What is a profit and loss P&L: Examples for 2023

profit and loss statement

Companies must comply with a set of rules and guidelines known as generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) when they prepare these statements. The cash method, which is also called the cash accounting method, is only used when cash goes in and out of the business. This is a very simple method that only accounts for cash received or paid. A business records transactions as revenue whenever cash is received and as liabilities whenever cash is used to pay any bills or liabilities.

This method is commonly used by smaller companies as well as people who want to manage their personal finances. It begins with an entry for revenue, known as the top line, and subtracts the costs of doing business, including the cost of goods sold, operating expenses, tax expenses, and interest expenses. The difference, known as the bottom line, is net income, also referred to as profit or earnings. You’ll also need an up-to-date P&L statement to apply for a business loan or if you’re looking for funding from investors. Lenders and investors will look at your net income compared with your expenses to make sure your business is financially healthy enough to lend money to or invest in. Non-operating expenses are (hopefully) one-time expenses like legal fees, tax penalties, or interest on a business loan.

Structure of the Profit and Loss Statement

It’s important to compare your P&L statement to previous periods to see if your profit or loss is a trend or an anomaly. Mary Girsch-Bock is the expert on accounting software and payroll software for The Ascent. For a more complete list of accounting software applications, be sure to check out The Ascent’s accounting software reviews.

profit and loss statement

It gives you a financial snapshot of how much money you’re making (or losing) and can make accurate projections about your business’s future. It’s What Is Accounting For Startups And Why Is It Important? important to note that the trial balance is different from the balance sheet. This is an internal report that stays in the accounting department.

Step 8: Subtract interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization expenses from EBITDA to obtain net profit

One of the most common reasons small businesses start producing profit and loss statements is to show banks and investors how profitable their business is. The gross sales line item includes all sales recognized by the business during a reporting period. Following this line is the amount of sales returns and allowances, which are subtractions from the gross sales figure. The result is a net sales figure, which (as the name implies) is the net of gross sales and sales returns and allowances. Adding to income from operations is the difference of other revenues and other expenses. When combined with income from operations, this yields income before taxes.

  • Revenues and expenses for nonprofit organizations are generally tracked in a financial report called the statement of activities.
  • To use this template for multiple periods (e.g., six months or three years), save a copy for each time period.
  • It should look for ways to increase revenue and/or reduce expenses.
  • As noted above, a P&L statement may be prepared in one of two ways.
  • It is one of three financial statements that public companies issue quarterly and annually—the other two are a balance sheet and a cash flow statement.
  • This single-page template is the perfect fit for home businesses looking to gain quick insight into their financial position.

For example, to apply for loans, companies must provide evidence of their financial standing and ability to make consistent payments. You need a profit and loss statement to make the most informed choices for your business strategy. As an honest reflection of how your money works in your business, the statement shows what changes need to happen to increase profit. There are two main categories of accounts for accountants to use when preparing a profit and loss statement. Comparing one company’s P&L statement with another in the same industry that is similar in size can further help investors evaluate the financial well-being of a company.

Example of a P&L Statement

Enter annual revenue, cost of sales, operating expenses, general and administrative costs, and taxes to determine your net income. The template provides annual insight into your P&L, as well as a five-year outlook on your profit and loss trends. A https://turbo-tax.org/top-5-legal-accounting-software-for-modern-law/—also called an income statement or P&L statement—is a financial statement that shows a business’s revenue, expenses, and net income over a specific period of time. It’s usually assessed quarterly and at the end of a business’s accounting year. Gain instant insight into your home business’s actual profits and losses with this straightforward template. Enter your desired reporting period, and then add figures to determine your gross revenue, COGS, and gross profit.

Over time it can show a company’s ability to increase its profit, either by reducing costs and expenses or increasing sales. Companies publish P&L statements annually, at the end of the company’s fiscal year, and may also publish them on a quarterly basis. Accountants, analysts, and investors study a P&L statement carefully, scrutinizing cash flow and debt financing capabilities. A P&L statement summarizes the revenues, costs, and expenses of a company during a specific period. It is one of three financial statements that public companies issue quarterly and annually—the other two are a balance sheet and a cash flow statement.

Profit and loss statement example

List each revenue source as its own line on your profit and loss statement. Then, once you’ve listed each source, total the amount to find your gross revenue. But depending on the business, revenue could also include things like rent money, tax returns, or licensing agreements. Once you’ve put together your profit and loss statement, it’s useful to analyze it. But it also allows you to identify where you can save or reduce spending.

QuickBooks automatically records and organises your financial information, so it’s quick and easy to access and create up-to-date financial statements whenever you need them. The multi-step method will calculate gross profit, operating income, and net income. It groups the cost to make products or services as costs of goods sold (COGS). A profit and loss (P&L) statement is the same as an income statement.


An income statement represents a period of time (as does the cash flow statement). This contrasts with the balance sheet, which represents a single moment in time. It indicates how the revenues (also known as the “top line”) are transformed into the net income or net profit (the result after all revenues and expenses have been accounted for). The purpose of the income statement is to show managers and investors whether the company made money (profit) or lost money (loss) during the period being reported. While business accounting software makes it simple to produce a P&L statement, we recommend that you familiarize yourself with the terminology and process.

profit and loss statement

The income section includes space to show income and to deduct the cost of goods sold. The expenses section includes common categories, such as wages and benefits, insurance, and taxes. To use this template for multiple periods (e.g., six months or three years), save a copy for each time period. With the right financial documents on hand and sheer confidence in your Excel formula skills, creating a simple profit and loss statement is totally doable. Once you have the process down, feel free to pull data for a P&L statement whenever you need to—it’s the best, fastest, and cheapest way to quickly evaluate your small business’s financial health.