Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are a performance measurement tool commonly used to evaluate the success of your organisation or business units' goals and targets.

With Calxa Premier you can create custom KPI formulas and edit the KPI number format for default KPIs. Steps for running KPI reports and charts are outlined in the KPI Reporting help note.


Navigate to Reports -> KPIs -> KPI Builder.

KPI Formula Properties

To view the properties of a KPI, select it from the list of KPIs on the left hand side.

KPI Formula overview

Each KPI has the following properties:

  1. Name: This name will be used to identify the selected KPI in lists and KPI reports (see 1 in image above).

  2. Notes: Provides a description of the KPI for default KPIs. Can be used for any kind of notes with your custom KPIs.

  3. KPI type: This indicates whether the KPI will be displayed with a Number, Currency or Percentage format.

  4. Decimal places: The number of decimal places displayed for the selected KPI.

  5. Display format: The negative number and thousand separator format chosen for the selected KPI.

  6. Target type: This setting is used to tell Calxa whether it's better or worse for Actuals to be higher than Budgets for KPI variance reporting.

    For example, with a KPI such as Net Profit Margin it's better for actuals to be higher than budgets, however for Cost of Sales it would be better for actuals to be lower than budgets. The setting options are Lower is Better and Higher is Better.

  7. Formula: The formula used to calculate the KPI result.

Note: For default KPIs the Name, Notes, Target type and Formula fields cannot be edited, however you may edit the KPI type, Decimal places and Display format for any KPI.

KPI type

There are three number formats available including:

  • Currency: The KPI will be in money units (i.e. $250).

  • Number: The KPI will be a numerical figure (i.e. 15).

    • The currency and number formats have the following additional properties:

      • Decimal places: Determines how many decimal places to display.

      • Display format: Determines if a comma will be used as a thousand separator as well as the format of negative values.

  • Percentage: The KPI will be a fraction or part of another number (i.e. 20%).

    • The percentage format has the following additional properties:

      • Decimal places: Determines how many decimal places to display.

      • Display format: Determines if a comma will be used as a thousand separator as well as the format of negative values.

Create a Custom KPI

A KPI is essentially a formula built with mathematical symbols and your Account Groups and Metrics.

First ensure you have the appropriate Account Groups and Metrics available for the KPI formula you wish to create. Refer to the Account Groups and Metrics help notes for more details.

Follow the general steps below to create a custom KPI.

In this example we will create new KPI called Cost per Participant, which is calculated as Total Costs divided by Number of Participants.

  1. Click the Add new KPI button just below the Search KPIs field (above the list of KPIs).

    Add new KPI
  2. Type the name of your KPI in the KPI name field, then select the Target Type from the drop-down (i.e. Higher is better, Lower is Better).

    Click ADD NEW KPI when done.

    Add new KPI pop-up box
  3. Add Notes to your KPI to provide a description or assumptions, if desired (Point 3 in the image below).

    Add KPI description and set KPI type and number format
  4. Set the KPI type, Decimal Places and Display format for your KPI (Point 4 in the image above). You can adjust the Target type here if needed as well. Click the Save Changes button when done.

    You can also adjust the KPI name at any time by clicking into the KPI name field (underlined in orange) and making your changes.

  5. Next you will enter the formula for your KPI.

    1. KPI formulas may use numbers, Components and Operators.

      KPI formulas use numbers, Components, Operators
    2. Components include Account Groups, Metrics and Constants (TRUE, FALSE, NULL) and Functions (IF, ROUND, POW, ABS).

      1. Insert any of these into your formula by clicking on the Components button (see 1 in image below).

      2. Next select the component you wish to use from the list at left.

      3. Finally, double-click on the particular item you wish to insert in the list at right to add it to your formula.

      4. You can search for an item in any of the components via the search bar.

        Note: You can also type the item name directly into the formula field to edit a formula, provided you use the same formatting convention seen when you insert by double-clicking.

