# Navigating Top Financial Statement Analysis Tools and Techniques

Following the performance of the company and its competitors is crucial in today's cutthroat business environment as it will assist the company to sustain and develop. Planning, directing, and analysing financial business transactions using financial analysis tools enables a firm or organisation to retain its financial position. Common size statements, comparative financial statements, ratio analysis, and benchmarking analysis are the top four financial analysis tools.

In this article, let's learn about various aspects of financial statement analysis and its tools.

## What is Financial Statement Analysis?

The process of examining a company's financial statements to make decisions is known as financial statement analysis. Internal and external stakeholders utilise financial statement analysis to assess the worth and performance of an organisation.

All businesses are required by financial accounting to produce balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements, which serve as the foundation for financial statement analysis. External stakeholders use it to assess the general health of a company as well as its financial and commercial value. It serves as a monitoring tool for handling finances for internal stakeholders.

Analysts examine financial statements using three methods: ratio analysis, vertical analysis, and horizontal analysis.

## Tools for Financial Statement Analysis

### Ratio Analysis

The relationship between two or more financial statement items is established using the quantitative analysis technique known as ratio analysis. It involves analysing the cash flow statement, income statement, and balance sheet to assess various aspects of an organisation’s operational and financial performance.

Ratio analysis provides insights into the economic performance of a company, such as its effectiveness, liquidity, profitability, and solvency, to help in decision-making.

### Common Size Statements

In financial statement analysis, a common-size statement is a crucial tool. It has a direct impact on the financial statements of the organisation by rendering all items as a percentage of a standard base value. This approach facilitates easier comparisons between companies or different time periods within a company's history.

### Comparative Statements

Comparative Financial accounts are the financial accounts of an organisation for various periods. Users must employ financial statement analysis tools or procedures to understand the comparative statement.

Several financial statement components may be presented in a comparative format in a table. It makes it possible to quickly compare several parameters across two or more periods. In the context of financial instruments and strategies, the comparative statement is crucial.

### Trend Analysis

Another crucial component of financial analysis methodologies is trend analysis. It is based on the fundamental principle that past events can serve as predictors of future outcomes.

Trend analysis is a method employed in financial analysis that utilises historical data to forecast future results. It can be used in one or more organisations within the same period or by a single organisation across different periods.

### Fund Flow Analysis

The methods and instruments of financial statement analysis are enhanced by the inclusion of a cash flow statement. It provides a comprehensive overview of an organisation’s cash inflows and outflows during a specific period. The cash flow statement is used to research how an organisation's financial status changes from the beginning to the end of a period.

### Cash Flow Analysis

Cash flow analysis is another crucial aspect of financial statement analysis. It gives a summary of the sources of the cash inflows and outflows for a specific period.

The cash flow statement is used to examine how the financial health of an organisation changes over time. It keeps a check on the cash movement within a company, including the cash from operating activities, investing activities and financial activities. It is a valuable tool for assessing an organisation’s cash flow dynamics.

## Types of Financial Statement Analysis

Three major strategies are most frequently used by analysts to examine the financial statements of a corporation.

• Horizontal analysis:
Horizontal analysis is frequently used to identify growth patterns throughout time. It uses historical data; mainly analyses the value of line items from two or more years.
• Vertical analysis:
The vertical analysis, in addition, contrasts several financial statement components against one another. For illustration, a cost item might be stated as a percentage of revenue generated by the business.
• Ratio analysis
Finally, line-item data are compared using ratio analysis, a key component of fundamental equity analysis. Examples of ratio analysis include price-to-earnings (P/E) ratios, earnings per share, or dividend yield.

Conclusion

Financial statement analysis is considered to be the pinnacle of understanding and modulating a company's finances and decisions. Only a skilled individual with the necessary skills can perform this duty.

If you are interested in taking up a course on financial statement analysis, check out Imarticus Learning's Financial Analysis Prodegree in collaboration with KPMG. This degree would help you to build a career in banking, corporate finance and private equity easily and enhance your overall career graph.

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