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Power BI and Financial Reporting: Examples and Templates

Most businesses would benefit from better financial planning and analysis (FP&A), whether it’s through extended planning horizons, more frequent updates or taking a different approach to planning. Over 60% of organizations plan to make changes to their FP&A, according to Deloitte’s global planning and budgeting survey.

Microsoft Power BI can simplify the financial reporting process, but it’s not an out-of-the-box solution for every need. However, there are simple ways to take advantage of Power BI’s financial reporting capabilities combined with a comprehensive suite of visuals and advanced features.

Learn more about financial reporting with Power BI and how you can unlock the power of write-back Power BI planning, create financial statements and manage models effectively.

What Are Power BI’s Financial Reporting Capabilities?

Power BI is primarily known for its data visualization and business intelligence (BI) capabilities, though it’s also a powerful platform for financial reporting when used strategically. Here are key capabilities of Power BI that unlock valuable insights into your organization’s financial performance.

Data Integration

One of the fundamental aspects of Power BI financial reporting is the ability to consolidate data from various sources. The platform allows you to connect to multiple data sources, such as Excel spreadsheets, databases, cloud-based services and web APIs. This means your financial data in Power BI can be effortlessly gathered from different departments, systems and platforms. This means your financial reports are up to date and more comprehensive.

Data Modeling

You need to transform raw data into a structured format before you can create meaningful financial reports. Power BI’s data modeling capabilities enable you to shape, clean and enhance your data. You can define relationships between tables, create calculated columns and measures, and perform data transformations using the Power Query Editor. This flexibility ensures that your financial reports are based on accurate and consistent data.


Power BI offers a range of visualization options, including tables, charts, graphs and custom visuals. These visual elements are instrumental in conveying financial information effectively. Whether you need to create income statements, balance sheets, cash flow reports or other financial documents, Power BI provides the tools to visualize your data in ways that are insightful and aesthetically pleasing.

Interactive Dashboards

Financial reporting isn’t just about static reports. It’s also about empowering stakeholders to interact with the data. Power BI allows you to build interactive dashboards that let users drill down into the details and filter data to explore trends. This interactivity empowers decision-makers to ask questions and gain deeper insights into an organization’s financial health.

Custom Calculations and Formulas

Financial reporting often requires the use of specific financial formulas and calculations. Power BI’s DAX (Data Analysis Expressions) language enables you to create custom calculations and measures tailored to your organization’s financial requirements. Power BI gives you the flexibility to define these formulas for when you need to calculate profitability ratios, growth rates or any other financial metrics.

Collaboration and Sharing

Collaboration is essential for meaningful financial reporting. Power BI allows multiple team members to work on reports simultaneously. You can also share reports securely with stakeholders inside and outside your organization. This ensures that the right people — and only the right people — have access to the latest financial information so they can review and collaborate in real time.

Streamline Your Financial Reporting Process in Power BI

Power BI wasn’t designed to manage the financial reporting process, so the platform’s default visuals aren’t ideally suited for it. While there are ways to leverage advanced financial reporting capabilities, they often require intermediate knowledge of DAX that many financial professionals don’t necessarily have.
Power BI offers some support for collaboration, but having multiple users trying to view or modify the same report simultaneously creates risks, including confusion and version control issues.
Another challenge is that default visuals don’t necessarily offer the features needed to properly format financial statements, such as under/over lines, parentheses, scaling or percentage formatting. Additionally, Power BI can be challenging for creating custom rows, column calculations and subtotals that are needed for an income statement or balance sheet.
Writing back to the data source isn’t a default option, as Power BI doesn’t provide the necessary features to facilitate this process. These issues can make it difficult to find visuals that offer the look and feel of a professional financial report.
One avenue for overcoming these challenges with financial reports in Power BI is to use Acterys Reporting, part of the Acterys collection in Microsoft AppSource. Let’s look at examples of how you can create and edit financial reports more easily on the platform.
  • Take advantage of easy, Excel-like financial reporting subtotal calculation.

