Ratio analysis involves evaluating the performance and financial health of a company by using data from the current and historical financial statements. Price-earnings ratios can provide insights into valuation, while debt-coverage ratios can tell investors about potential liquidity risks. While there are numerous financial ratios, ratio analysis can be categorized into six main groups:
Balance Sheets ; Cash Flow Statements ; Income Statements ; Return on Assets Financial analysis is an aspect of the overall business finance function that involves examining historical data to gain information about the current and future financial health of a company.
Financial analysis can be applied in a wide variety of situations to give business managers the information they need to make critical decisions. The ability to understand financial data is essential for any business manager. Finance is the language of business.
Business goals and objectives are set in financial terms and their outcomes are measured in financial terms.
Among the skills required to understand and manage a business is fluency in the language of finance—the ability to read and understand financial data as well as present information in the form of financial reports.
The finance function in business involves evaluating economic trends, setting financial policy, and creating long-range plans for Ratio analysis and statement of cash activities.
It also involves applying a system of internal controls for the handling of cash, the recognition of sales, the disbursement of expenses, the valuation of inventory, and the approval of capital expenditures. In addition, the finance function reports on these internal control systems through the preparation of financial statements, such as income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements.
Finally, finance involves analyzing the data contained in financial statements in order to provide valuable information for management decisions. In this way, financial analysis is only one part of the overall function of finance, but it is a very important one. A company's accounts and statements contain a great deal of information.
Discovering the full meaning contained in the statements is at the heart of financial analysis. Understanding how accounts relate to one another is part of financial analysis. Another part of financial analysis involves using the numerical data contained in company statements to uncover patterns of activity that may not be apparent on the surface.
Balance Sheet The balance sheet outlines the financial and physical resources that a company has available for business activities in the future. It is important to note, however, that the balance sheet only lists these resources, and makes no judgment about how well they will be used by management.
For this reason, the balance sheet is more useful in analyzing a company's current financial position than its expected performance. The main elements of the balance sheet are assets and liabilities. Assets generally include both current assets cash or equivalents that will be converted to cash within one year, such as accounts receivable, inventory, and prepaid expenses and noncurrent assets assets that are held for more than one year and are used in running the business, including fixed assets like property, plant, and equipment; long-term investments; and intangible assets like patents, copyrights, and goodwill.
Both the total amount of assets and the makeup of asset accounts are of interest to financial analysts. The balance sheet also includes two categories of liabilities, current liabilities debts that will come due within one year, such as accounts payable, short-term loans, and taxes and long-term debts debts that are due more than one year from the date of the statement.
Liabilities are important to financial analysts because businesses have same obligation to pay their bills regularly as individuals, while business income tends to be less certain. Long-term liabilities are less important to analysts, since they lack the urgency of short-term debts, though their presence does indicate that a company is strong enough to be allowed to borrow money.
Income Statement In contrast to the balance sheet, the income statement provides information about a company's performance over a certain period of time. Although it does not reveal much about the company's current financial condition, it does provide indications of its future viability.
The main elements of the income statement are revenues earned, expenses incurred, and net profit or loss. Revenues consist mainly of sales, though financial analysts may also note the inclusion of royalties, interest, and extraordinary items. Likewise, operating expenses usually consists primarily of the cost of goods sold, but can also include some unusual items.
Net income is the "bottom line" of the income statement. This figure is the main indicator of a company's accomplishments over the statement period. Cash Flow Statement The cash flow statement is similar to the income statement in that it records a company's performance over a specified period of time.
The difference between the two is that the income statement also takes into account some non-cash accounting items such as depreciation. The cash flow statement strips away all of this and shows exactly how much actual money the company has generated.
Cash flow statements show how companies have performed in managing inflows and outflows of cash. It provides a sharper picture of a company's ability to pay bills, creditors, and finance growth better than any other one financial statement.
All three of these factors are internal measures that are largely within the control of a company's management. It is important to note, however, that they may also be affected by other conditions—such as overall trends in the economy—that are beyond management's control.
Liquidity Liquidity refers to a company's ability to pay its current bills and expenses. In other words, liquidity relates to the availability of cash and other assets to cover accounts payable, short-term debt, and other liabilities.
All small businesses require a certain degree of liquidity in order to pay their bills on time, though start-up and very young companies are often not very liquid. In mature companies, low levels of liquidity can indicate poor management or a need for additional capital.Unfortunately, the cash flow statement analysis and good ol’ cash flow ratios analysis is usually pushed down to the bottom of the to do list.
The income statement has a lot of non cash numbers like depreciation and amortization which does not affect cash flow. This may explain why there are not as many well-established financial ratios associated with the statement of cash flows.
We will use the following cash flow statement for Example Corporation to illustrate a limited financial statement analysis. Ratio Analysis Spreadsheet “TheScorecard” Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Industry Composite Calculations, Trends, or Observations. BALANCE SHEET RATIOS: Stability (Staying Power) 1.
Current Current Assets. Ratio Analysis and Statement of Cash Flows Financial ratios are "just a convenient way to summarize large quantities of financial data and to compare firms' performance" (Brealey & .
Scientific Papers (monstermanfilm.com) Journal of Knowledge Management, Economics and Information Technology 1 Vol. III, Issue 5 October Case Study on Analysis of Financial.
Guide to financial statement analysis. The main task of an analyst is to perform an extensive analysis of financial statements Three Financial Statements The three financial statements are the income statement, the balance sheet, and the statement of cash flows.
These three core statements are intricately linked to each other and this guide will explain how they all fit together.