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Financial Statement Analysis Tools [Formula & Calculation with Cases Examples]



We can use several tools to evaluate a company, but some of the most valuable are “financial ratios“. Ratios are an analyst’s microscope: they allow us get a better view of the firm’s financial health than just looking at the raw financial statements. Ratios are useful both to internal and external analysts of the firm.

For internal purposes: ratios can be useful in planning for the future, setting goals, and evaluating the performance of managers. External analysts use ratios to decide whether to grant credit, to monitor financial performance, to forecast financial performance, and to decide whether to invest in the company.


Calculating financial ratios is a pointless exercise unless you understand how to use them. One overriding rule of ratio analysis is this: A single ratio provides very little information, and may be misleading. You should never draw conclusions from a single ratio. Instead, several ratios should support any conclusions that you make. With that precaution in mind, there are several ways that ratios can be used to draw important conclusions.

With this “Financial Statement Analysis Tools” post series, I do hope it will aid you a basic knowledge about financial ratio, and able to : describe what financial ratios are and who uses them, define the five major categories of ratios (liquidity, efficiency, leverage, coverage, and profitability), calculate the common ratios for any firm by using income statement and balance sheet data, use financial ratios to assess a firm’s past performance, identify its current problems, and suggest strategies for dealing with these problems, calculate the economic profit of a firm.

We will look at many different ratios, but you should be aware that these are, of necessity, only a sampling of the ratios that might be useful. Furthermore, different analysts may calculate ratios slightly differently, so you will need to know exactly how the ratios are calculated in a given situation. The keys to understanding ratio analysis are experience and an analytical mind.

We will divide our discussion of the ratios into five categories based on the information provided [click on link you want to read further]:

Liquidity Ratios, describe the ability of a firm to meets its current obligations. Consisted of:

  1. The Current Ratio
  2. The Quick Ratio

Efficiency Ratios, describe how well the firm is using its investment in assets to produce sales, consisted of:

  1. Inventory Turnover Ratio
  2. Account Receivable Turnover Ratio
  3. Average Collection Period
  4. Fixed Asset Turnover Ratio
  5. Total Asset Turnover Ratio

Leverage Ratios, reveal the degree to which debt has been used to finance the firm’s asset purchases, consisted of:

  1. The Total Debt Ratio
  2. The Long-Term Debt Ratio
  3. The Long-Term Debt to Total Capitalization Ratio
  4. The Debt to Equity Ratio
  5. The Long-Term Debt to Equity Ratio

Coverage Ratios, are similar to liquidity ratios in that they describe the ability of a firm to pay certain expenses. Consisted of:

  1. The Times Interest Earned Ratio
  2. The Cash Coverage Ratio

Profitability Ratios, provide indications of how profitable a firm has been over a period of time. Consisted of:

  1. The Gross Profit Margin
  2. The Operating Profit Margin
  3. The Net Profit Margin
  4. Return on Total Assets
  5. Return on Equity
  6. Return on Common Equity
  7. The Du Pont Analysis

At the end, we are also going to take a brief conclusion, with:

Analysis of ROYAL BALI CEMERLANG’s Profitability Ratios, so that you can see how to see a financial statement ratio analysis in the whole of a company.

Trend Analysis, which involves the examination of ratios over time.

Company Goals and Debt Covenants and Comparing to Industry Averages

Economic Profit Measures of Performance

Summary of Financial Ratio’s Formulas

To enable us to analyze a financial statement ratio, we for sure need a set of financial statement. And here are “Income Statement” and “Balance Sheet” of Royal Bali Cemerlang for the year 2003 and 2004 as data source we are going to use through this main topic.

The Income Statement

The income statement is a fairly simple document that begins by listing a firm’s revenues (perhaps by sources or in total) followed by all of the firm’s expenses. The result of the income statement is the net income for the period.

Net income represents the accounting profit left over after all expenses have been paid from the revenue for the period, and below is the Royal Bali Cemerlang’s Income Statement for the year of 2003 and 2004:

The Balance Sheet

The balance sheet is usually divided in two sections: the assets section at the top or left side, and the liabilities and owner’s equity section at the bottom or right side. It is important to realize that the balance sheet must balance (thus the name). That is, total assets must equal the sum of total liabilities and total owner’s equity. Each of these sections is usually further divided into subsections.

On the asset side, there are two subsections. The current assets section describes the value of the firm’s short-term assets. Short-term, in this case, is defined as one year or the time it takes for the asset to go through one cash flow cycle (i.e., from purchase to sale to collection). Typical current assets are: cash, accounts receivable, and inventories. Fixed assets are those assets with lives longer than one year. Examples of fixed assets include vehicles, property, buildings, etc.

