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What is Financial Statement Analysis? Financial statement analysis is the use of analytical or financial tools to examine and compare financial statements in order to make business decisions. Financial statement analysis helps to highlight the financial performance of the company. It is the process of identifying the financial strength and weakness of a firm by properly establishing the relationship between the items on the Balance Sheet and those on the Profit and Loss Account. So, what we discussing is – Meaning, Process, Definition, Concept of Financial Statement Analysis.

Cost Accounting is explain Meaning, Process, Definition, Concept of Financial Statement Analysis.

In this article, we will discuss the Meaning and Process of Financial Statement Analysis, Definition of Financial Statement Analysis, and Concept of Financial Statement Analysis.

So be it discuss:

It is a general term referring to the process of extracting and studying information in financial statements for use in management decision making, for example, financial statement analysis typically involves the use of ratios, comparison with prior periods and budget, and other such procedures.

The financial appraisal is a scientific evaluation of the profitability and strength of any business concerns. It seeks to spotlight the significant impacts and relationships concerning managerial performance, corporate efficiency, financial strength and weakness and creditworthiness of the company.

Meaning and Process of Financial Statement Analysis and their Interpretation:

Nature and importance of financial statements are explained in the preceding pages. It has been explained that facts disclosed by financial statements are of outstanding significance to the various parties interested in the financial position of a business concern. The financial statements are helpful to the executives to assess the implications of their decisions, evaluate and review their performance and implement corrective action.

In fact, the financial statements render invaluable service to owners, employees, customers, suppliers and the government in their respective fields of interest. The financial statements are useful and meaningful only when they are analyzed and interpreted. The scientific method has to be adapted to analyze and interpret these statements as done in the case of preparation of these statements.

The effort is taken to understand the implications of the statements is called interpretation. Some people call it ‘examination’, ‘criticism’ or ‘analysis’. Therefore, it is meaningful to call it ‘analysis and interpretation’. The purpose of the financial analysis is to diagnose the information contained in financial statements so as to judge the profitability and financial soundness of the firm.

Just like a doctor examines his patient by recording his body temperature, blood pressure, etc. before making his conclusion regarding the illness and before giving his treatment, a financial analyst analysis the financial statements with various tools of analysis before commenting upon the financial health or weaknesses of an enterprise.

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Definition of Financial Statement Analysis:

Wood in his work “Business Accounting” has defined the term interpretation as follows:

“To interpret means to put the meaning of a statement in simple terms for the benefit of a person”.

“Analyzing financial statements,” according to Metcalf and Titard, “is a process of evaluating the relationship between component parts of a financial statement to obtain a better understanding of a firm’s position and performance.”

In the words of Myers,

“Financial statement analysis is largely a study of the relationship among the various financial factors in a business as disclosed by a single set of the statement and a study of the trend of these factors as shown in a series of statements.”

According to Lev,

“Financial Statement Analysis is an information processing system designed to provide data for decision-making models, such as the portfolio selection model, bank lending decision models, and corporate financial management models.”

The analysis may be described as a critical examination of financial transactions effected during a definite period of time.

Kennedy and Muller said,

“Analysis and interpretation of financial statements are an attempt to determine the significance and meaning of the financial statement data so that forecast may be made of the prospects for future earnings, ability to pay interest and debt maturities (both current and long-term) and the probability of a sound dividend policy”.

The balance sheet and profit and loss account are to be interpreted to convey the meaningful message to the layman who is still the typical shareholder in our country.

Interpretation is considered to be the most important function of a management accountant because the management of today needs relevant data and information to conduct its function efficiently. The information is more valuable if it is presented in analytical form than in absolute form.

Management Accountant is expected to analyze and interpret the financial statements to perform his basic duty of “Communication to the management”. Interpretation in its widest sense includes many processes like the arrangement, analysis, establishing a relationship between available facts and finally making conclusions.

The Concept of Financial Statement Analysis:

Financial performance, as a part of financial management, is the main indicator of the success or failure of the companies. Financial performance analysis can be considered as the heart of the financial decisions. Rational evaluation of the performance of the companies is essential to prepare sound financial policies and to attract potential investors. Shareholders are interested in EPS, dividend, net worth and market value per share.

Management is interested in all aspects of financial performance to adopt a good financial management system and for the internal control of the company. The creditors are primarily interested in the liquidity of the company. Government is interested from the regulatory point of view. Besides, other stakeholders such as economists, trade associations, competitors, etc are also interested in the financial performance of the company.

