Horizontal and Vertical Analysis Accounting Demystified

Horizontal Analysis

Alternatively, you could use it to pinpoint specific areas of the company that are experiencing the most financial change. Based on your analysis, you could then create recommendations for the company to consider to maximize its financial success. For example, if a company starts generating low profits in a particular year, expenses can be analyzed for that year. This makes it easier to spot inefficiencies and specific areas of underperformance. For example, in Safeway Stores’ balance sheets, both sales and the cost of sales increased from 2018 to 2019. Several interesting balance sheet changes are apparent in the tables below. There were rises of more than 12% in all categories of property other than transport equipment.

107 Comments on Horizontal or trend analysis of financial statements 1. Ideally, the horizontal and vertical analysis are combined to paint a comprehensive picture of a company’s financial performance over time. Horizontal analysis represents changes over years or periods, while vertical analysis represents amounts as percentages of a base figure. You can convert this difference to a percentage of the base year by dividing $300,000 by $600,000, which equals 0.5. This represents a 50% increase in total assets from last year to this year. First, run both a comparative income statement and a balance sheet for each of the periods you want to compare.

What Does Horizontal Analysis Mean?

Horizontal analysis is the use of financial information over time to compare specific data between periods to spot trends. This can be useful because it allows you to make comparisons across different sets of numbers.

  • And so we can see that Current Liabilities are 47% of Total Liabilities.
  • In percentage comparison, the increase or decrease in amounts is expressed as a percentage of the amount in the base year.
  • Usually, the purpose of such manipulation is to artificially make the results of this year appear good.
  • The amount and percentage differences for each line are listed in the final two columns, respectively.
  • It is used by a variety of stakeholders, such as credit and equity investors, the government, the public, and decision-makers within the organization.
  • Let us assume that we are provided with the income statement data of ABC Co.

In other words, it is used to value stocks based on the net present value of the future dividends. There are two https://www.bookstime.com/ methods- Dollar Analysis and Percentage Analysis. Let us understand this analysis with the help of the following balance sheet. The following query features a combination of horizontal analysis and vertical recursion.


The investor now needs to make a decision based on their analysis of the figures, as well as a comparison to other similar figures. They would investigate this if they expected at least a 10% increase. Ratios such as asset turnover, inventory turnover, and receivables turnover are also important because they help analysts to fully gauge the performance of a business. Operating and administrative expenses also increased slightly and interest expense increased by over 12%. This resulted in only a slight increase in net income for 2019 over 2018. In this discussion and analysis of operations, Safeway’s management noted that the increase was due to a growing trend toward mortgage financing. By comparing historical financial information you can easily determine your growth and position compared to your competitors.

Horizontal Analysis

Prepare a vertical analysis of the income statement data for SPENCER Corporation in columnar form for both years. First calculate dollar change from the base year and then translate it into percentage change. Therefore, we can say that in 2018 the Illustration Hotel increased its occupancy by 7 percentage points or that occupancy grew by 10.14%. The caveat is that while the percentage point calculation focuses on the difference in the percentage magnitudes , the percent change shows the difference in the underlying measure . For example, growth businesses might exhibit signs of growing sales with initially low-profit margins. As the business matures over time, horizontal analysis helps to illuminate how well the business is maintaining its growth trajectory and whether management is becoming more effective at managing overhead. If you divide $400,000 by $800,000, you get 0.5, which equates to 50%.

ways to analyze an income statement

These ratios make problems related to the growth and profitability of a company evident and clear. Looking at horizontal analysis, you can easily see why it’s also known as trend analysis. It helps you compare the financial position and performance of your business from one period to the next.

Horizontal Analysis

Another example is using total sales as the base value and restating each sales category as a percentage of the base value. Compare the same line items from different statements to determine how the amounts have changed over time, and express the changes as percentages or dollar amounts.

Business is Our Business

Horizontal analysis can be performed by comparing a recent year against the base year while identifying the growth trends between the time periods. The analysis can be performed in any four types of financial statement i.e. income statement, balance sheet, statement of cash flow, and statement of changes in equity. However, income statement and balance sheet are mostly used financial statement to do horizontal analysis . This results in variations since balances for each period are compared sequentially.

What is horizontal and vertical analysis?

Horizontal analysis compares financial information over time by adopting a line by line method. Vertical analysis is focused on conducting comparisons of ratios calculated using financial information.

Reviewing these comparisons allows management and accounting staff at the company to isolate the reasons and take action to fix the problem. Through horizontal analysis of financial statements, you would be able to see two actual data for consecutive years and would be able to compare every item. And based on that, you can forecast the future and understand the trend.

Key Metrics in Horizontal Analysis

Please carry out common size analysis on multiple years i.e 2008,2007,2006, 2005. Hi I just want to know how to calculate the % difference for horizontal analysis. To know about strengths and weaknesses of a company, different combinations of financial ratios are used. This causes difficulties, since it’s hard to compare companies of different sizes. For example, if Company A has $3,000,000 of debt outstanding and Company B has $30,000,000 of debt outstanding, is Company A less risky than Company B? We have no way of knowing, because we don’t know the cash positions of Companies A and B, how profitable Companies A and B are, etc.

The comparability constraint dictates that your statements and documents need to be evaluated against companies similar to yours within the same industry. Horizontal analysis improves and enhances the constraints during financial reporting. However, for the management and inventors to be able to make better-informed decisions an additional vertical analysis technique is necessary. Horizontal, or trend, analysis is used to spot and evaluate trends over a specific period of time. In this GKSR example above, we can identify the YoY growth rate using a horizontal income statement analysis.

Overview: What is horizontal analysis?

