“Budget-versus-Actual” Charts
Originally published: 22/02/2021 08:30
Publication number: ELQ-72089-1
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“Budget-versus-Actual” Charts

A collection of elegant charts and dashboards depicting variances

This file contains magazine-quality charts in Excel to illustrate variances between budgeted and actual figures.

Professionally designed charts in business documents and presentations immediately grab readers’ attention. They make readers go through your materials more thoroughly. And they are certainly a great tool to present data and draw conclusions.

The charts included into this publication are:

1. Monthly sales: budget vs. actual (total and variances)
2. Key financial metrics mini-dashboard (budget-actual-prior year)
3. Sales growth rates by product (budget-actual-prior year)
4. KPI dashboard (different kinds of indicators with different magnitude on the same chart)
5. Charts showing budget-to-actual changes in volumes, prices and mixes by product
6. Horizontal bridge chart (waterfall) explaining the changes in revenues by products
7. A column chart showing three dimensions of data

The charts are quite flexible to updates and modifications. You can replace products with e.g. departments or geographic regions. Instead of budgets and actuals you can apply them to reporting periods or model scenarios. Revenues, profits etc. can be changed to any other indicators.

All charts have comments concerning the type of charts used, series, axes, key formatting information. The most complex charts are accompanied by detailed instructions on how to create them from scratch.

This Best Practice includes
1 Excel file

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Further information

Visualize budget-vs-actual variances

Budget-vs-actual or similar variance analysis



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