Edit Calculations Acterys Reporting Power BI Desktop

  • Leverage perfectly formatted reports with key financial reporting elements: varying number formats, under/over lines, special characters and others per row and column. Use optional data-driven formatting to establish formats in your database and automatically apply them everywhere that a specific metric or account is used.
  • Dynamically switch between relative and absolute display with variance visualization according to International Business Communication Standards principles.
  • Access unparalleled write-back, planning, and business modeling options with all components of the Acterys xP&A Suite of custom Power BI visuals, Acterys Modeller and Excel Add-In.
  • Use row-based comments that are stored automatically in the Acterys database (Azure or Microsoft SQL) and can be edited directly in Power BI with the Acterys Comments visual.
Acterys Reporting Absolute Variance Power BI Desktop
Advance Variance
Acterys Reporting Relative Power BI Desktop
Relative Variance

Integrate Data Sources for Financial Reports

Power BI provides a wide range of data sources that can help you create comprehensive financial reports. The platform supports on-premises and cloud-based data sources, such as SQL Server, Oracle, SAP HANA, Azure Analysis Services and Azure Blob Storage. Power BI also supports a variety of third-party data sources, such as Salesforce, Dynamics CRM and QuickBooks.

For solutions that require complex financial reporting, Acterys provides an additional layer of support. Acterys supports a range of source systems, including NetSuite, QuickBooks and Xero. This provides a more comprehensive view of your financial data so you can make more informed decisions.

You can rely on Acterys Apps, which are built on more than a decade of expertise building financial-focused enterprise BI solutions. In minutes, you can generate fully editable, interactive analytical applications for group reporting, forecasting, budgeting and other requirements based on Power BI and Excel.

Supported source systems include:


Create Financial Statements in Power BI

It’s possible to create financial statements using only Power BI, but doing so can be challenging and lead to less-than-optimal results. Power BI has limited built-in features for working with financial data, which adds manual work and complexity to the process. For example, the lack of predefined templates and formatting means you’ll need to manually define the structure and formatting of the financial statements. That also makes it difficult to create the level of organization and styling your company needs.

If you’re using only Power BI to create financial statements, you’ll also need to manually enter data into each financial statement. This slows your work further and increases the risk of human error. Creating the underlying data model to support the financial statements is also a complex process that can be difficult to manage.

Inflexible and time-consuming processes hurt your organization’s productivity and efficiency, especially as data models and business processes change. Even tasks like handling ragged hierarchies and working with common accounting signs and special characters can be a challenge. Additionally, you’ll need experience with DAX to perform calculations and conditionally populate rows based on GL accounts and subtotals. 

You can avoid these challenges by leveraging a suite of Power BI visuals that are perfectly tailored for financial reporting. With Acterys’ custom visuals, you can easily create and edit financial reports with the exact structure and formatting required. 

Acterys also provides data model automation and enterprise-grade planning capabilities that enable you to create and edit profit and loss statements, balance sheets, cash-flow statements and more with ease. This makes it simple to manage unlimited scenarios with different drivers, compare actual and forecast values across financial statements, and much more.


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Edit and Maintain Financial Models in Power BI

You have full control over your Power BI financial reporting processes, with a data model that uses every attribute in the accounting system to provide you with in-depth insights. You can also adapt dashboards, reports and planning processes to fit your specific needs. You can even consolidate organizations into a single “one version of the truth” data model as needed, regardless of which accounting systems they use. 

Plus, you can access this data from your preferred front end, such as Power BI or Excel, for unrivaled sales and financial analysis. Enjoy integrations with any other data source supported by Power BI’s variety of connectors.

When you use Acterys Reporting, you get access to Power BI financial reporting templates including:

  • Cash-flow forecasting: Get a holistic view of how cash flows in and out of your business. Make more accurate forecasts that improve working capital, and confidently align cash-flow projections with long-term investments.
  • Budget planning: Create detailed budgets for each expense category, compare budgeted outcomes versus actuals, and monitor spending over time.
  • Annual financial reports: Develop comprehensive financial statements such as profit and loss statements, balance sheets and cash flows quickly and easily.
  • Performance planning and forecasting: Create integrated plans to align the entire organization with the business strategy and project future performance with confidence.

Power BI Profit Loss Edit



Optimize Your Financial Reporting Process

Power BI offers exceptional visualization and analytics features for organizations. When you expand its capabilities with Acterys Reporting, your process will be easier than ever. You can create Power BI dashboards, visualize data and explore insights easily, all without requiring DAX.

Are you ready to seamlessly integrate advanced capabilities to run financial planning, consolidation and corporate performance processes into your organization? Access your free trial of Acterys Reporting and see how it can optimize your Power BI financial reporting process.


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