The increase in Selling and Administrative expenses by 200% (remember Smith’s marketing and Advertisement campaign) explains this gap of 6%. A decrease in proportionate Cost of Goods Sold also contributed to the increase in net profits. Calculate the percentage of each item as a percentage of sales or total assets but dividing the amount of the selected item with sales/total assets and multiplying it by 100. Finally, this technique involves preparation of Comparative Balance Sheet and Comparative Income Statement so as to highlight the changes in the various assets, liabilities, income and expenditure.

  • Vertical Analysis – compares the relationship between a single item on the Financial Statements to the total transactions within one given period.
  • E.g., If Smith tells his friends that he has increased his ice-cream sales by an amount of $20,000, they may not be much impressed.
  • In horizontal analysis, the items of the present financial year are compared with the base year’s amount, in both absolute and percentage terms.
  • While horizontal analysis is useful in income statements, balance sheets, and retained earnings statements, vertical analysis is useful in the analysis of income tax, sales figures and operating costs.
  • Horizontal analysis compares financial information over time, typically from past quarters or years.
  • Analyzing these statements can provide insights into potential problems and opportunities, and it can also help a company develop financial strategies and prepare for the next quarter or year.
  • Investors can use horizontal analysis to determine the trends in a company’s financial position and performance over time to determine whether they want to invest in that company.

For example, an Assets to Sales ratio is a measure of a firm’s productive use of Assets. Whereas a low percentage rate compared to the average for the industry usually indicates an efficient use of Assets. Likewise, a high percentage rate indicates the need to improve the use of Assets. 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. As an investor, you should be digging into a company’s financial statements.

Whether you do a horizontal analysis quarterly or yearly, it’s worth the time and effort to perform this calculation regularly. Further, operating income and net income have also witnessed higher growth due to a lower increase in SG&A expense and income tax respectively. First, we noted that Colgate has not provided segmental information in the income statement. However, as additional information, Colgate has provided some details of segments on page 87. Step 2 – You can assume future growth rates based on the YoY or QoQ growth rates. Selling ExpensesThe amount of money spent by the sales department on selling a product is referred to as selling expenses. This includes expenses incurred on advertising, distribution and marketing.

  • Ratios such as asset turnover, inventory turnover, and receivables turnover are also important because they help analysts to fully gauge the performance of a business.
  • Financial statement analysis is a method or process involving specific techniques for evaluating risks, performance, financial health, and future prospects of an organization.
  • This can be done by comparing the current period’s performance with that period which will make the current period’s performance look good.
  • As a dollar amount, net income declined by $14,096 ($33,333 to $19,237).

Therefore, the company’s real estate can be expressed as 50% of its total assets, and its other assets add up to the other 50%. To begin your vertical analysis, locate the financial statement that you would like to analyze. Typically, vertical analysis is used on the current year’s statement, but you could also analyze previous years.

Account analysis is a process in which detailed line items in a financial transaction or statement are carefully examined for a given account. An account analysis can help identify trends or give an indication of how an account is performing. Financial statement analysis is the process of analyzing a company’s financial statements for decision-making purposes. Calculate the percentage change by first dividing the dollar change between the comparison year and the base year by the line item value in the base year, then multiplying the quotient by 100.

For example a $1 million increase in sales is much more significant if the prior year’s sales were $2 million than if the prior year’s sales were $20 million. In the first situation, the increase would be 50% that is undoubtedly a significant increase for any firm. Horizontal Analysis In the second situation, the increase would be 5% that is just a reflection of normal progress. Profitability ratios are ratios that demonstrate how profitable a company is. A few popular profitability ratios are the breakeven point and gross profit ratio.

With this analysis, we can see where the money is going and if it’s time to make an investment on a new technology, find an alternative supplier, reallocate cash or make the adjustment to inventory. Horizontal analysis is used by companies to see what has been the factors to drive the company’s financial performance over a number of years (Aizenman & Marion, 2004). (Miller & Goidel, 2009) Like in Nepal as well, the demand/sell of clothes and other appliances is higher during special festivals or occasions compared to other normal days. It allows the company to have a detailed look at each of the line item.

For instance, a large increase in Sales returns and allowances coupled with a decrease in Sales over two years would be cause for concern. If this is the case, you need to address and solve the problem or the company’s reputation and future may be at stake. Vertical Analysis – compares the relationship between a single item on the Financial Statements to the total transactions within one given period.

Then, we calculate the growth rate of each of the line items concerning the previous year. Horizontal analysis is valuable because analysts assess past performance along with the company’s current financial position or growth. Horizontal analysis can also be used to benchmark a company with competitors in the same industry. For example, the vertical analysis of an income statement results in every income statement amount being restated as a percent of net sales. If a company’s net sales were $2 million, they will be presented as 100% ($2 million divided by $2 million). If the cost of goods sold amount is $1 million, it will be presented as 50% ($1 million divided by sales of $2 million).

Liquidity ratios are needed to check if the company is liquid enough to settle its debts and pay back any liabilities. Horizontal analysis makes it easy to detect these changes and compare growth rates and profitability with other companies in the industry. Comparability means that a company’s financial statements can be compared to those of another company in the same industry. Different ratios, such as earnings per share or current ratio, are also compared for different accounting periods.

On the contrary, in vertical analysis, each item of the financial statement is compared with another item of that financial statement. Comparative financial statements reflect the profitability and financial status of the concern for various accounting years in a comparative manner. It should be kept in mind that the data of two or more financial years can be compared only when the accounting principles are the same for the respective years. Also see formula of gross margin ratio method with financial analysis, balance sheet and income statement analysis tutorials for free download on Accounting4Management.com.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.