A Guide to Perform Financial Statement Analysis

A Guide to Perform Financial Statement Analysis

Knowing the concepts of numbers is critical in accounting and finance. Statements of finances are the company's economic pulse, providing insight into its success and possible growth prospects.

Financial statement analysis is a multifaceted process that entails assessing an organisation's financial stability and potential threats. We will lead you across the crucial elements of financial statements, such as the balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement, in this comprehensive article. You'll learn to calculate and apply key financial statistics to assess liquidity, earnings, effectiveness and solvency. 

This article will not only be an excellent resource for those seeking a career as a CMA, but it will also equip them with a solid basis for the Certified Management Accountant Course. The Certified Management Accountant (CMA) credential is highly acknowledged in managerial finance and accounting, displaying your expertise in managing finances, planning for success and making decisions. 

Understanding Financial Statements

Financial statement analysis is critical for evaluating a business's economic condition and success. Organisations often generate financial statements quarterly and annually to offer a view of their financial status, revenue and cash flow. The Balance Sheet, Income Statement and Statement of Cash Flows are the three basic financial statements. 

The Balance Sheet

The balance sheet summarises a business's financial status in terms of book value. It is divided into three sections: finances, assets and shareholders' equity. Short-term resources such as finances and accounts payable can disclose much about a company's operational success; liabilities include the company's spending plans and shareholders' equity. The balance sheet must reconcile assets and liabilities in order to equalise shareholders' equity. This amount is regarded as a company's book value and is a key performance statistic that rises and falls in tandem with a company's financial activity.

Income Statement

The income statement compares the earnings of a business towards its expenditures to get the bottom line, which is the total profit or loss. The income statement is divided into three sections that aid in analysing company performance at three points. Calculating gross profit starts with income and the direct expenses linked to that income. It then continues on to operational profit, which is calculated by deducting indirect costs such as marketing costs, charges and inflation. Finally, net income is calculated after deducting taxation and interest.

Cash Flow Statement

The cash flow statement summarises the cash flows generated by the organisation's business operations, investments and financing operations. The net profit is moved to the cash flow statement as the highest category for economic operations. 

Analysing Liquidity and Solvency

The measurement of liquidity and solvency ratios is crucial for establishing an organisation's ability to meet its current and future financial obligations. These ratios give insight into the economic sustainability and vulnerability of an organisation.

Liquidity Ratios

The current ratio measures a business's ability to meet its present debts with existing equity. A ratio higher than one demonstrates a company's capacity to meet its immediate duties easily.

Profitability Ratios

The gross profit margin is the percentage of income left after deducting the costs of items sold. A larger margin shows that procedures and pricing methods are efficient.

Solvency Ratios

The ratio of debt to equity measures the total debt of a business to the equity of the owners. A larger ratio indicates increased financial leverage, which can be harmful.

Efficiency Ratios

The ratio of inventory turnover determines how rapidly a business sells its stock over a particular time duration. A higher turnover ratio indicates better handling of inventory. 

How to Conduct an Analysis of Financial Statements

Financial statement analysis is essential for lenders, shareholders and business owners. It aids in the evaluation of the financial condition of a business, its efficiency and risk factors. Here's a step-by-step strategy for conducting a thorough fiscal statement evaluation:

Examine the Company's Goals

Examining a company's aims can help to clarify its economic expectations. It is critical to verify that the data provided on a financial report is consistent with the firm's objectives. You can determine whether the company's income and expenses meet its goals.

Choose an Analytical Method

Determine the right method for performing financial statement analysis. You can determine which facts to gather, analyse and interpret with the proper procedure. Horizontal, vertical and ratio analysis are the three most prevalent financial evaluation procedures. Here are some approaches for performing these kinds of analyses:

Performing a Vertical Analysis

First, choose a financial statement to examine. Data from the present year and past years can be analysed. Consider examining the numbers in the identical column. You could focus on total earnings and expenditures. 

Performing a Horizontal Analysis

Collect existing or past statements of finances that you need to study before beginning a horizontal analysis. You may compare two similar categories to see how they differ. For example, you can see if sales improved or dropped over a given time period. You may also use horizontal analysis to find patterns that could help you make good business choices. It can also aid in budgeting for future expenditures.

Performing a Ratio Analysis

To begin a ratio analysis, decide the ratios you wish to identify. This approach can be used to calculate debt-to-income, availability and ratios for profitability. After calculating the ratios, match them to the preceding ratios. It may offer a summary of the company's profit or loss.

Examine Industry Standards

Understanding industry standards can be beneficial. Every business's financial standing may differ. It might assist you in analysing how the company performs in the industry. Analysing norms in the sector may also aid in the implementation of plans that are in line with present business developments.


To summarise, financial statement analysis is an efficient tool that enables people, shareholders, lenders and corporate leaders to make sensible choices that can affect the future. Any professional's portfolio should include the ability to understand economic information, assess the financial stability of a business, and identify possibilities and hazards.

We hope you found this article useful in your effort to understand financial statement analysis and are ready for the US CMA course. You are definitely on the road to a lucrative and fulfilling career in managerial and financial accounting with your devotion, interest and the insights discovered here. 

Imarticus Learning offers a Certified Management Accountant programme that prepares individuals for a career as a Management Accountant. The CMA programme is a high-level certification for finance and accounting experts.

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