Financial analysis (also referred to as financial statement analysis or accounting analysis or Analysis of finance) refers to an assessment of the viability, stability and profitability of a business, sub-business or project. It is performed by professionals who prepare reports using ratios that make use of information taken from financial statements and other reports. These reports are usually presented to top management as one of their bases in making business decisions.
Financial Analysis Tools : Financial analysis tools are one of the most efficient ways that can be used for ensuring good profit from your investments. These financial analysis tools are highly helpful in evaluating the market and investing in a way so as to maximize the profit from the investments made. These financial analysis tools are useful for deciphering both internal and external information related to a specific business organization.
Important financial analysis tools include ratio analysis, trend analysis, comparative financial statement analysis or horizontal analysis, and common size statement analysis or vertical analysis. ‘Comparative Statement’ : It is a statement which compares financial data from different periods of time. The comparative statement lines up a section of the income statement, balance sheet or cash flow statement with its corresponding section from a previous period. It can also be used to compare financial data from different companies over time, thus revealing the trend in the financials.
12 Common Size Financial Statement’ : It is a company financial statement that displays all items as percentages of a common base figure. This type of financial statement allows for easy analysis between companies or between time periods of a company. Cash flow statement : In financial accounting, a cash flow statement, also known as statement of cash flows, is a financial statement that shows how changes in balance sheet accounts and income affect cash and cash equivalents, and breaks the analysis down to operating, investing, and financing activities.
Essentially, the cash flow statement is concerned with the flow of cash in and out of the business. The statement captures both the current operating results and the accompanying changes in the balance sheet. As an analytical tool, the statement of cash flows is useful in determining the short-term viability of a company, particularly its ability to pay bills. International Accounting Standard 7 (IAS 7) is the International Accounting Standard that deals with cash flow statements.
The cash flow statement is partitioned into three segments, namely: 1) cash flow resulting from operating activities; 2) cash flow resulting from investing activities; and 3) cash flow resulting from financing activities. Ratios Analysis: A tool used by individuals to conduct a quantitative analysis of information in a company’s financial statements. Ratios are calculated from current year numbers and are then compared to previous years, other companies, the industry, or even the economy to judge the performance of the company. Ratio analysis is predominately used by proponents of fundamental analysis.