Business unit plan template in Google Sheets

by Sep 24, 2019

All companies encompass several business units, such as accounting, sales, marketing, R&D, production and HR. When you want to measure your company’s overall performance, it’s important to analyze the performance of each individual business unit separately.

Two of the most commonly used indicators of a company’s financial health are EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) or EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization). These measures are a way to evaluate how profitable a business currently is. EBIT reflects the amount of income a company is generating, whereas EBITDA approximates a company’s cash flow. It’s also a good idea to look at the EBIT/DA of each business unit.

You can calculate EBIT/EBITDA and evaluate the profitability of your company or individual business units with the help of an accountant or accountancy software. But both of these options are expensive and you don’t need to invest precious resources in this process. Here we’ll show you how to carry out a thorough business unit performance analysis with the tool you already know and use every day: spreadsheets.

To make it even easier, we’ve created a business unit plan template in Google Sheets. This ready-made template provides you with a customizable and flexible spreadsheet-based performance analysis system for your business units.

The template can also be used to analyze individual products or projects. Perhaps you’re an investor with multiple projects or startups that you’ve invested in. Or maybe you want to evaluate the profitability of different products that your company is currently selling. No matter what the company, project or product, if you have sales and costs data, you can use this template to evaluate performance.

Why use a spreadsheet template for business unit analysis?

Most likely, all of your company’s financial data is already stored in Google Sheets or Excel spreadsheets. Spreadsheets are accessible and easy to use—and if you use Google Sheets—they’re a free and flexible cloud-based tool.

Rather than spending more money and time learning how to use new software, you can also use spreadsheets for accounting tasks such as business unit performance analysis. To make it even easier, we have created a free, ready-to-use business unit performance analysis template in Google Sheets. With this spreadsheet template you can:

  1. Combine income and expenses to evaluate the performance of your business
  2. Track the variable and fixed costs for each business unit (or project or product)
  3. Calculate EBIT, EBITDA, and %EBITDA for each unit
  4. View variation from budget (%) or variation year-on-year (%)
  5. See key metrics at-a-glance in the visual dashboard

All in one spreadsheet.

We’ve created the template for you in Google Sheets, so all you need is a Google Account. It’s easy to use and completely free.

To get a copy of the template, just click on the green button below:

How do I use the business unit performance analysis template?

The template is saved to your Google Drive and it opens automatically. Now you can start entering your data. There’s an Instructions tab in the spreadsheet but we’ll cover the steps here too.

Step 1:

In the Instructions tab, enter your data in Inputs. This includes: the year and month you want to analyze and how you want to view your report (monthly or accumulated).

Step 2:

Go the (green) Configuration tab and enter your account names. 

Step 3:

Enter your expenses and compare it to the budget of each of your accounts in the dashboard tab.

Managing multiple business units and need confidentiality?

If you’re managing a large business, multiple projects or units, you might prefer to keep some of your performance data separate, in individual spreadsheets.

Spreadsheets are the perfect tool for accounting tasks such as business unit performance analysis: they are accessible and easy to use. You probably already store your financial data in Excel or Google Sheets files anyway, so it makes sense to use a spreadsheet to analyze your figures.

But when you’re working in a larger team, or with larger sets of data from multiple sources, spreadsheets can get messy. Manually copy-pasting data is a time-consuming task, prone to errors. And too many “hands” on one spreadsheet can also lead to mistakes in calculations.

Keeping data sets separate means: confidentiality and cleaner, simpler work systems for staff. If you are overseeing entirely separate business units, there is no need for staff within these departments to be able to view or access data from other parts of the business.

But gathering and combining data from many different spreadsheets is a time-consuming and complicated task. Wouldn’t it be great if your spreadsheets could talk to one another? With Sheetgo, they can. Sheetgo automates your financial reporting and analyzing.

Business Unit Plan Template: Workflow and Connections

Get an automated Business unit performance system

Sheetgo is a connection platform for spreadsheets in Google Sheets.

Sheetgo powers connections between the spreadsheets—allowing data to flow from one to the other, in an automated system. If you can use spreadsheets, you can use Sheetgo to automate your workflows. Sheetgo can expand on the business unit performance template by creating connections with other spreadsheets.

This means:

  • Create an automated business unit performance analysis system
  • Give colleagues from each business unit their own spreadsheet where they enter their data
  • See data flowing into your master sheet—automatically
  • Save time on data entry, copy-pasting and unnecessary communication
  • Keep data separate for confidentiality and privacy purposes
  • Schedule automated updates—when you want them

Install the workflow template here.

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