Moreover, the analysis also helps in determining the relative weight of each account, and its share in the revenue generation. Learn all about horizontal and vertical analysis methods in just a few minutes!

For instance, a company with net sales as the base can’t be compared with a company with gross sales as a base. It expresses the expense accounts in terms of percentage, thus eliminating the base effect of the scale of operation. So, it is useful in comparing the performance of companies with different scale of operations.

## Content: Horizontal Vs Vertical Analysis

This technique is one of the easiest methods for analyzing financial statements. However, given its lack of standard benchmark, this method finds limited use in the decision making of most of the companies. The QuickBooks vertical analysis of financial statements does not help to make a firm decision as there is no standard percentage or ratio regarding the change in the components of the income statement or the balance sheet.

Then the common-size percentage formula can be applied to the financial item. The common-size percentage formula is calculated by dividing the analyzed item by the base amount of benchmark and multiplying it by 100. The lower portion of the chart shows how each of the company’s products contributed to the company’s total sales for the year. Let us see the example of a vertical analysis of Colgate’s Income Online Accounting Statement. In the below snapshot, we have divided each income statement line item with Net Sales for the period between 2007 to 2015. Quality analysis is not done by using vertical analysis of financial statements as there is no consistency in the ratio of the elements. Vertical analysis of financial statement provides a comparable percentage which can be used to compare with the previous years.

You have presented the horizontal analysis of current assets section and statement of retained earnings on horizontal analysis page. But on this page you have not given the vertical analysis of current assets section and the statement of retained earnings. First, we should review the income statements as they’re presented in dollar terms. The company’s sales have grown over this time period, but net income is down sharply in year three. Salaries and marketing expenses have risen, which is logical, given the increased sales. However, these expenses don’t, at first glance, appear large enough to account for the decline in net income.

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. 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. In vertical analysis, each item in a financial statement is expressed as a percentage of some base item. When analyzing a balance sheet vertically, all accounts are listed as a percentage of total assets. Vertical analysis, also known as common-size analysis, is particularly useful for comparing information among companies of different sizes.

She has had the pleasure of working with various organizations and garnered expertise in business management, business administration, accounting, finance operations, and digital marketing. 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. By setting a poor performance year as the base year, the comparative performance of other years can be artificially heightened which can mislead stakeholders. 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. Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Sales 100% 100% 100% COGS 30% 29% 40% Gross Profit 70% 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.

Vertical analysis (also known as common-size analysis) is a popular method of financial statement analysis that shows each item on a statement as a percentage of a base figure within the statement. 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. 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.

## Sales

Managers can also perform vertical analysis of a series of balance sheets to see how account balances change over time. 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. Various methods used in the analysis of financial statements include ratio, horizontal and vertical analysis. Financial statement analysis, when used carefully, can produce meaningful insights about a company’s financial information and its prospects for the future. However, the analyst must be aware of certain important considerations about financial statements and the use of these analytical tools.

• The purpose of an income statement is to show a company’s financial performance over a period.
• All income statement amounts are divided by the amount of net sales so that the income statement figures will become percentages of net sales.
• A baseline is established because a financial analysis covering a span of many years may become cumbersome.
• The total used by the analyst on the income statement is net sales revenue, while on the balance sheet it is total assets.

If no problems exist industry-wide, one will observe a shortfall in Sales and rise in the dollar amount of Sales returns. Ratio Analysis – analyzes relationships between line items based on a company’s financial information. Vertical Analysis – compares the vertical analysis accounting relationship between a single item on the Financial Statements to the total transactions within one given period. Most importantly, Financial Analysis points to the financial destination of the business in both the near future and to its long-term trends.

The use of percentages converts a company’s dollar amounts on its financial statements into values that can be compared to other companies whose dollar amounts may be different. Management sets a base amount or benchmark goal to judge the success of the business. The base amount is usually taken from an aggregated from the same year’s financial statements.

Our platform features short, highly produced videos of HBS faculty and guest business experts, interactive graphs and exercises, cold calls to keep you engaged, and opportunities to contribute to a vibrant online community. Such an analysis does not vigilantly follow accounting concepts and conventions. Earnings management and the financial statementanalyst, Hall, S. C., Agrawal, V., & Agrawal, P. .Accounting and Finance Research,2, 105. There has been a decreasing trend in Selling General and administrative expenses from 36.1% in 2007 to 34.1% in the year ending 2015. 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. Accounting AccountEdge Pro AccountEdge Pro has all the accounting features a growing business needs, combining the reliability of a desktop application with the flexibility of a mobile app for those needing on-the-go access.

This information can be used to revised budgeted funding levels in future periods. This change could be driven by higher expenses in the production process, or it could represent lower prices. We can’t know for sure without hearing from the company’s management, but with this vertical analysis we can clearly and quickly see that ABC Company’s cost of goods sold and gross profits are a big issue.

