For example, financial statements issued for the month of December will contain a balance sheet as of December 31 and an income statement for the month of December. An income statement is used to track profits and losses in business transactions to record revenue and expenses during a given period. Income statements are considered for loans and investment decisions to see if the business is profitable or needs economic help. To recap and summarize, the balance sheet and income statement are both important and different financial statements that can be used together to evaluate the health of a company.

Since it includes assets, liabilities, and investments, a balance sheet can offer an overview of what the business is worth at a specific date. The assets section contains valuable items or resources that are linked to the business. Typically, this section is split into 2 sections with current assets and current liabilities. Certain accounting software can produce an income statement split by area of operation or other ways of splitting the business pie. The simple balance sheet is useful for getting a quick snapshot of company assets and equity versus its debts and financial obligations.

  • It is the relationship between your company’s assets, liabilities, and equity.
  • For example, revenue might be growing, but if expenses rise faster than revenue, the company may eventually incur a loss.
  • As a team, income statements and balance sheets work together to show just how well the company is performing, how much it is worth, and where there are opportunities to improve.
  • A balance sheet and an income statement are different in the main components they measure, the time frames they cover, the analysis they offer, and how they are used.
  • It’s harder to see growth in a balance sheet because not all businesses grow by acquiring more assets.
  • In general, however, the following steps are followed to create a financial model.

Also, the income statement provides valuable information about revenue, sales, and expenses. The five most common types of financial statements are the balance sheet, income statement, statement of cash flow, statement of changes in equity, and statement of financial position. However, the balance sheet and the income statement are often recognized as the most important, as will be discussed below.

Difference between balance sheet and income statement

Clearly, both the balance sheet and the income statement—along with other financial statements, such as the statement of cash flow—can be very useful. However, to know whether you should use a balance sheet vs income statement, it is important to identify the structural differences between the two. Companies use the balance sheet and income statement for different reasons. The balance sheet helps a company determine if it has enough assets to meet its financial goals. On the other hand, the income statements evaluate the performance of a company to find any financial situation that needs adjusting.

Together, these financial statements reveal how well a company or business is performing. The income statement illustrates the profitability of a company under accrual accounting rules. The balance sheet shows a company’s assets, liabilities, and shareholders’ equity at a particular point in time. The cash flow statement shows cash movements from operating, investing, and financing activities. Business owners, investors, creditors, and accountants use the income statement to gauge the company’s financial health. This financial statement can indicate whether a company is making a profit or a loss for the set period.

  • In this article, you will learn all the differences that exist between the balance sheet and income statement, including what makes them so important.
  • Sticking with Tesla Inc., below are the company’s income statements from 2019, 2020, and 2021, showing a net loss followed by a profit.
  • Tracking the movement of money in and out of a business is a necessity and there are a number of tools that can make the process easier.
  • By using all three of a company’s financial statement, you can get a clear picture of how well a company is performing and derive useful metrics to use when analyzing a stock.

Although $12.5 billion in revenue appears impressive, debt servicing costs meant the company took a loss for the year. It’s worth noting that examining the financials of any company works best when comparing over multiple periods and against other companies within the same industry. Each of the three financial statements has an interplay of information. Financial models use the trends in the relationship of information within these statements, as well as the trend between periods in historical data to forecast future performance. To calculate the company’s assets, you add the company’s liabilities and its equity.

Profits and Assets

Investors and analysts keep a close eye on the operating section of the income statement to gauge management’s performance. The income statement, often called the profit and loss statement, shows the revenues, costs, and expenses over a period which is typically a fiscal quarter or a fiscal year. The income statement tells investors whether a company is generating a profit or loss.

The income statement is important because it is used to measure profitability. A healthy company should have healthy profit margins that deliver a strong amount of income relative to company expenses. A cash flow statement tells you about the overall flow of money into and out of a company. The statement is divided into three sections — operations, investing, and financing.

Balance sheets are useful to gain insight into a company’s value and whether it is liquid enough to pay off its debts. They can provide insight into the value of a business and its profitability to help the business forecast and plan for the future, avoid financial distress, and improve operations. Balance sheets measure a company’s liquidity on a given day, referred to as the balance sheet date. For example, a company may use a balance sheet date of Dec. 31 if it is reporting assets, liabilities, and equity at the end of the calendar year. Companies can also use a balance sheet date that reflects the end of the fiscal year.

What are the Three Financial Statements?

They refer to a company’s financial obligations or debts such as taxes, wages, accounts payable, utilities, loans, and others. The difference between liabilities and expenses is that liability factor in future money owed. With a balance sheet in hand, you can find information about how much money the business has spent, and how much debt the company owes. Investors and business owners can use it to compare the current assets to current liabilities to gauge the company’s ability to meet its financial obligations. The balance sheet shows what your business owns (assets), what it owes (liabilities), and what money is left over for the owners (owner’s equity).

Non-operating revenue refers to revenues a company generates from its secondary activities. It refers to the revenue gotten by performing non-core business activities such as system maintenance, installation, and others. Read alone, the income statement doesn’t give the full picture of a business’s health. There’s a net operating loss in the example above, but there’s no place to explain that it was due to a pandemic that closed the store for months. It’s harder to see growth in a balance sheet because not all businesses grow by acquiring more assets.


The asset must at all points be equal to the sum of the company’s liabilities and its equity on the balance sheet. There are several key differences between the balance sheet and income statement, starting with their definition. The non-operating revenue gets reported on the income statement in a different section from the operating revenue. Both the operating revenue and non-operating revenue are reported on the income statement when they are earned, as opposed to when the company receives the cash. Any revenue that a company or business generates outside its core or primary activities of purchasing and selling goods and services falls under non-operating revenue. For example, when a company keeps funds in a savings account and earns interest on it, or when it leases out some of its office space to other businesses.

All-in-one money management

Mathematically, it is portrayed as net sales minus the cost of goods sold. Operating revenue refers to the revenue that a company gains from performing its primary activities. The primary activities of a retailer are purchasing and selling products, while that of a manufacturer is producing and selling products. The balance sheet equation refers to the sum of equity and liabilities which equals assets. On the balance sheet, liabilities get listed in order of their due date, with the earliest due date first before the others. These assets get listed first on the balance sheet before any other classification.

And the balance sheet gives you a snapshot of your assets and liabilities. Therefore, owners and other stakeholders need to understand the effect of international how to calculate sales tax on gross income activities on their company’s financial health. A balance sheet is a financial statement used to understand a company’s assets and equity versus its liabilities.

The balance sheet then displays the ending balance in each major account from period to period. Net income from the income statement flows into the balance sheet as a change in retained earnings (adjusted for payment of dividends). Although the balance sheet and income statement have their differences, they still have things in common. Creditors and investors use them to decide whether they want to be involved financially in a company or not. The formula for calculating EBT is simple, subtract total expenses from total income before tax is paid.