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Difference Between Horizontal And Vertical Analysis With Comparison Chart

January 21, 2022
Bill Kimball

vertical analysis formula

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This analysis makes it easier to compare the financial statements of one company with another and across the companies as one can see the relative proportion of accounts. For best results, perform vertical analysis on a handful of company balance sheets and calculate the average to establish a baseline balance for each account. Compare your company results to the baseline and note any significant differences. In addition to industry baselines, compare your current common-size balance statement with previous years and note significant growth or decline in any accounts. If your company number is within 10% of the expected number, it is typically considered within range. Such a technique also helps in identifying where the company has put the resources.

How is Pb ratio calculated?

You can calculate the price-to-book, or P/B, ratio by dividing a company’s stock price by its book value per share, which is defined as its total assets minus any liabilities.

The same process applied to ABC Company’s balance sheet would likely reveal further insights into how the company is structured and how that structure is changing over time. Learn accounting fundamentals and how to read financial statements with CFI’s free online accounting classes.

How Are Items In Common

In ABC Company’s case, we can clearly see that costs are a big reason profits are declining despite the company’s robust sales growth. What we don’t know, and what we can’t know from the vertical analysis, is why that is happening. The vertical analysis raises these questions, but it cannot give us the answers.

vertical analysis formula

The vertical analysis also shows that in years one and two, the company’s product cost 30% and 29% of sales, respectively, to produce. First, we can see that the company’s marketing expenses increased not just in dollar terms, but also as a percentage of sales. This implies that the new money invested in marketing was not as effective in driving sales growth as in prior years. The following example shows ABC Company’s income statement over a three-year period. Applicant Tracking Choosing the best applicant tracking system is crucial to having a smooth recruitment process that saves you time and money. Appointment Scheduling Taking into consideration things such as user-friendliness and customizability, we’ve rounded up our 10 favorite appointment schedulers, fit for a variety of business needs.

When you compare these percentages to prior year numbers, you can see trends and develop a clearer understanding of the financial direction your company is headed in. If investment in assets is rising but owner’s equity is shrinking, you are either taking too much in owner’s withdrawals or your profitability is dropping. The latter could mean you are not using your assets wisely and need to make operational changes. Such comparisons help identify problems for which you can find the underlying cause and take corrective action. As business owners, we are so busy with the day-to-day operations of running a business that we may forget to take a look at our business as a whole and ignore any company financial statement analysis. In the above table, it can be seen that the gross profit margin, operating income margin, and net income margin of Apple Inc. have remained quite stable during the last three years. Such a stable margin is indicative of the business strength of the company as it requires immaculate management to manage the cost accounts despite various operational challenges.

It would be ineffective to use actual dollar amounts while analyzing entire industries. Common-size percentages solve such a problem and facilitate industry comparison. For example, by showing the various expense line items in the income statement as a percentage of sales, one can see how these are contributing to profit margins and whether profitability is improving over time. It thus becomes easier to compare the profitability of a company with its peers. Vertical analysis makes it much easier to compare the financial statements of one company with another, and across industries.

These types of a financial statement included the vertical analysis in which all item are lined up in a vertical column that called column size financial statement. It is important to understand the concept of horizontal analysis because of the following reasons. Any stark deviation in trend may be an indication of some anomaly in reporting that requires immediate investigation.

Categories Of Financial Ratios

Vertical analysis is the proportional analysis of a financial statement, where each line item on a financial statement is listed as a percentage of another item. This means that every line item on an income statement is stated as a percentage of gross sales, while every line item on a balance sheet is stated as a percentage of total assets. Using percentages to perform these financial analytics and comparisons makes the data you gather more meaningful and easier to understand. Usually, it is the total asset, but one also can use total liabilities for calculating the percentage of all liability line items. Such an analysis helps in evaluating the changes in the working capital and fixed assets over time. Investigating these changes could help an analyst know if the company is shifting to a different business model.

The main difference is that the percentages in a vertical analysis do not represent the percentage of change. Such an analysis also helps in understanding the percentage/share of the individual items, and the structural composition of components, such as assets, liabilities, cost, and expenses. Additionally, it not only helps in spotting spikes but also in determining expenses that are small enough for management not to focus on them.

vertical analysis formula

Dummies helps everyone be more knowledgeable and confident in applying what they know. Vertical analysis is used in order to gain a picture of whether performance metrics are improving or deteriorating. Peggy James is a CPA with over 9 years of experience in accounting and finance, including corporate, nonprofit, vertical analysis and personal finance environments. She most recently worked at Duke University and is the owner of Peggy James, CPA, PLLC, serving small businesses, nonprofits, solopreneurs, freelancers, and individuals. ExpensesOther expenses comprise all the non-operating costs incurred for the supporting business operations.

What Are The Six Components Of Financial Statements?

This change could be driven by higher expenses in the production process, or it could represent lower prices. We can’t know for sure without hearing from the company’s management, but with this vertical analysis we can clearly and quickly see that ABC Company’s cost of goods sold and gross profits are a big issue. First, we should review the income statements as they’re presented in dollar terms. The company’s sales have grown over this time period, but net income is down sharply in year three. Salaries and marketing expenses have risen, which is logical, given the increased sales. However, these expenses don’t, at first glance, appear large enough to account for the decline in net income. For the balance sheet, the total assets of the company will show as 100%, with all the other accounts on both the assets and liabilities sides showing as a percentage of the total assets number.