## Company Financial Statement Analysis & Interpretation Of Financial Statements

Under vertical analysis (or common-size analysis), one lists each line item in the financial statement as a percentage of the base figure. Also known as trend analysis, this method is used to analyze financial trends that occur across multiple accounting periods over time—usually by the quarter or year. It’s often used when analyzing the income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement. Unsurprisingly, vertical analysis is often contrasted with horizontal analysis. As we’ve already established, vertical analysis involves working through your finance sheet line-by-line in order to compare your entries to one base figure.

Seeing the horizontal analysis of every item allows you to more easily see the trends. It will be easy to detect that over the years the cost of goods sold has been increasing at a faster pace than the company’s net sales. From the balance sheet’s horizontal analysis you may see that inventory and accounts payable have been growing as a percentage of total assets. Another form of financial statement analysis used in ratio analysis is horizontal analysis or trend analysis. 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.

This approach to financial statement analysis, also known as component percentages, produces common-size financial statements. Common-size balance sheets and income statements can be more easily compared, whether across the years for a single company or across different companies. In addition to comparing dollar amounts, the analyst computes percentage changes from year to year for all financial statement balances, such as cash and inventory. Accounting Periods and Methods Alternatively, in comparing financial statements for a number of years, the analyst may prefer to use a variation of horizontal analysis called trend analysis. Trend analysis involves calculating each year’s financial statement balances as percentages of the first year, also known as the base year. When expressed as percentages, the base year figures are always 100 percent, and percentage changes from the base year can be determined.

Both horizontal and vertical analysis hold their own place in financial statements analysis. While each has its distinct advantages and disadvantages, they are often used together to give a more comprehensive comparative picture to stakeholders. They, together, are key to understanding the financial position of a business entity. Within an income statement, you’ll find all revenue and expense accounts for a set period. Accountants create income statements using trial balances from any two points in time.

## Vertical Analysis Example

Similarly, in a balance sheet, every entry is made not in terms of absolute currency but as a percentage of the total assets. Performing a vertical analysis of a company’s cash flow statement represents every cash outflow or inflow relative to its total cash inflows. ABC Company’s income statement and vertical analysis demonstrate the value of using common-sized financial statements to better understand the composition of a financial statement. It also shows how a vertical analysis can be very effective in understanding key trends over time.

Overall financial performance is usually analyzed with horizontal or ratio comparison tools. There are many roles where it is important to know how to understand and analyze financial documents. For example, accountants, financial advisors, investment bankers, managers and executives all need to know how to analyze important financial documents.

It also compares a company’s performance from one period to another (current year vs. last year). When performing a Vertical Analysis of an Income Statement, Net Sales usually used as the basis for which all other items are compared. Horizontal analysis can be presented as absolute values or on a percentage basis.

## Comparison Table Between Horizontal And Vertical Analysis In Tabular Form

A Vertical Analysis is performed for a specific period such as a month, quarter, year, etc. then it is compared to similar periods such as the first quarter of 2011, the first quarter of 2012, the first quarter of 2013, etc. In addition to helping you determine your company’s current financial health, this understanding can help you predict future opportunities, decide on business strategy, and create meaningful goals for your team. The more periods you have to compare, the more robust your data set will be, and the more useful the insights gathered.

The balance sheet provides you and your co-owners, lenders and management with essential information about your company’s financial position. The income statement and cash flow statement provide you with accounting data over a defined period. But the balance sheet provides you with financial and accounting data at a specific moment. You conduct vertical analysis on a balance sheet to determine trends and identify potential problems. Using percentages to perform these financial analytics and comparisons makes the data you gather more meaningful and easier to understand. Vertical analysis refers to the method of financial analysis where each line item is listed as a percentage of a base figure within the statement.

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. Financial statement analysis is the process of analyzing a company’s financial statements for decision-making purposes. Horizontal analysis is used in financial statement analysis to compare historical data, such as ratios or line items, over a number of accounting periods. The primary aim of horizontal analysis is to keep a track on the behaviour of the individual items of the financial statement over the years. 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. Enter the statement line item and the total base figure into the calculator to calculate the vertical analysis.

In our sample Balance Sheet, we want to determine the percentage or portion a line item is of the entire category. To calculate 2014, we DO NOT go back to the baseline to do the calculations; instead, 2013 becomes the new baseline so that we can see percentage growth from year-to-year. For example, although interest expense from one year to the next may have increased 100 percent, this might not need further investigation; because the dollar amount of increase is only \$1,000. The ability to spot this trend over time empowers you to intervene and be pro-active in solving the problem.

Common Size Analysis Of Income StatementCommon Size Income Statement is a Company’s financial statement that presents every listed line item as a percentage of total revenue or sales. Moreover, it helps analyze the contribution of every item towards the profitability of the Company. In the above vertical analysis example, we can see that the income decreases from 1st year to 2nd year, and the income increases to 18% in the 3rd year. So by using this method, it is easy to understand the net profit as it is easy to compare between the years. In that, we can easily understand that the total expenses gradually increased from 43% to 52%, and the net income got reduced from 1st year to 2nd year. In the 3rd year, the COGS got decreased when compared to the previous years, and the income got increased. It is also useful in comparing a company’s financial statement to the average trends in the industry.