What is a Profit & Loss Report with Trend Analysis?

Trended Profit & Loss (P&L) reports are considered important management tools and are often used by CFOs and analysts to track year-over-year revenue, expense and profit trends. Some of the key functionality in this type of visual financial report is that it provides deep analysis with three different sections: 1) Trend charts, 2) Automated narrative (yellow row in the example), 3) P&L content where the user can drill down to transaction detail. You find an example of this type of visual financial report below.

Purpose of Trended Profit & Loss Reports

Companies and organizations use Trended Profit & Loss Reports to easily detect and analyze swings in key revenue and expense figures for the current and prior years. When used as part of good business practices in a Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) department, a company can improve its decision-making as well as reduce the chances that managers miss important anomalies.

Trended Profit & Loss Report Example

Here is an example of a Trended Profit & Loss Report with charts and automated narrative.

P&L – Trend Analysis vs Prior Year

You can find hundreds of additional examples here

Who Uses This Type of Visual financial report?

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

Other Visual financial reports Often Used in Conjunction with Trended Profit & Loss Reports

Progressive Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) Departments sometimes use several different Trended Profit & Loss Reports, along with monthly variance reports, KPI dashboards, trended balance sheets 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)

Corporate Performance Management (CPM) Cloud Solutions and More Examples