What is a Profit & Loss Variance Report with Expandable YTD columns?

Profit & Loss Variance Reports are considered essential month-end reports and are often used by executives and the finance team to analyze the components that drive profitability. Key functionality in this type of report automatically provides a presentation-quality layout with account-level detail and traffic lights that highlight important variances. Each of the year-to-date columns can be expanded to see each individual month from the beginning of the year until the current period. You will find an example of this type of report below.

Purpose of Profit & Loss Variance Reports

Companies and organizations use Profit & Loss Variance Reports to analyze revenues, expenses and profitability, and to easily detect variances versus the same period last year and when compared to the budget. When used as part of good business practices in a Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) Department, a company can improve its ability to interpret monthly financial results, as well as, reduce the chance that significant revenue or expense-related performance issues goes undetected.

Profit & Loss Variance Report Example

Here is an example of modern Profit & Loss Variance Report with expandable YTD columns and traffic lights to highlight important variances.

Profit & Loss Variance Report with Expandable YTD Columns Example

Profit & Loss Variance Report with Expandable YTD Columns Example

You can find hundreds of additional examples here.

Who Uses This Type of Report?

The typical users of this type of report are: Board Members, Executives and Department Managers.

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

Progressive Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) Departments sometimes use several different Profit & Loss Variance Reports, along with balance sheets, cash flow reports 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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