How to Prepare a Profit and Loss Account

The profit and loss account – or sometimes referred to as the profit and loss statement – is a financial statement that summarises your businesses’ revenues and experiences within a specific window of time. For most small companies, they follow the yearly calendar when reporting these numbers, with some using a fiscal quarter.

Profit and loss accounts are sometimes synonymous with income statements, but they have distinct differences between the two. Profit and loss account is sometimes referred to as an income statement, statement of operations, or an earning statement.

To further understand what a profit and loss account is, you’ll need to be able to appreciate its distinctions to other familiar accounts.

Profit and Loss Account vs Trading Account

The trading account is an account that is used to prepare entities to know the profit earned or loss from trading activities, while the profit and loss account is created to ascertain revenues and losses over a certain period.

The trading account is utilised to determine gross profits, while the profit and loss account is used to ascertain net profit.

Benefits of Recording Profits and Loss

The profit and loss statement is a critical piece of reporting that analyses how well a business is performing.

For small business owners, the report can help measure long term success from year to year. The profit and loss statement lists revenues, and gross profits, including total revenues minus the cost of goods sold.

All other business expenses are then listed and are subtracted from the gross profit. The result is a net profit.

One of the main advantages of using profits and loss statement is that it can help measure overall business health.

A business that is showing a profit at the end of the accounting cycle is doing something right with their profits, mission statement, and brand. Without a clear point of reference, small business will have a hard time orientating themselves and ensure that they stay profitable.

Another advantage of the profit and loss account is that the performance of a company can be compared to other account periods, empowering you to improve your bottom line and improve the health of the business.

Preparing A Profit and Loss Account

Pr??are a table with thre? columns in the softw?r? ?rogr?m ?f ?our ?h????.

The first column is a description of the information you are presenting the second is a list of deductions and the third is a list of additions.

If he used business software made specifically for this purpose, you may simply have to type in data when prompted by the software.

Enter your net sales in the first row of your profit and loss statement.

provide information about your cost of goods sold on the next few lines. You’ll only need this section if your business sells tangible goods.

The cost of goods sold is beginning inventory value minus any inventory use for personal purposes and free, subtracted from the ending inventory value list of all these items on its line

Calculate your gross margin after the cost of goods sold, if applicable.  this is the net sales minus the cost of goods sold.

list of all your regular expenses for the period on the following lines including any employee and overhead costs. Add them all together to get total expenses.

Determine your operating profit on the next row of your table by subtracting total expenses from your gross margin ( arnotts as if you don’t sell products). Add any additional income expenses really to business on the next couple of lines,  if applicable

On the next line, Calculate your net profit before you take income taxes into account, ended up the taxes paid (or estimated) on the line after that.

List your final net profit or loss on the final line of your profit and loss statement.

Reading Your Profit and Loss Account

Cian Murphy

I talk business, technology, fitness, food and ways I've saved money on bills and insurance. Everything written on this blog is from personal experiences. I give no financial advice here. If you need financial advice please speak to someone regulated by the central bank of Ireland. Let me know if something is outdated and I'll ensure to republish.