Vertical Analysis Of Income Statement

vertical analysis

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vertical analysis

Various methods used in the analysis of financial statements include ratio, horizontal and vertical analysis. Vertical analysis in accounting is only one technique which can be used to analyze financial information. As an alternative, horizontal analysis can be carried out where financial statements and accounting ratios are compared over a number of accounting periods in order to spot trends over time. If a company’s inventory is $100,000 and its total assets are $400,000 the inventory will be expressed as 25% ($100,000 divided by $400,000). If cash is $8,000 then it will be presented as 2%($8,000 divided by $400,000). If the accounts payable are $88,000 they will be restated as 22% ($88,000 divided by $400,000). If owner’s equity is $240,000 it will be shown as 60% ($240,000 divided by $400,000).

Vertical Analysis Interpretation

Year 1 Year 2 Year 3Sales 100%100%100%COGS30%29%40%Gross Profit70%71%60%Marketing 5%5%10%In the above table, we see that COGS for the company spiked in year three. Such a drop could be due to the higher cost of production, or from the drop in the price as well. Though the example shows an increase in the COGS, we can’t be sure unless management confirms it.

  • The comparison of each number becomes easier when compared as a percentage of sales/revenue.
  • This type of analysis allows companies of varying sizes whose dollar amounts are vastly different to be compared.
  • Thus, the analysis should take into account the limitations of the vertical analysis of the income statement while comparing and inferring the results.
  • A useful way to analyze these financial statements is by performing both a vertical analysis and a horizontal analysis.
  • The common size or vertical analysis of income statement is the statement where each line item is expressed as a percentage of sales.

That result, 24%, will appear on the Certified Public Accountant table beside Salaries for year one. For example, when a vertical analysis is done on an income statement, it will show the top-line sales number as 100%, and every other account will show as a percentage of the total sales number.

Vertical Analysis For An Income Statement

Privately held companies often publish their financials in the investor relations section of their websites. Harold Averkamp has worked as a university accounting instructor, accountant, and consultant for more than 25 years. A few years ago we as a company were searching for various terms and horizontal analysis wanted to know the differences between them. Ever since then, we’ve been tearing up the trails and immersing ourselves in this wonderful hobby of writing about the differences and comparisons. We’ve learned from on-the-ground experience about these terms specially the product comparisons.

Under the “Total Stockholders’ Equity” line item, ensure there is a line item that reads “Total Liabilities and Stockholders’ Equity”. Double-check that that the total of liabilities and stockholders’ equity equals total assets and write “100%” next to the line item total. Horizontal analysis can only be used when considering an intra-firm wise comparison, while vertical analysis is used when talking about both inter-firm and intra-firm.

Most often, vertical analysis is used by management to find changes or variations in financial statement items of importance like individual asset accounts or asset groups. By doing this, we’ll build a new income statement that shows each account as a percentage of the sales for that year. As an example, in year one we’ll divide the company’s “Salaries” expense, $95,000 by its sales for that year, $400,000.

As you can see, each account is referenced in proportion to the total revenue. Business Checking Accounts BlueVine Business Checking The BlueVine Business Checking account is an innovative small business bank account that could be a great choice for today’s small businesses.

It is one of the popular methods of financial statements used as it is simple and also called a common size analysis. Here all the items in the income statement are stated as a percentage of gross sales. All the items in the balance sheet are stated as a percentage of the total assets. Whereas the opposite of the vertical analysis of financial statements is the Horizontal analysis always looks at the amount from the financial statement over the horizon of many years. Although both horizontal and vertical analysis is used in the analysis of financial statements, they have several differences. Both, however, are important when it comes to business decisions based on the performance. Vertical analysis of financial statements uses the common-size format, which sets each financial statement line item as a percent of a baseline number.