        Components menu
    3. Some examples of Operators are / Divide by, * Multiply, + Plus, - Minus, > Greater than, < Less than, = Equal to, etc.

      As with components, you can insert an operator into your formula by clicking on the Operators button, then selecting the operator you wish to use from the list below. You can also type the operator directly into the formula if preferred.

      Operators menu
    4. Tip: Calxa recommends you consider copying an existing default KPI (or KPI formula) with a similar type of calculation to what you need. This will help you create a formula that ensures you cover situations such as when the denominator of a ratio calculation is zero.

      For our Cost per Participant example (shown below), we copied the Cost of Sales KPI formula, then edited it to include the correct Account Group and Metric:

      if ([Number of Participants] <> 0, [Total Expense] / [Number of Participants], null)

      The example formula has used an IF function to check if the [Number of Participants] is zero to eliminate the possibility of problems dividing by zero. We recommend you follow a similar practice when creating your own formulas.

      The ‘null’ value is returned when the KPI can’t be calculated and is displayed in reports as N/A. If this practice is not followed and a divide by zero error occurs an error will be displayed and the report will not be generated.

    5. When you have finished your formula, click the Save Changes button at top right.

    6. You can click the Refresh Preview button below the Formula definition to check your KPI formula and ensure it behaves as expected (optional step).

      1. First select the Organisation you would like use to check the KPI from the organisation drop-down.

      2. Next click the Refresh Preview button. A chart showing the total organisation KPI results for Actuals in the current and previous 11 months will then be displayed.

        Note: you must first enter the Metric's Actual figures via the Budgets & Actuals screen for Actual results to be displayed.

        Click Refresh Preview to test your KPI formula
      3. Hover your mouse over the bars in the chart to see the values of each.

        Hover mouse over chart bars to view amount

        Note: If you are budgeting and reporting your KPI at the business unit level, it will be more useful for you to instead check your KPI via the report Builder, as the organisation total KPI may not be a meaningful measure. Select a report template from the Builder and display your KPI in that report, by business unit.

      4. In addition to displaying the KPI formula results on your report, you may also wish to show the components used in the formula on your report. This can make it easier for your audience to 'verify the math' as they review the report, and could potentially reduce the number of follow-up queries you receive.

        In our example this would mean we could also display the Number of Participants and the Total Expense as line items in the KPI section of the report.

        To achieve this, you would create two more KPIs that reference only the Number of Participants Metric values and the Total Expense Acccount Group values. No complex formula is required, you can simply pick up the metric or account group as needed. See the Number of Participants KPI example below.

        Number of Participants KPI
      5. A sample KPI section of a report showing the Cost per Participant KPI is shown below.

        The other KPIs created to display the Number of Participants and Total Expense are also included.

        KPI section of report displaying all 3 KPIs

        Note: KPIs are displayed alphabetically on reports by default, however you can reorder them by employing a naming convention.

        For example, if you instead wanted to display the KPIs above in the order of 1. Total Expense, 2. Number of Participants, 3. Cost per Participant you could name them something like: A1 Total Expense, A2 Number of Participants, A3 Cost per Participant.

      6. Further development of the KPI Builder screen later this year will allow you to group and sort your KPIs into the desired order without needing a naming convention (i.e. by drag & drop).

        Other improvements will include an auto-complete formula feature, colour coding of Account Groups and Metrics, the ability to use other KPIs in formulas, and divide by zero error handling.

      7. Please see the Set Report Criteria help note for details on how to display your custom KPIs in reports.

Copy or Delete a KPI

  1. First select the KPI you would like to copy or delete from the list at left.

    Select KPI to copy or delete
  2. To copy a KPI click on the Copy button at right.

    Click Copy button
  3. Enter the Formula name and Target type for your new KPI and click Copy KPI.

  4. To delete a KPI click on the Delete button.

    Click on Delete
  5. A delete confirmation pop-up will appear. Click Delete KPI Formula.

    Delete KPI formula
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