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P&L Reporting using Excel [Part 1 of 6 on Excel & Accounting]



This is a guest post by Yogesh, a chartered accountant and excel blogger.

P&L Reporting using Excel [Part 1 of 6 on Excel & Accounting]With this post we are starting a new series on how to do basic accounting in Microsoft Excel.

In this and next 5 posts, we will aim to setup Profit & Loss account reporting for multi-location retail company.

During this series we will learn how to make P&L reports on various criteria with just few clicks.

Many users find it difficult to manage their P&L reporting for Multi Location organization.

We will be using Pivot Tables for our reporting purpose and will take example of a Retails chain with multiple locations divided into various regions. It is recommended that you be familiar with the concept of pivot tables and also familiar with basic accounting terms.

Topics covered in this series:

Data sheet structure for Preparing P&L using Pivot Tables
Preparing Pivot Table P&L using Data sheet
Adding Calculated Fields to Pivot Table P&L
Exploring Pivot Table P&L Reports
Quarterly and Half yearly Profit Loss Reports in Excel
Budget V/s Actual Profit Loss Report using Pivot Tables

Do not think that series is not only about the Profit and Loss Account. This is also about Pivot Tables. We will cover many Pivot Table tricks during our series. I hope you will be able to use those tricks elsewhere too.

Data sheet structure for Preparing P&L using Pivot Tables

Data is most important part of the entire reporting requirements. You should plan your reporting needs in advance and collect data accordingly. Initial investments in organizing data properly will help you in long run for your reporting requirements.

Data needs to be in table format on separate sheet. First row of the data should be table headers and following rows to contain the data.

Data sheet structure for Preparing P&L using Pivot Tables

You need to have all the possible dimensions in your data. This will help you to quickly change your P&L report on different dimensions.

A dimension is defined as “…a data element that categorizes each item in a data set into non-overlapping regions” according to Wikipedia.

The above data structure will give us flexibility to prepare P&L report by,

  1. Geography-wise
  2. State-wise
  3. City-wise
  4. Store-wise
  5. Month-wise – This can be further grouped on Quarterly / Six Monthly / Yearly reporting

Calendar related data points should be entered as date. You can see that the month column in the data is showing Jan.2009 but it is actually entered as date January 31, 2009 then formatted as MMM.YYYY

This gives you flexibility to group data by quarterly / Six Monthly / Yearly for reporting. [learn more about grouping dates in pivot reports]

It is advisable to have it as last date of the month; this gives you further flexibility to do calculations based on number of days during the month.

There is no need to have calculated data in your data table, you may notice that I do not have calculated figures in the data sheet. Data points like Gross Margins, Margin % , Operating Profit and Operating Profit % will be calculated in Pivot Table using calculated field option.

During this series we will cover how to make P&L report on these dimensions using sample data. You can download sample data for practice along with our posts.

Download this Data:

Click here to download this data file in .xls format. We will use this data in next part to prepare our initial pivot table.

This data is prepared using RANDBETWEEN function of Excel for usage in this series.

What Next?

In the next part of this series, learn how to make a pivot table for Profit Loss Reporting using this data.

Added by PHD:

  • I know as much about accounting as a cow knows about pie charts. So I asked Yogesh, a CA with vast experience and passion for excel, to write for us. I am very thankful to him for accepting this offer and sharing his knowledge.
  • Please share your feedback and ideas for this series using comments. Yogesh and I will reply to your questions. Also, say thanks if you like the idea and want to learn more.
  • Sign-up for PHD E-mail newsletter so that you don’t miss any new posts
Yogesh Gupta - CA, Excel BloggerYogesh is an accountant with 13 years of experience in India and abroad. His specialties are budgeting and costing, supplier accounting, negotiation of contracts, cost benefit analysis, MIS reporting, employees accounting. He writes about excel at http://www.yogeshguptaonline.com/

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16 Responses to “P&L Reporting using Excel [Part 1 of 6 on Excel & Accounting]”

  1. Patricia says:

    Nice idea. I do a lot of work with accountants and CPAS so I will definitely be interested in this.
    I recently had an accountant friend ask me about charting cumulative amounts in pivot tables. To be honest, I have not had time to check this out yet but I imagine others would find it useful.

    Another topic that would be of interest is the Calculate Item so that different product lines or sales territories or departments can be consolidated and reviewed in the pivot table. A lot of people know Calculate Field but not Calculate Item or why they would want to use it.


    • Md sarwer says:

      Hi patricia,
      I Mohammed sarwer and i am an Accountant by profession. I would like to know every details of excel, as i am new to Excel and computer accounts. Till now i was into manual accounting and this new change is creating problems for me. It would be of great boost to my work if you help me out with excel. Just waiting for reply.

    • Chandoo says:

      @Bill ... good point. Just note that we are not trying to do book keeping or reconciliation or some of the more 'accounting' activities using excel. I think using an accounting package is much more better and well suited for even small businesses. What we are targeting in this series is merely reporting aspects of accounting. Often accounting packages lack the analytical capabilities to understand numbers and present them intuitively. That is where excel can excel.

  2. Yogesh Gupta says:

    @Patricia ... Thanks for writing in. During this series we will be covering Calculated items , why you should be using them or what are the precautions before you use them.

  3. Sammy says:

    Hi, I've been using pivot tables for all kinds of financial analysis but have a question in terms of data sheet structure. I have two sister companies for which I need to compare data on a monthly basis, both individually and combined total. What's the best way to set up my data sheet so that I can analyze my monthly revenue, sales volume, gross profit etc. for both companies? Thanks a bunch!

    • Mas says:

      Best practice approch from my personal experience, that you put both data-sets into one set big data pool and differentiate each with a unique identifier/Primary key, which you can easily do by inserting a new column , later on the pivoting will be at your tip of your hand, shaping & modeling the outcome as you wish 🙂

      Hope this helps

  4. tom says:

    I wish to receive new postings

  5. Hui... says:

    Just Goto the Free Email Updates area at the Top Right of the home screen

  6. juzar says:

    Dear Mr. Yogesh
    Sending active worksheet from outlook with VBA is very interesting, but my requirement is some what different
    Let say i have date in column (A) and name of persons to send email in column (B) , system date will match with date column (A) and when both are same or system date is eariler by n days, it will send email to person in column (B).
    juzar para

  7. Confused 808 says:

    So I am using this idea at my new job where I am doing a profit loss report for trucking company and the issue I am having here is that for some reason my totals are equaling out but my numbers adding up to my totals are only $1 value when on the excel spreadsheet they have $ values of upwards of 500 to 10,000 but still show as 1 again the total numbers at the end are coming out correct not sure where I messed up please help

  8. Sherman says:

    Hi to every one, the contents present at this web site
    are in fact amazing for people experience, well, keep up the nice work fellows.

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