Variance analysis - sign conventions.
(B)/W is an abbreviation for (Better) / Worse.
This is a label and sign convention in financial reporting.
It is designed to aid the interpretation of differences or changes, by specifying a consistent convention.
Under the (B)/W convention, good news is denoted by a NEGATIVE (bracketed) number.
Good news is also known as a 'favourable variance'.
For example, a cost saving or an income improvement.
A common example is a better actual result, compared with an earlier forecast.
Under the (B)/W convention POSITIVE numbers are bad news, 'worse'.
Bad news is also known as an 'adverse' variance.
Sometimes, the opposite convention is used.
This is the B/(W) convention.
Under the B/(W) convention - negative numbers are worse (adverse).
Under the B/(W) convention POSITIVE numbers are better and favourable.