Free template

P&L Budget vs. Actuals (Free Excel Template)

The budget vs. actual statement compares your actual business income and expenses to what you'd predicted when you made your budget.

Best for: The month-end or period close when you review results and check on your business's health.
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What's Inside

Because “what gets measured gets managed,” we know it’s critical to compare a company’s financial and operational results against some sort of measuring stick—in this case, the annual budget.

Creating and sharing a simple Budget vs. Actuals report helps drive transparency within the leadership team, fosters a culture of accountability, and helps the FP&A team analyze and communicate the economic drivers of the business.

The good news is, this tool is simple yet powerful.

This Budget vs. Actuals: Profit & Loss template is ideal for busy FP&A professionals who want to shave some time off the month-end or period close process with a plug-and-play spreadsheet.

This report helps answer questions like:

  • Did we meet our Gross Profit target for the month?
  • What are the key drivers of our Net Income variance for the period, quarter, year?
  • Are we covering our costs?

It lets you monitor projected budgets, analyze profitability, and control spending. 

This should spark discussion around the leadership table about the "why" and the "so what."

Use with Cube

This is a free Excel template. You don't need to be a Cube customer to use it!

But if you are a Cube user, you can start using this free profit and loss template in under two minutes. Here's how.

Step 1: Open the template in Excel or Sheets.

Step 2: Customize the row and column headers to match your Cube's dimensions and filters.

Step 3: Select the range where you want to fetch your data. 

Step 4: Fetch your data.

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Budget vs. Actuals: P&L Statement

Accurately tracking your profit and loss is necessary to run a successful business. This information helps executives assess and manage a company's financial health.

But understanding profit and loss isn’t always easy—which is why we created a free P&L statement template for you. 

The P&L (profit and loss statement) summarizes the revenues, costs, and expenses incurred during a specified time period. In other words, it shows precisely how much money you made and how much money you spent.

The budget represents your company's projected spending. Your company's projected budget should include expected revenue, expenses, cash flow, runway, and any other metrics you track with your financial model.

Your actuals are the real numbers you hit. How much revenue did you bring in? How much did you spend? And so on.

The profit and loss statement is one of three financial statements you'll need to issue at the end of each quarter and year. (The other two statements are the balance sheet and the cash flow statement.) It's also common to issue annual income statements.

Key takeaways

  • A profit and loss statement summarizes your revenue and expenses over a specific period.
  • P&L statements review revenue, gross and net profit, and expenses to determine company profit or loss.

What is a profit and loss statement?

A profit and loss statement is a pro forma statement that shows how much money a company makes and spends over a certain period of time. The result is either profit (more money than the amount spent) or loss (less money than the amount spent).

P&L statements identify trends in revenue and expenses. They help businesses:

  • Track growth over time.
  • Assess their current financial situation.
  • Demonstrate financial stability to potential investors. 
  • Understand how a company’s revenue streams are performing against each other. 
  • Make better financial decisions on spending and resource allocation. 

The P&L statement is one of three financial statements you'll need to issue at the end of each quarter and year. (The other two statements are the balance sheet and the cash flow statement.)

Profit and loss formula

The formula to calculate profit and loss is:

Revenue - Expenses = Profit/Loss

Revenue is the total amount of money a company has earned from its products or services. Expenses are the costs incurred to generate those revenues. These include costs of goods sold (COGS), marketing expenses, employee salaries, rent, etc. 

Profit/loss is the difference between revenue and expenses. If the number is positive, then it is "profit." If the number is negative, it’s a "loss."

For example, if a company has $1,000,000 in revenue and $700,000 in expenses, the profit would be $300,000. But if it had $1,300,000 in expenses, the loss would be at -$300,000.