Therefore, all the stakeholders are interested in the performance of the companies but their perspective may be different. The objective of financial statement analysis is a detailed cause and effect study of the profitability and financial position.

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Financial Analysis is the process of determining the significant operating and financial characteristics of a firm from accounting data and financial statement. The goal of such analysis is to determine the efficiency and performance of the firm’s management, as reflected in the financial records and reports.

Financial statements are such records and reports, which contain the data required for performance management. It is therefore important to analyze the financial statements to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the company. 

The financial statements of a business enterprise are intended to provide much of the basic data used for decision making, and in general, evaluation of performance by various groups such as current owners, potential investors, creditors, government agencies, and in some instance, competitors.

Financial statements are the reports in which the accountant summarizes and communicates the basic financial data. The financial statements provide the summary of an account of the company- the Balance Sheet reflecting the assets, liabilities, and capital as of a certain date and the Profit and Loss Account showing the results of operation during a period.

The financial statements are a collection of data organized according to logical and consistent accounting procedures. The function of financial statement is to convey an understanding of some financial aspects of the company. Financial statement analysis involves appraising the financial statement and related footnotes of an entity.

This may be done by accountants, investment analysts, credit analysts, management and other interested parties. Financial statements indicate an appraisal of a company’s previous financial performance and its future potential. The analysis of a financial statement is done to obtain a better insight into a firm’s position and performance.

Analyzing a financial statement is a process of evaluating the relationship between component parts of the financial statement to obtain a better understanding of the firm’s position and performance. The financial analysis is thus the analysis of the financial statements, which is done to evaluate the performance of the company.

Ratio Analysis, Trend Analysis, Comparative Financial Statement Analysis, and Common Size Statement Analysis are the major tools of the financial analysis. Financial statement analysis involves the computation of ratios to evaluate a company’s financial position and results of operation. A ratio is an important tool for financial statement analysis.

The relationship between two accounting figures expressed mathematically is known as the financial ratio. The ratio used as an index of yardstick for evaluating the financial position and performance of the firm. It helps analysts to make a quantitative judgment about the financial position and performance of the firm.

It uses financial reports and data and summarizes the key relationship in order to appraise financial performance. Ratio analysis is such a powerful tool of financial analysis that through it, the economic and financial position of a business unit can be fully x-rayed.

Ratios are just a convenient way to summarize large quantities of financial data and to compare the performance of the firms. Ratios are exceptionally useful tools with which one can judge the financial performance of the firm over a period of time. Performance ratio can provide insight into a bank’s profitability, return on investment, capital adequacy and liquidity. 

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The above theories suggest that financial analysis helps to measure the performance of the companies. Different analysts desire different types of ratios, depending largely on whom the analysts are and why the firm is being evaluated. Short-term creditors are concerned with the firm’s ability to pay its bills promptly. In the short run, the amount of liquid assets determines the ability to pay off current liabilities.

They are interested in liquidity. Long-term creditors hold bonds or debentures; mortgages against the firm are interested in current payment of interest and the eventual repayment of the principal. The company must be sufficiently liquid in the short-term and have adequate profits for the long-term. They examine liquidity and profitability.

Stockholders, in addition to liquidity and profitability, are concerned about the policies of the firm’s stock. Without liquidity, the firm could not pay the cash dividends. Without profits, the firm could not be able to declare dividends. With poor policies, the common stock would trade at a lower price in the market. 

Analysis of the financial statement of a company for one year or for a shorter period would not truly reflect the nature of its operations. For this, it is essential that the analysis reasonably cover a longer period. The analysis made over a longer period is termed as Trend Analysis. Trend Analysis of the ratio indicates the direction of change.

This method involves the calculation of percentage relationship that each item bears to the same item in the base year. Trend percentage discloses the changes in the financial and operating data between specific periods and makes it possible to form an opinion as to whether favorable and unfavorable tendencies are reflected by the data.

Comparative Statement Analysis is another method of measuring the performance of the company. It is used to compare the performance and position of the firm with the average performance of the industry or with other firms, such a comparison will identify areas of weakness which can then be addressed to rectify the situation.

Meaning Process Definition Concept of Financial Statement Analysis
Meaning, Process, Definition, Concept of Financial Statement Analysis. Image credit from #Pixabay.
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