Profit and Loss Statement

A profit and loss statement provides information on how the business is doing.

Is it making a loss or is it making a profit?

The information for this report is taken from the business bookkeeping records from a period of time, such as one month or a year.

This report is only as good and accurate as the data in the bookkeeping system.

If you know what information you want to go on, click on the quick graphic links below, or scroll down to read on.

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Download Profit and Loss Form in Excel

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Sample Profit & Loss Report

The statement lists the Income and Expenses, which is why it also goes by the name of Income and Expense Report, or more simply Income Statement. It is also known as the Statement of Financial Performance.

The following is found on a profit and loss statement:-


It does not have the following information:-

…..these details are included on another report - the Balance Sheet.

The profit and loss statement can be produced weekly, monthly or annually.

Monthly is recommended for keeping an eye on how the business is doing. It can be based on accrual figures or cash figures.

This report is used for a number of purposes some of which are listed below.

What is a Profit and Loss Report used for?

Calculate Tax
If a net profit is earned, this figure will be used towards calculating the Income Tax payable to the government. This is done at the end of every financial year (every 12 months).

If the year end result is a loss, there will usually be no income tax to pay because losses are tax deductible but they are not so good for the day to day running of the business as it means the cash flow will be tight and it will be difficult to cover expenses.

Loan Applications
If the business is applying for a financial loan, the loan provider (like a bank) will want to see the applicant's Profit and Loss Statement to analyze if loaning money to the business is a viable step.

Check the Cost of Goods Sold
To help the bookkeeper pin-point if the business is recouping its cost of goods sold. i.e. is the business on-charging to customers all the direct costs it incurred to complete a job?

Analyze Business Trading Trends
A chart of monthly summary figures taken from the Profit and Loss statement is useful for showing the trends of business trading, such as the rise and fall of income and expenses. This gives the owner an opportunity to analyze the activities of the business and investigate why, for example, income in one month was much lower than another month which leads to the next point.....

…..An aid to Improve Business Operations
To help business management work out ways of improving business operations such as where to cut down on expenses.


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Profit and Loss Statement





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