Like assets, liabilities can be subdivided into two sections. Current liabilities are those liabilities that are expected to be retired within one year. Examples are items such as accounts payable, wages payable, etc. Long-term liabilities are those that will not be paid off within the current year. Generally, long-term liabilities are made up of various types of bonds, bank loans, etc.

Owner’s equity represents the difference between the value of the total assets and liabilities of the firm. This part of the balance sheet is subdivided into contributed capital and retained earnings. Contributed capital Bali Cemerlang is the investment made by the common and preferred stockholders of the firm. Retained earning is the accumulation of the undistributed profits of the firm. And below is the Royal Bali Cemerlang’s Balance Sheet for 2003 and 2004:



  1. toni.afdhol

    Aug 11, 2008 at 7:33 am

    dear pak Putra,

    toolsnya mana Pak ?


  2. Dec 31, 2008 at 4:45 am

    rumusnya pak?

  3. Putra

    Dec 31, 2008 at 8:48 am

    Ciz, anda bisa menemukan formula-nya dengan cara meng-klik masing-masing sub-judul ratio yang anda inginkan. Misalnya: anda ingin tahu mengenai “Liquidity Ratio” (Rumus, contoh perhitungan, dan lain-lain) maka tinggal anda click sub-judul “Liquidity Ratio”. Jika anda perhatikan baik-baik, maka anda akan menemukan link-link dimana anda bisa memperoleh detail dari masing-masing ratio.

    Happy Reading!

  4. opeyemi

    Jan 30, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    i need formulas for calculating financial statements

  5. Feb 1, 2009 at 11:40 am

    Hi Opeyemi,

    I am not quiet clear with the “calculating financial statement” you’re mentioning here. If you need formula for financial analysis [using financial statement: balance sheet & Income Statement], then you can find the formula [ and its explanations] by visiting the links provided on each above main ratios section. They are a post series broken down into several posts [for faster page downloading].

    If you are still experince any problem to find any topic mentioned here. you can always leave quiries through below comment form.


  6. Aug 9, 2009 at 8:43 pm


    If possible try to write a post about discounted cash flow analysis and linking the financial statements together.

    Thanks in advance for the great effort I am seeing here

  7. Aug 10, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    Gidday Wael,

    Thanks for encouraging and proposing. That is absolutely an interesting [yet challanging] topic. Let see if I have the chance to discuss it next time.


  8. Aug 12, 2009 at 7:58 am

    Dear Mr. Putra, right now I’m analyzing a telecommunication industry with Ratio Analysis. My question is, how we can determine the COGS (in Income Statement). Cause I don’t seem find any. Thank you.


  9. Aug 13, 2009 at 11:38 am


    To be clear, Cost of Goods Sold [COGS] is not identically the same with income statement [P&L]. COGS is part of the income statement.
    Basically an Income Statement consisted of:

    – revenues created for a specific period
    – COGS shows costs incurred to generate the revenues
    – Operating expenses incurred to carry on the business [to keep the business on the operation] for the period
    – Profit generated by the business for the period

    Form of COGS is variates from a business to another business. For example: COGS of a telecom business is different compare to a manufacturer. However, basically COGS is an accumulation of every cost related to the making of the goods/services [inventory usage + labor cost [wages] + overhead cost] generated by the business.

    The challenge is to determine each of the three respective elements [inventory usage + labor cost + overhead]:

    Is usage of cables for networking is considered as a cost related to making goods/services [so it is classified as COGS]? It depends: for a telecom business, it is element of the COGS, but for shoe manufacturers, usage of the cable isn’t COGS for they use the cables for operating computers to carry on the admin function which is not related to the making of the goods/services.

    The best way to determine costs/expenses classification [whether a cost to be classified as “COGS“ or “operating expense” is by understanding the business flow. The better you understand the flow, the easier for you to determine, and the more accurate your judgment is.

    Since you are being there as an observer, you have no time to understand the business flow. Consequently, you would need a short cut; ask the business manager [the cost accountant/accounting staffs] in there.

  10. Jun 18, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    can i ask what is some examples of financial reports?
    can you answer me within this time for my research?thanks a lot…

  11. Aug 31, 2010 at 10:18 am

    juz wanna ur help.,.,
    beside we use ratio n dupont analysis.,.,.,
    what other kind of tool that we can use to evaluate the current financial position of the companies..,.,.
    hope u can help me ASAP to finish my research.,.,.,.,
    thank alot.,.,.,

  12. Ernest2

    Feb 4, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    Ogar Putra,

    Thanks for a wonderful website like this. I am delight, finding answer to my challenges about financial analysis tool.

    God bless see u.

  13. Elena Nguyen

    Jan 21, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    Hello Putra,
    I’m reviewing for my CPA exams and the 1st section I’m taking is Financial. I do have the review materials from Gleim and also using your website together help me a lot. I’ve suggested this website to many college colleagues of mine and we all find your web site most supportive. So I just want to say keep up the great support you’re offering and Thank You!


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