Use comparison rows

In the Main tab and database driver tabs, you can add a comparison row based on a stream in the corresponding database, such as last year's actuals, last year's budget or the current year's forecast and so on. The comparison row includes the percentage difference between the budget values and the comparison row values. You can use this information for reference purposes and in formulas, to help you determine your budget values.

If your workbook includes additional measures for driver-based budgeting, you can add comparison rows (see Customize the comparison setup below) for those measures. When you do so, the comparison rows display under their respective measure line in the worksheet, where applicable.

View a comparison row

To view a comparison row for a budget row, hover over the border line on the left of the Total column and click the Comparison button that displays.

The comparison row displays underneath the budget row, with data from the offset stream, for example, last year’s actuals. By default, the comparison row is based on your budget workbook setup. If you have not yet adjusted any budget values, the comparison and budget values will be the same, so the comparison row shows the difference as 0%. As you adjust your budget values, the difference percentage in the comparison row updates accordingly.

The formula used to calculate the comparison percentage is:
(budget value - comparison value) / comparison value

To hide the comparison row, click the Comparison button again.

If you have permission, you can customize the comparison setup (see below) and add more comparison rows, to get the best comparisons to meet your organization’s needs.

Customize the comparison setup

Only the budget owner and administrators can customize the comparison setup.

The comparison setup automatically applies to every budget row in a worksheet, so if you add a comparison row against one item, such as Sales, you will also see that comparison row for all other rows, such as Marketing Expense. However, the comparison setup applies to the active worksheet only, so you need to edit the comparison row setup for each worksheet.

If your organization does not have prior year budgets in Phocas, you can import those budgets to view comparisons. You do this in the Designer module.

  1. Access the Comparison Setup window using one of these methods:

    • When you add a comparison row in a worksheet, click the blue Comparison link in the first column.

    • At any time, right-click the worksheet tab name, such as the Main tab, and click Comparison setup.

  2. In the Comparison Setup window, customize the comparison setup as required:

    • Edit the default comparison row details, for example, change the name or offset, or select a different stream or measure.

    • Delete the row, if you do not want to use it: Click the Delete button at the end of the row. The row is instantly deleted.

    • Add additional comparison rows: Click the + Add new link, enter a name, select a stream and measure, and enter the offset.
      For example, if you want to compare this year’s budget actuals with the actuals from the budget from two years ago, add a new comparison row called “2 Years Ago Actuals” based on the Profit and Loss budget stream. The offset is -24, as you want values from 2 years (24 months) ago.

  3. Click Save.

  4. Click the Comparison button on a row to view the changes you made to the comparison row setup.

If you’re partway through the year and therefore, your actuals don’t yet include the entire year’s data, you will get a warning note telling you the actuals are slightly out of range. Any months not yet completed will populate with zeros in the comparison row. For example, if you are currently in November 2020, the December 2021 budget will populate as zeros because December 2020 currently has no activity. You do not need to take any action here; you can enter data manually in the ‘zeros’ cells, or copy forward data from the other months as a starting point.