3+ Variance Analysis Templates – PDF


Truly understanding what the financial statements of your company can tell you where it’s heading in terms of success. With it, you’ll be able to determine what kind of strategies will need to be implemented, as well as what resources you’re going to need in order for the business to reach success.

It’s important to know how to identify and understand meaningful variances from your financial results, meaning that you’re going to need as much information as you can get. And that’s why this article is going to teach you all that you need to know in order to do a variance analysis. You can also like poetry analysis templates.

Variance Analysis Template

variance analysis template
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Size: A4 inches + Bleed


Sample Variance Analysis

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Size: 251 KB


Standard Costing and Variance Analysis

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Size: 493 KB


Simple Variance Analysis

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Size: 1 MB


How to Conduct a Variance Analysis

Take note that a proper variance analysis will go a long way keeping you on target with your organization’s goals. The more information that you are able to gain from conducting the analysis, the more you will be able to understand your business’s financial situation and what it is that you can do in order to improve it. Although this isn’t going to be an easy task, it’s one that needs to be done if you ever hope for your business to reach the success that it deserves. You can also read sample situation analysis templates.

With that in mind, here are the steps that will allow you to do a proper and effective variance analysis:

1. Gather All of the Date You’re Going to Need

The first and most important step when conducting the analysis is for you to gather every single piece of data that you will use to see where your business stands. Take note of all the different financial documents that you will want to assess, as well as where you are going to acquire them from. You may also see business needs analysis templates.

While gathering the data you need, you also want to make sure that you gather a similar set of data points that you would like to compare your results to. These would typically be a simple budget or comparable prior year/month, etc. You have to make sure that whatever data you’re using during the assessment is one that’s of the present time. This means that the two set of data points are both representative of the same business and similar time period.

2. Create a Variance Report

The next step that you’re going to have to take is to create a variance report that’s based on the two different data points against each other. You want to be able to compare the two at the lowest level possible so that it’s able to proactively assist with variance research. You may also read requirement analysis templates.

This is usually rather simple as all you would need to do is to subtract one data point from another. In general, favorable results are represented as a positive number and unfavorable results are represented as a negative number. These would all be relegated to revenue, sales, assets, gains, etc. So if you see that there are any negative numbers among them, then you’re most likely seeing a problem that you’re going to have to fix as soon as possible. You may also read business gap analysis templates.

Variance Analysis and Performance

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3. Evaluate Your Variances

Once you’ve managed to obtain the data that you’re going to need, then you’re going to have to evaluate all of the variances. A good idea is to set a materiality threshold for variance review. There are many businesses which tend to focus more on the larger variances first, while other companies may have certain general ledger accounts that they would like to monitor more carefully than others. You can also like sample organizational analysis templates.

An example of a company that would do the latter are ones that have a long history of issues with high employee overtime, meaning that they would have to monitor the costs. Another example would be a company that has a low-profit-margin and needs to carefully monitor G&A overhead. You may also read customer analysis templates.

This is the step of the analysis wherein you’re going to have to look into everything in great detail. Researching variances can become much more intuitive once you have gotten to know how your company’s financials behave. However, even with an unfamiliar set of financials, a good financial analyst will try to isolate the variances in question to the lowest possible level, such as transaction date, cost center, vendor, location, etc.

The reason as to why is because that will allow one to determine the root cause of the variance. By learning about the causes, the next step is to determine whether they are one-time events, or if it’s one which occurs frequently. This is why it would be helpful to begin the variance analysis with trended data. You may also read financial analysis samples.

But in the event that it isn’t possible, then this is the point where you will need to obtain trended data for a particular ledger. Here are some of the questions that will need to be answered when doing so:

  • Has this particular variance been slowly trending towards the variance which currently exists?
  • Does the variance seem to spike with seasonality?
  • Is the entire variance being driven entirely by a single event? Is it possible that there others?

Make sure that you are able to figure out the answers to those questions and include them in the analysis.

4. Compile the Explanation of the Variances and Recommendations

This is the point where you will need to show those who are in senior management that you fully understand the issue and have recommendations to either capitalize on a favorable variance, or the means by which you can correct those that are unfavorable to the business. You may also read customer analysis templates.

For example, let’s say that there has been a noticeable spike in the business’s revenue. From the data that you’ve managed to gather, you have determined the cause to be seasonal, typically around spring. You’ve also noticed that this event is particularly significant in recent years. You can also read hazard analysis templates.

This is where you’re going to provide recommendations as to what can be done to remedy this particular issue. An example of the suggestions that you can make would be hiring temporary employees to aid with the situation or shifting employees from slower locations to busier ones. You may also like printable project analysis.

Also, the responsibility of creating budgets and forecasts (updates to an original budget usually done multiple times throughout the year) for a company will also need to be done. During the creation/updating of the budget/forecast, it’s important that you are able to pay close attention to variances that have occurred throughout the year. You may also read free gap analysis.

The reason is that these variances may greatly affect these plans, thus causing unwarranted problems. So what you will have to do is to take them all into account and possibly adjust and/or update the plan to take all of these variances into account. You can also see trend analysis templates.

5. Make Sure to Plan for the Future

The last steps that you’re going to have to do for this particular analysis are to keep in mind that there is more to accounting for variances than capturing the immediate impact. You’re going to have to make assumptions on how the latest financial trends will act in the future. By knowing that, you will be able to prepare for all of the possible variances that you will have to deal with eventually. You can also read sample cost-benefit analysis templates.

It’s possible that certain variances may reoccur, or possibly they might only happen once. Also, you can look into the factors as to what may cause these variances to happen once again in the future. Other important things that you will have to take note of is whether these variances will have any effect on other general ledger accounts if strategic changes need to be made in order to take these variances into account, and how these changes are going to affect the overall plans of the business.

The more you are able to prepare, the better it will be for the business.

Variance analysis is much more than simply identifying outliers. It requires you to do a ton of research, planning, decision making, and estimating the probabilities of what could occur. This will tell you how your business’s financial will behave, allowing you to come up with the most effective plans which can help ensure that your business gains more than it loses.

So long as you follow all of the steps above, then you should be able to develop a comprehensive variance analysis. Hopefully, you already get the gist of what it is that you should be doing and what it is that you should be preparing for to ensure that your business is able to maintain financial stability, as well as allowing it to grow to eventually gain more profit. You may also like a sample market analysis.

In the even that you would like to learn how to do other types of analysis, then all you have to do is to go through our site. It has many different articles, all of which contains information that you may very well need. So long as you are able to read these articles thoroughly, then you should be able to make the most out of whatever it is that they have to offer you. You may also read job analysis templates.

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