How to Perform Horizontal and Vertical Analyses of Income Statements

horizontal and vertical analysis

In general, an analysis of Financial Statements is vital for a person running a business. Because this analysis tells these business owners where they stand in their financial environment. Examine relationships among items to determine efficient operations. Datarails’ FP&A solution replaces spreadsheets with real-time data and integrates fragmented workbooks and data sources into one centralized location.

What are the 5 types of ratios?

  • Type #1 – Profitability Ratios. These ratios represent the financial viability of the company in various terms.
  • Type #2 – Solvency Ratios. Debt-Equity Ratio.
  • Type #3 – Liquidity Ratios. Current Ratio.
  • Type #4 – Turnover Ratios. Fixed Assets Turnover Ratio.
  • #5 – Earning Ratios. P/E Ratio.

However, income statement and balance sheet are mostly used financial statement to do horizontal analysis . Cash in the current year is $110,000 and total assets equal $250,000, giving a common-size percentage of 44%. If the company had an expected cash balance of 40% of total assets, they would be exceeding expectations. This may not be enough of a difference to make a change, but if they notice this deviates from industry standards, they may need to make adjustments, such as reducing the amount of cash on hand to reinvest in the business. The figure below shows the common-size calculations on the comparative income statements and comparative balance sheets for Mistborn Trading. The highlighted part of the figure shows the number used as the base to create the common-sizing.

Difference between a Vertical Analysis Balance Sheet and a Horizontal Balance Sheet Analysis

This means that every line item on an income statement is stated as a percentage of gross sales, while every line item on a balance sheet is stated as a percentage of total assets. Using percentages to perform these financial analytics and comparisons makes the data you gather more meaningful and easier to understand. The changes may be expressed in absolute amounts or percentages (Smart, Megginson, & Gitman, 2007). The data may be presented for two years or for a number of successive years so as to examine the trend. 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. This analysis can also be used to compare a business’s financial statements to the average trends taking place in the industry. horizontal and vertical analysis are two main types of analysis methods used for this purpose.

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In the same vein, a company’s emerging problems and strengths can be detected by looking at critical business performance, such as return on equity, inventory turnover, or profit margin. In vertical analysis, the line of items on a balance sheet can be expressed as a proportion or percentage of total assets, liabilities or equity. However, in the case of the income statement, the same may be indicated as a percentage of gross sales, while in cash flow statement, the cash inflows and outflows are denoted as a proportion of total cash inflow. It is a useful tool for gauging the trend and direction over the period. Vertical analysis considers each amount on the financial statement listed as % of another amount. Now examine Columns and to see the vertical analysis that would be performed. A vertical analysis of the company’s balance sheet discloses each account’s significance to total assets or total equities.


The intent is to see if any numbers are unusually high or low in comparison to the information for bracketing periods, which may then trigger a detailed investigation of the reason for the difference. For the balance sheet, the items of the sheet are divided by total assets. After which they’re multiplied by 100 to get a percentage value. The example from Safeway Stores shows a comparative balance sheet for 2018 and 2019 following a similar format to the income statement above.

  • To perform vertical analysis (common-size analysis), we take each line item and calculate it as a percentage of revenue so that we can come up with “common size” results for both companies.
  • This means Mistborn Trading saw an increase of $20,000 in revenue in the current year as compared to the prior year, which was a 20% increase.
  • Ultimately, the way in which you apply a vertical analysis of your accounts to your business will depend on your organisational goals and targets.
  • Its spending is increasing almost at the same pace as its earnings .
  • Conversely, the vertical analysis aims at showing an insight into the relative importance or proportion of various items on a particular year’s financial statement.

Discover these techniques and learn how they can identify business needs and solutions at all levels of a business. As stated before, this method is best used when comparing similar companies apples to apples. No two companies are the same, and this analysis shows only a very small piece of the overall pie when determining whether a company is a good buy, or not.

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