Investigating these changes could help an analyst know if the company is shifting to a different business model. Vertical Analysis of the income statement shows the revenue or sales number as 100% and all other line items as a percentage of sales. All the line items in a vertical analysis are compared with another line item on the same statement; in the case of an income statement, it is revenue/net sales. Vertical analysis is a method of analyzing financial statements that list each line item as a percentage of a base figure within the statement. The first line of the statement always shows the base figure at 100%, with each following line item representing a percentage of the whole. For example, each line of an income statement represents a percentage of gross sales, while each line of a cash flow statement represents each cash inflow or outflow as a percentage of total cash flows. This is because the process establishes the relationship between the items in the profit and loss account and the balance sheet, hence identifying financial strengths as well as weaknesses.

Combining this information with other information about the company, such as where they focused their marketing efforts each year, can help you determine the best ways for the company to increase its total sales and profit margins. Double Entry Bookkeeping is here to provide you with free online information to help you learn and understand bookkeeping and introductory accounting. The comparison between the two ratios indicates that despite the rise in both revenue and cost of sales, the gross profit has changed only marginally. Thus, it will be best not to use vertical analysis as a tool to get an answer, but use it to figure out what questions one may ask.

How Do You Do A Vertical Analysis Of An Income Statement?

Comparison of absolute amounts of companies of different sizes does not provide useful conclusions about their financial performance and financial position. Vertical analysis is said to get its name from the up and down motion of your eyes as you scan the common-size financial statements during the analysis process.

This implies that Colgate’s gross profit margin has been around 56% to 59%. Our priority at The Blueprint is helping businesses find the best solutions to improve their bottom lines and make owners smarter, happier, and richer. That’s why our editorial opinions and reviews are ours alone and aren’t inspired, endorsed, or sponsored by an advertiser. Editorial content from The Blueprint is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team. Looking for the best tips, tricks, and guides to help you accelerate your business?

vertical analysis

A vertical analysis is the process of analyzing financial statements as a percentage of a total base item. The most common use of vertical analysis is within a financial statement for a single reporting period, so that one can see the relative proportions of account balances. Vertical analysis is also useful for trend analysis, to see relative changes in accounts over time, such as on a comparative basis over a five-year period. For example, if the cost of goods sold has a history of being 40% of sales in each of the past four years, then a new percentage of 48% would be a cause for alarm. Vertical analysis is the proportional analysis of a financial statement, where each line item on a financial statement is listed as a percentage of another item.

It uses a base figure for comparison and works out each transaction recorded in your books as a percentage of that figure. This helps you compare transactions to one another while also understanding each transaction in relation to the bigger picture, rather than simply in isolation. bookkeeping in accounting is sometimes used in conjunction with horizontal analysis to get a broader view of your company accounts. The objective of vertical analysis is to be able to compare financial statements either from different accounting periods, different businesses or to industry averages by restating the information relative to a common base line item. For this reason vertical analysis is also known as vertical common size analysis or simply common size analysis. Vertical analysis of financial statements is a technique in which the relationship between items in the same financial statement is identified by expressing all amounts as a percentage a total amount.

Garcia received her Master of Science in accountancy from San Diego State University. If necessary, talk with different department managers and ask their opinions on certain numbers. After performing some preliminary analysis, executive management can then analyze the variances to determine the underlying causes and decide if the variance helps or hurts company performance. Compare your results to competitors or similar companies in your industry. You can find the balance sheets for public companies by searching the Securities and Exchange Commission database.

Usually, it is the total asset, but one also can use total liabilities for calculating the percentage of all liability line items. Such an analysis helps in evaluating the changes in the working capital and fixed assets over time.

On the contrary, in horizontal analysis, each item of the financial statement is compared with another item of that financial statement. The main advantage of using vertical analysis of financial statements is that income statements and balance sheets of companies of different sizes can be compared.


For example, executive compensation tends to run at a certain percentage of sales across different companies, depending on the industry or company size. Check to see that the company’s cost of goods sold as a percent of sales, also known as its gross margin, falls within the norm for its industry. Compare the company’s net margin, or net income as a percent of sales, against its individual competitors and its industry. In this analysis, the line of items is compared in comparative financial statements or ratios over the reporting periods, so as to record the overall rise or fall in the company’s performance and profitability. In Horizontal Financial Analysis, the comparison is made between an item of financial statement, with that of the base year’s corresponding item. On the other hand, in vertical financial analysis, an item of the financial statement is compared with the common item of the same accounting period.

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