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karnataka class 12 commerce Accountancy Analysis of Financial Statements

karnataka class 12 commerce Accountancy Analysis of Financial Statements

karnataka class 12 commerce Accountancy Analysis of Financial Statements

Meaning of Analysis of Financial Statements The process of critical evaluation of the financial information contained in the financial statements in order to understand and make decisions regarding the operations of the firm is called ‘Financial Statement Analysis’. It is basically a study of relationship among various financial facts and figures as given in a set of financial statements, and the interpretation thereof to gain an insight into the profitability and operational efficiency of the firm to assess its financial health and future prospects.

The term ‘financial analysis’ includes both ‘analysis and interpretation’. The term analysis means simplification of financial data by methodical classification given in the financial statements. Interpretation means explaining the meaning and significance of the data. These two are complimentary to each other. Analysis is useless without interpretation, and interpretation without analysis is difficult or even impossible.

karnataka class 12 commerce Accountancy Analysis of Financial Statements

Objectives of Analysis of Financial Statements Analysis of financial statements reveals important facts concerning managerial performance and the efficiency of the firm. Broadly speaking, the objectives of the analysis are to apprehend the information contained in financial statements with a view to know the weaknesses and strengths of the firm and to make a forecast about the future prospects of the firm thereby, enabling the analysts to take decisions regarding the operation of, and further investment in the firm. To be more specific, the analysis is undertaken to serve the following purposes (objectives):

• to assess the current profitability and operational efficiency of the firm as a whole as well as its different departments so as to judge the financial health of the firm.

• to ascertain the relative importance of different components of the financial position of the firm.

• to identify the reasons for change in the profitability/financial position of the firm.

• to judge the ability of the firm to repay its debt and assessing the short-term as well as the long-term liquidity position of the firm. Through the analysis of financial statements of various firms, an economist can judge the extent of concentration of economic power and pitfalls in the financial policies pursued. The analysis also provides the basis for many governmental actions relating to licensing, controls, fixing of prices, ceiling on profits, dividend freeze, tax subsidy and other concessions to the corporate sector.

karnataka class 12 commerce Accountancy Analysis of Financial Statements

Significance of Analysis of Financial Statements

Financial analysis is the process of identifying the financial strengths and weaknesses of the firm by properly establishing relationships between the various items of the balance sheet and the statement of profit and loss. Financial analysis can be undertaken by management of the firm, or by parties outside the firm, viz., owners, trade creditors, lenders, investors, labour unions, analysts and others. The nature of analysis will differ depending on the purpose of the analyst. A technique frequently used by an analyst need not necessarily serve the purpose of other analysts because of the difference in the interests of the analysts. Financial analysis is useful and significant to different users in the following ways:

(a) Finance manager: Financial analysis focusses on the facts and relationships related to managerial performance, corporate efficiency, financial strengths and weaknesses and creditworthiness of the company. A finance manager must be well-equipped with the different tools of analysis to make rational decisions for the firm. The tools for analysis help in studying accounting data so as to determine the continuity of the operating policies, investment value of the business, credit ratings and testing the efficiency of operations. The techniques are equally important in the area of financial control, enabling the finance manager to make constant reviews of the actual financial operations of the firm to analyse the causes of major deviations, which may help in corrective action wherever indicated.

karnataka class 12 commerce Accountancy Analysis of Financial Statements

(b) Top management: The importance of financial analysis is not limited to the finance manager alone. It has a broad scope which includes top management in general and other functional managers. Management of the firm would be interested in every aspect of the financial analysis. It is their overall responsibility to see that the resources of the firm are used most efficiently and that the firm’s financial condition is sound. Financial analysis helps the management in measuring the success of the company’s operations, appraising the individual’s performance and evaluating the system of internal control.

