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karnataka class 12 commerce Accountancy Tools of financial analysis

karnataka class 12 commerce Accountancy Tools of financial analysis

karnataka class 12 commerce Accountancy Tools of financial analysis

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 Tools of financial analysis

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 Tools of financial analysis

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 Tools of financial analysis

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 Tools of financial analysis

Limitations of Financial Analysis Though financial analysis is quite helpful in determining financial strengths and weaknesses of a firm, it is based on the information available in financial statements. As such, the financial analysis also suffers from various limitations of financial statements. Hence, the analyst must be conscious of the impact of price level changes, window dressing of financial statements, changes in accounting policies of a firm, accounting concepts and conventions, personal judgement, etc. Some other limitations of financial analysis are:

1. Financial analysis does not consider price level changes.

2. Financial analysis may be misleading without the knowledge of the changes in accounting procedure followed by a firm.

3. Financial analysis is just a study of reports of the company.

4. Monetary information alone is considered in financial analysis while non-monetary aspects are ignored.

5. The financial statements are prepared on the basis of accounting concept, as such, it does not reflect the current position.

karnataka class 12 commerce Accountancy Tools of financial analysis

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karnataka class 12 commerce Accountancy Tools of financial analysis

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