columns are considered comparative reports and are often used by accountants and department managers to get a side-by-side view of how one department is doing versus another. Key functionality in this type of report automatically lists selected departments across the columns with a consolidated total. The rows in the report are displayed in a normal P&L layout. The charts on the right side help with the analysis. You will find an example of this type of report below.

Purpose of Comparative Profit & Loss Reports

Companies and organizations use Comparative Profit & Loss Reports to easily compare how each department performs versus others, both for revenues and expenses. When used as part of good business practices in a Finance and Accounting Department, a company can improve its account-level analysis, as well as, reduce the chances that one department unknowingly becomes an outlier, for example when it comes to certain expenses.

Comparative Profit & Loss Report Example

Here is an example of a Profit & Loss Report with departments listed across the columns.

Profit & Loss Report with Department Comparisons Example

Profit & Loss Report with Department Comparisons Example

You can find hundreds of additional examples here.

Who Uses This Type of Report?

The typical users of this type of report are: CFOs, Controllers and Accountants.

Other Reports Often Used in Conjunction with Comparative Profit & Loss Reports

Progressive Finance and Accounting Departments sometimes use several different Comparative Profit & Loss Reports, along with regular financial 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)

Corporate Performance Management (CPM) Cloud Solutions and More Examples