If you choose a metric that accumulates over the course of the month -- like revenue, expenses, or direct costs -- and then select a period from your actuals that includes the current month still in progress (i.e., current month, current quarter, current year), the stripe at the top of the trend view shows you comparisons for just the elapsed portion of the month or period.
The logic here is that when you're viewing a month or quarter that's still in progress, you want to compare that to a similar-sized portion of the month or quarter from your forecast or past performance and not the whole period. For example, if you are only five days into the current month, you don't want to compare your numbers from those five days to an entire month from your forecast or past period data because that will give you a skewed view of how things are actually going.
We've made a simple linear assumption to calculate your progress in this situation. If you're five days into a 30-day-long current month, LivePlan compares your actuals to 5/30ths of the previous month (i.e., an average value, not a comparison to the first five days of the month).
Using the following image as an illustration, you can see that several days into the month, you are 60% behind your planned revenue for the quarter (which is bad news); you are also 33% behind for revenue compared to the same point in the previous quarter (which is also bad news). This gives you a much more accurate view of how things are going for the current period.