In this article, we will go through the types and tools of financial analysis useful for organizations, outside parties and many more and useful for commerce and management students.

Financial Analysis is defined as being the process of identifying financial strength and weakness of a business by establishing relationship between the elements of balance sheet and income statement. The information pertaining to the financial statements is of great importance through which interpretation and analysis is made. It is through the process of financial analysis that the key performance indicators, such as, liquidity solvency, profitability as well as the efficiency of operations of a business entity may be ascertained, while short term and long term prospects of a business may be evaluated. Thus, identifying the weakness, the intent is to arrive at recommendations as well as forecasts for the future of a business entity.

Types of financial analysis:

There are various types of Financial analysis. They are briefly mentioned herein:

  • External analysis:The external analysis is done on the basis of published financial statements by those who do not have access to the accounting information, such as, stock holders, banks, creditors, and the general public.
  • Internal Analysis:This type of analysis is done by finance and accounting department. The objective of such analysis is to provide the information to the top management, while assisting in the decision making process.
  • Short term Analysis:It is concerned with the working capital analysis. It involves the analysis of both current assets and current liabilities, so that the cash position (liquidity) may be determined.
  • Horizontal Analysis:The comparative financial statements are an example of horizontal analysis, as it involves analysis of financial statements for a number of years. Horizontal analysis is also regarded as Dynamic Analysis.
  • Vertical Analysis:it is performed when financial ratios are to be calculated for one year only. It is also called as static analysis.

Tools of financial analysis

  1. Comparative Statement or Comparative Financial and Operating Statements.
  2. Common Size Statements.
  3. Trend Ratios or Trend Analysis.
  4. Average Analysis.
  5. Statement of Changes in Working Capital.
  6. Fund Flow Analysis.
  7. Cash Flow Analysis.
  8. Ratio Analysis.
  9. Cost Volume Profit Analysis

A brief explanation of the tools or techniques of financial statement analysis presented below;

1. Comparative Statements

Comparative statements deal with the comparison of different items of the Profit and Loss Account and Balance Sheets of two or more periods. Separate comparative statements are prepared for Profit and Loss Account as Comparative Income Statement and for Balance Sheets.

As a rule, any financial statement can be presented in the form of comparative statement such as comparative balance sheet, comparative profit and loss account, comparative cost of production statement, comparative statement of working capital and the like.

2. Comparative Income Statement

Three important information are obtained from the Comparative Income Statement. They are Gross Profit, Operating Profit and Net Profit. The changes or the improvement in the profitability of the business concern is find out over a period of time. If the changes or improvement is not satisfactory, the management can find out the reasons for it and some corrective action can be taken.

3. Comparative Balance Sheet

The financial condition of the business concern can be find out by preparing comparative balance sheet. The various items of Balance sheet for two different periods are used. The assets are classified as current assets and fixed assets for comparison. Likewise, the liabilities are classified as current liabilities, long term liabilities and shareholders’ net worth. The term shareholders’ net worth includes Equity Share Capital, Preference Share Capital, Reserves and Surplus and the like.

4. Common Size Statements

A vertical presentation of financial information is followed for preparing common-size statements. Besides, the rupee value of financial statement contents are not taken into consideration. But, only percentage is considered for preparing common size statement.

The total assets or total liabilities or sales is taken as 100 and the balance items are compared to the total assets, total liabilities or sales in terms of percentage. Thus, a common size statement shows the relation of each component to the whole. Separate common size statement is prepared for profit and loss account as Common Size Income Statement and for balance sheet as Common Size Balance Sheet.

5. Trend Analysis

The ratios of different items for various periods are find out and then compared under this analysis. The analysis of the ratios over a period of years gives an idea of whether the business concern is trending upward or downward. This analysis is otherwise called as Pyramid Method.

6. Average Analysis

Whenever, the trend ratios are calculated for a business concern, such ratios are compared with industry average. These both trends can be presented on the graph paper also in the shape of curves. This presentation of facts in the shape of pictures makes the analysis and comparison more comprehensive and impressive.

7. Statement of Changes in Working Capital

The extent of increase or decrease of working capital is identified by preparing the statement of changes in working capital. The amount of net working capital is calculated by subtracting the sum of current liabilities from the sum of current assets. It does not detail the reasons for changes in working capital.

8. Fund Flow Analysis

Fund flow analysis deals with detailed sources and application of funds of the business concern for a specific period. It indicates where funds come from and how they are used during the period under review. It highlights the changes in the financial structure of the company.

9. Cash Flow Analysis

Cash flow analysis is based on the movement of cash and bank balances. In other words, the movement of cash instead of movement of working capital would be considered in the cash flow analysis. There are two types of cash flows. They are actual cash flows and notional cash flows.

10. Ratio Analysis

Ratio analysis is an attempt of developing meaningful relationship between individual items (or group of items) in the balance sheet or profit and loss account. Ratio analysis is not only useful to internal parties of business concern but also useful to external parties. Ratio analysis highlights the liquidity, solvency, profitability and capital gearing.

11. Cost Volume Profit Analysis

This analysis discloses the prevailing relationship among sales, cost and profit. The cost is divided into two. They are fixed cost and variable cost. There is a constant relationship between sales and variable cost. Cost analysis enables the management for better profit planning.