So the calculations are simple enough. You calculate the variance in sales by subtracting the planned amount from the actual amount, which gives us the table shown below.

I use the classic accountant’s red to indicate negative numbers, as in the phrase “in the red.” The negatives are also in parentheses. For those cases, the actual sales were lower than planned. Positive numbers here mean actual sales were higher than planned.

You probably see some obvious conclusions. These are just numbers, but they are also indicating areas for more management.

  1. The negative results for unit sales of systems are well below plan. And the per-unit revenue is down too.
  2. Although units of service are disappointing, the price per unit was up, so sales were above plan.
  3. There were pleasant surprises as well for software and training.
Tim BerryTim Berry

Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software and Follow him on Twitter @Timberry.