How To Read A Financial Report: An Extensive Guide


For example, if a income statement buys a patent for $50,000 expected to last for 5 years, it would record an amortization expense of $10,000 per year for 5 years. I cover the earnings of 70+ companies in my portfolio every quarter and update my ratings accordingly in our private community chat. This is cash used or obtained from the sale or purchase of capital assets, mainly buildings, property, and equipment.

  • However, real-world companies often operate on a global scale, have diversified business segments offering a mix of products and services, and frequently get involved in mergers, acquisitions, and strategic partnerships.
  • Businesses may have more or less on their income statements, depending on whether they have additional sources of revenue or expenses.
  • Find out why the company is borrowing money, and from whom, and whether they’re paying a reasonable rate.
  • Aren’t great at properly breaking things out and allocating the right things to COGS.

Once this crazy phenomenon happens a company will owe income taxes. SBC expense is recognized over the vesting term (i.e. the period of time the equity award is earned). For tech companies, somewhere around 95% of companies have equity awards that vest over 4 years. COGS is a very protected financial expense group because SaaS company valuations are highly correlated with gross margins. On the income statement when we say “revenue” we are referring to GAAP revenue. All other commonly used acronyms about “revenue” such as ARR, CARR, and ACV are annualized amounts.

Types of analysis

Operating expenses such as marketing costs, staff salaries, and product research are then deducted from the total. “By definition, the balance sheet speaks to the company’s health. However, not being a good steward over the P&L and cash flow statements would be the equivalent of a diabetic never monitoring their glucose levels.


Access to Electronic Services may be limited or unavailable during periods of peak demand, market volatility, systems upgrade, maintenance, or for other reasons. This article will provide a quick overview of the information that you can glean from these important financial statements without requiring you to be an accounting expert. When the stock market boomed in the 1920s, investors essentially had to fly blind in deciding which companies were sound investments because, at the time, most businesses had no legal obligation to reveal their finances. After the 1929 market crash, the government enacted legislation to help prevent a repeat disaster. To this day these reforms require publicly traded companies to regularly disclose certain details about their operations and financial position.

Company B Income Statement

The balance sheet figure that will most accurately reveal your business value, albeit imperfectly, is your equity. A balance sheet shows what your business is worth by quantifying your assets, liabilities, and equity. Your balance sheet should always balance, meaning assets should always equal liabilities plus equity.

Similarly, an investor might decide to sell an investment to buy into a company that’s meeting or exceeding its goals. If you don’t have a background in finance or accounting, it might seem difficult to understand the complex concepts inherent in financial documents. But taking the time to learn about financial statements, such as an income statement, can go far in helping you advance your career.

Income From Continuing Operations

Operating Income Before Depreciation and Amortization shows a company’s profitability in its core business operations. These are all expenses linked to noncore business activities, like interest paid on loan money. David Kindness is a Certified Public Accountant and an expert in the fields of financial accounting, corporate and individual tax planning and preparation, and investing and retirement planning. David has helped thousands of clients improve their accounting and financial systems, create budgets, and minimize their taxes. Meaning, for every dollar that comes into your company, you keep $0.11 as retained earnings. Both investors and small business owners can benefit from the information contained in these reports.

How To Read A Financial Report: An Extensive Guide

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