A budget report is an internal report used by management to compare the estimated, budgeted projections with the actual performance number achieved during a period. In other words, a budget report is designed to compare how close the budgeted performance was to the actual performance during an accounting period. Here's a look at how to develop a budget report using C1Studio's standalone FlexReport Designer. Since budgets are financial goals based on estimates and future projections, they differ largely from the actual financial performance of a company. This gives the real picture of the future in terms of financial success or failure. Since the requirement of creating a budget report is very sensitive, it's important to design those reports with extreme care and accuracy.
What if we could get a budget report with exact and adequate information without actually writing a single line of code? Yes, you read it correct. Without a single line of code!
Generally, the key requirements of reporting applications are that report building and document generation should be simple, fast, and accurate. [FlexReport](http://www.componentone.com/Studio/Reporting-Documents/FlexReportWinForms) empowers .NET developers to solve such complex problems for their application’s business needs. Let’s take example of an energy conglomerate. The firm can have data from multiple engineering verticals, including civil, electrical, geotechnical and mechanical. So if we talk about the budget report here, it should outline the particular project's tasks, costs and comparison against the actual performance. While designing .NET reports, you'll likely look for how easy it is to use the Designer and implement the reporting features. You won't want to use complex mechanisms for using simple features. FlexReport Designer makes report designing more flexible and efficient than before. Let's create a Budget Report for an energy conglomerate in three simple steps using FlexReport Designer.
1. Design the Layout in FlexReport Designer
Designing a layout is easy using FlexReport Designer. You just need to place the required controls: Text fields, Charts, Barcode etc. to display information, in different sections of the report depending on their usage. I suggest dividing the layout using subsections such as Report Header, Page Header, Detail and Page Footer etc., depending on the need to display the content. The example below includes these subsections and fields:
- Report Header
- Static text fields (Report title, Field Labels)
- Dynamic Text Fields (Database fields corresponding to labels)
- Image (Logo)
- Project Summary
- Static text fields (chart labels)
- Pie Chart with legend and exploding pie slice: expresses percentage of Actual Cost corresponding to tasks.
- Bar Chart: corresponds to performance summary (Actual Cost Versus Budget Allotted)
- Detail section w/ header
- Text Fields displaying actual Database columns like the Workpackage, Budget, Actual Cost, Cost Variance, Percent Complete etc.
- Page Footer
- Name of the Report
- Current Page of Page numbers
- Shape (outline of the footer)
2. Set up a Connection to the Database
Now that you've designed the complete layout for the budget report, it's time to set up a database connection to bind the controls to. The report can be bound to any database of your choice—MS Access, SQL Server, etc.
3. Previewing and Exporting the Layout
Note: Be sure to change the path to the database (present in the downloaded folder) as per your machine before previewing the report. If you're looking for a reporting tool for any of your business needs, post a comment about the requirements here. We would love to write about that too :)