The restated amounts result in a common-size income statement, since it can be compared to the income statement of a competitor of any size or to the industry’s percentages. This information can be used to revised budgeted funding levels in future periods. You have presented the horizontal analysis of current assets section and statement of retained earnings on horizontal analysis page. But on this page you have not given the vertical analysis of current assets section and the statement of retained earnings. By doing this, we’ll build a new income statement that shows each account as a percentage of the sales for that year.

What Kinds Of Reports Are Used By Accounting Firms?

Ever since then, we’ve been tearing up the trails and immersing ourselves in this wonderful hobby of writing about the differences and comparisons. We’ve learned from on-the-ground experience about these terms specially the product comparisons. Through the use of percentages of Total Sales, you can see that Sale Returns and Allowances is a whopping 20% of Total Sales in 2014. When, only a year ago in 2013, Sale Return and Allowances was only 7%, meaning that there is most likely more instances of defective items.

  • The base amount is usually taken from an aggregated from the same year’s financial statements.
  • The horizontal analysis is conducted by finance professionals within a company or business in order to help evaluate the trend of an item over the past consecutive many years.
  • Similarly, in a balance sheet, every entry is made not in terms of absolute currency but as a percentage of the total assets.
  • The primary aim of horizontal analysis is to compare line items in order to ascertain the changes in trend over time.
  • We earn almost 11 cents of net income before taxes and over 7 cents in net income after taxes on every sales dollar.

ABC Company’s income statement and vertical analysis demonstrate the value of using common-sized financial statements to better understand the composition of a financial statement. It also shows how a vertical analysis can be very effective in understanding key trends over time. Similarly, in a balance sheet, every entry is made not in terms of absolute currency but as a percentage of the total assets. Performing a vertical analysis of a company’s cash flow statement represents every cash outflow or inflow relative to its total cash inflows.

What Are Common Size Financial Statements?

Vertical analysis makes it easier to understand the correlation between single items on a balance sheet and the bottom line, expressed in a percentage. Vertical analysis can become a more potent tool when used in conjunction with horizontal analysis, which considers the finances of a certain period of time. Vertical analysis, horizontal analysis and financial ratios are part of financial statement analysis. If a company’s net sales were $1,000,000 they will be presented as 100% ($1,000,000 divided by $1,000,000). If the cost of goods sold amount is $780,000 it will be presented as 78% ($780,000 divided by sales of $1,000,000). If interest expense is $50,000 it will be presented as 5% ($50,000 divided by $1,000,000).

vertical analysis formula

The EBIT formula is calculated by subtracting cost of goods sold and operating expenses from total revenue. This formula is considered the direct method because it adjusts total revenues for the associated expenses. The indirect method starts with net income and backs out interest expense and taxes.

In this analysis, the total amount of the columns is compared and multiplied by 100 to find results in percentage. When creating a Vertical Analysis of an Income Statement, the amounts of individual items are calculated as a percentage of Total Sales. A Vertical Analysis can be completed on both an Income Statement and a Balance Sheet.


For instance, a net profit margin is simply net income divided by sales, which also happens to be a common-size analysis. The concepts of horizontal and vertical analysis have been primary contributing tools for the expansion of businesses for the past many years. Horizontal analysis allows for a finance professional to analyse all the amounts in a financial statement that have been accumulated over the previous two or more periods since the company have conducted business. It helps show the relative sizes of the accounts present within the financial statement. This can also help compare the companies present within the industry with the company performing the vertical analysis. The horizontal analysis or “trend analysis” takes into account all the amounts in financial statements over many years. The amounts from financial statements will be considered as the percentage of amounts for the base.

The percentages on a common-size balance sheet allow you to compare a small company’s balance sheets to that of a very large company’s balance sheet. A common-size balance sheet can also be compared to the average percentages for the industry. A useful way to analyze these financial statements is by performing both a vertical analysis and a horizontal analysis. This type of analysis allows companies of varying sizes whose dollar amounts are vastly different to be compared.

Many computerized accounting systems automatically calculate common-size percentages on financial statements. Since we use net sales as the base on the income statement, it tells us how every dollar of net sales is spent by the company. For Synotech, Inc., approximately 51 cents of every sales dollar is used by cost of goods sold and 49 cents of every sales dollar is left in gross profit to cover remaining expenses. Of the 49 cents remaining, almost 35 cents is used by operating expenses , 1 cent by other and 2 cents in interest. We earn almost 11 cents of net income before taxes and over 7 cents in net income after taxes on every sales dollar. This is a little easier to understand than the larger numbers showing Synotech earned $762 million dollars. Vertical analysis, also called common-size analysis, takes the Sales and looks at each line items so that you can easily compare the income statements and balance sheets.

The lower portion of the chart shows how each of the company’s products contributed to the company’s total sales for the year. Under the “Total Stockholders’ Equity” line item, ensure there is a line item that reads “Total Liabilities and Stockholders’ Equity”.