(c) Trade payables: Trade payables, through an analysis of financial statements, appraises not only the ability of the company to meet its short-term obligations, but also judges the probability of its continued ability to meet all its financial obligations in future. Trade payables are particularly interested in the firm’s ability to meet their claims over a very short period of time. Their analysis will, therefore, evaluate the firm’s liquidity position.

karnataka class 12 commerce Accountancy Analysis of Financial Statements

(d) Lenders: Suppliers of long-term debt are concerned with the firm’s longterm solvency and survival. They analyse the firm’s profitability over a period of time, its ability to generate cash, to be able to pay interest and repay the principal and the relationship between various sources of funds (capital structure relationships). Long-term lenders analyse the historical financial statements to assess its future solvency and profitability.

(e) Investors: Investors, who have invested their money in the firm’s shares, are interested about the firm’s earnings. As such, they concentrate on the analysis of the firm’s present and future profitability. They are also interested in the firm’s capital structure to ascertain its influences on firm’s earning and risk. They also evaluate the efficiency of the management and determine whether a change is needed or not. However, in some large companies, the shareholders’ interest is limited to decide whether to buy, sell or hold the shares.

(f) Labour unions: Labour unions analyse the financial statements to assess whether it can presently afford a wage increase and whether it can absorb a wage increase through increased productivity or by raising the prices.

(g) Others: The economists, researchers, etc., analyse the financial statements to study the present business and economic conditions. The government agencies need it for price regulations, taxation and other similar purposes.

karnataka class 12 commerce Accountancy Analysis of Financial Statements

Tools of Analysis of Financial Statements

The most commonly used techniques of financial analysis are as follows:

1. Comparative Statements: These are the statements showing the profitability and financial position of a firm for different periods of time in a comparative form to give an idea about the position of two or more periods. It usually applies to the two important financial statements, namely, balance sheet and statement of profit and loss prepared in a comparative form. The financial data will be comparative only when same accounting principles are used in preparing these statements. If this is not the case, the deviation in the use of accounting principles should be mentioned as a footnote. Comparative figures indicate the trend and direction of financial position and operating results. This analysis is also known as ‘horizontal analysis’.

2. Common Size Statements: These are the statements which indicate the relationship of different items of a financial statement with a common item by expressing each item as a percentage of that common item. The percentage thus calculated can be easily compared with the results of corresponding percentages of the previous year or of some other firms, as the numbers are brought to common base. Such statements also allow an analyst to compare the operating and financing characteristics of two companies of different sizes in the same industry. Thus, common size statements are useful, both, in intra-firm comparisons over different years and also in making inter-firm comparisons for the same year or for several years. This analysis is also known as ‘Vertical analysis’.

3. Trend Analysis: It is a technique of studying the operational results and financial position over a series of years. Using the previous years’ data of a business enterprise, trend analysis can be done to observe the percentage changes over time in the selected data. The trend percentage is the percentage relationship, in which each item of different years bear to the same item in the base year. Trend analysis is important because, with its long run view, it may point to basic changes in the nature of the business. By looking at a trend in a particular ratio, one may find whether the ratio is falling, rising or remaining relatively constant. From this observation, a problem is detected or the sign of good or poor management is detected.

karnataka class 12 commerce Accountancy Analysis of Financial Statements

4. Ratio Analysis: It describes the significant relationship which exists between various items of a balance sheet and a statement of profit and loss of a firm. As a technique of financial analysis, accounting ratios measure the comparative significance of the individual items of the income and position statements. It is possible to assess the profitability, solvency and efficiency of an enterprise through the technique of ratio analysis.

5. Cash Flow Analysis: It refers to the analysis of actual movement of cash into and out of an organisation. The flow of cash into the business is called as cash inflow or positive cash flow and the flow of cash out of the firm is called as cash outflow or a negative cash flow. The difference between the inflow and outflow of cash is the net cash flow. Cash flow statement is prepared to project the manner in which the cash has been received and has been utilised during an accounting year as it shows the sources of cash receipts and also the purposes for which payments are made. Thus, it summarises the causes for the changes in cash position of a business enterprise between dates of two balance sheets.

In this chapter, we shall have a brief idea about the first three techniques, viz., comparative statements, common size statements and trend analysis. The ratio analysis and cash flow analysis is covered in detail in Chapters 5 and 6 respectively

karnataka class 12 commerce Accountancy Analysis of Financial Statements

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karnataka class 12 commerce Accountancy Analysis of Financial Statements

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