Profit and loss statement formatting

Most profit and loss statements have a similar format that covers: 

  • Revenue: The total amount of money earned from the sale of goods or services.
  • Cost of Goods Sold (COGS): The direct cost of producing goods or services sold.
  • Gross Profit: The profit earned after subtracting the cost of goods sold from revenue.
  • Operating Expenses: These are the costs of running the operations of your business.
  • Net Profit: The profit earned after subtracting all expenses from revenue.
  • Selling, General, and Administrative Expenses: These are the costs of running the business. 
  • Taxes: The total amount paid in taxes.

How to create a P&L statement in Excel and Google Sheets

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to create a P&L statement using our free template:

  1. Download the free template 

The first step is getting you the free template! You can download it on your right. 

  1. Edit line items

Edit the line items in the template to better suit your business if you need to. For example, you can delete the line item from the template if you don't have any “interest income.”

To do this, right-click the line item row and select "Delete." You can also add new line items such as "advertising expenses."

  1. Enter revenue and expenses information 

Select the duration for which you want to create a P&L statement. This could be monthly, quarterly, or yearly. 

Then, enter the appropriate revenue and expenses data. If you’re using Cube, Cube will fetch all of this data for you. 

  1. Track your results 

The template will calculate your gross profit, operating expenses, and net profit. You can then use this information to track your progress toward business goals. 

More about profit and loss statements

A profit & loss statement is one of the most essential financial reports your FP&A team can produce.

Types of profit and loss statements

There are two types of profit and loss statements: single-step and multi-step.

Single-step profit and loss statement

A single-step profit and loss statement lists all your income and expenses in one place. This is a direct way to track your business' finances, but it doesn't provide much performance information.

Multi-step profit and loss statement

This statement shows your company's income and expenses over a period. This statement is helpful for businesses with many income streams or operating costs and assesses expenses based on their functions. 

This P&L statement can help you see the picture of your business's profitability. It includes: 

  • Operating costs: These contain the income and expenses of your daily operations like rent, salaries, marketing expenses, and the cost of goods sold.
  • Non-operating costs: These contain secondary income and expenses such as interest income and gains or losses. 

What's the difference between a P&L statement and a balance sheet?

Profit and loss statements summarize a company's income and expenses over a period of time.

Balance sheets show a company's assets, liabilities, and equity at a specific time. 

Both statements assess the financial health of a business and track its progress. 

Profit and loss statements for small businesses

Do you need a profit and loss statement as a small business owner? 

If you're starting out and don't have a lot of revenue or expenses, you can get by with a simple income statement. But if you're looking for financing or trying to track growth, you'll want to use a profit and loss statement.

Budget vs actuals: profit and loss statement explained

The P&L summarizes the revenues, costs, and expenses incurred during a specified period— monthly profit, quarterly business expenses, or annual profit. 

The budget represents your company's projected spending. Your company's budget should include expected revenue, expenses, cash flow, runway, and any other metrics you track with your financial model.

Your actuals are the real numbers you hit. How much business revenue did you bring in? How much did you spend? What were your operating profit and net revenue? What was your most significant operating expense? And so on.

Knowing your budget and your actuals allows you to predict future business performance.

Navigating pitfalls: Crafting an effective budget vs. actual statement

When financial planning, steering clear of common pitfalls is as crucial as the budget itself. By understanding and proactively addressing the potential stumbling blocks, businesses can pave the way for a more accurate, transparent, and efficient Budget vs. Actual Statement.

Overlooking Detail Pitfall: Failing to delve into granular details, remedied by ensuring comprehensive inclusion of all relevant income and expense components.

Ignoring Variability Pitfall: Neglecting to account for potential fluctuations; the solution involves factoring in variable elements to enhance accuracy and reliability.

Inconsistent Tracking Pitfall: Tracking inconsistently across periods, addressed by maintaining uniform tracking methods for meaningful comparisons.

Rigidity in Adjustments Pitfall: Resisting timely adjustments, overcome by embracing flexibility and adjusting the budget as changes occur for agile financial management.

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Our free P&L budget vs. actuals template for Excel is designed to streamline your financial planning, providing a user-friendly solution for seamless investment tracking and analysis.

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