Understanding a Multi Step Income Statement with Examples

multiple step income statement

This is particularly important because it gives investors, creditors, and management the ability to analyze the financial statement sales and purchasing efficiency. Publicly traded corporations are required by law to prepare financial statements both quarterly and annually. Preparing statements every month can help you track how your profits change over time, which is valuable information to have when making financial decisions about your business, like whether to invest in new equipment. Companies with many different sources of revenue should create a multi-step income statement.

The cost of goods sold is listed separately from the operating costs and is subtracted from the net sales to arrive at the gross profit. With the calculation of operating income, you are able to analyze the operations of the business. In contrast to a multi-step income statement, the Dana Incorporated income statement is single-step mainly. The income statement doesn’t show Gross profit, separate and calculate Total Operating expenses, or calculate Total Operating income.


A very small business like a sole proprietorship is more likely to prepare a single step income statement. Preparing the multi-step income statement is beneficial for medium to big corporations to keep track of their income. As the revenue and expenses are segregated into operating and non-operating accounts, it provides greater insight into the company’s financial performance.

When she’s not writing, Barbara likes to research public companies and play social games including Texas hold ‘em poker, bridge, and Mah Jongg. Each company will have to pay income tax to the government depending on the tier’s of income that they fall into. The sales account is the total amount of sales derived from selling the company’s goods and services. We serve content to help young professionals develop personally, professionally, and financially. As such, this website will cover a variety of topics aimed to help you have a successful life and career. ” These happens once per quarter it is when companies release their financial results.

Step 1: Determine your accounting period

It provides insights that financial statement users need when reading a profit and loss statement prepared using GAAP accounting standards. The selling and administrative expense sections are added together to compute the total operating expenses. This total expense line is subtracted from the gross profit computed in the first section to arrive at the company’s operating income. The gross margin computes the amount of money the company profits from the sales of its merchandise. This is simply the cash flow in from the sales of merchandise and the cash flow out from the purchase of that merchandise. This section not only helps measure the profitability of the core business activities, it also helps measure the health of the business.

multiple step income statement

It might have lost money from its operations but had a huge insurance settlement that pushed a profit to the bottom line. A multiple-step income statement presents two important subtotals before arriving at a company’s net income. For a company that sells goods (merchandise, products) the first subtotal is the amount of gross profit.

What is a multi-step income statement?

For instance, if your business is charged with 10% of tax expense from a total of $60,000 of net income, thus, your business will have to bear $6,000 of tax expense. We subtract the cost of goods sold from the net sales to arrive at the gross profit number. You can also include taxes in this section, or if you’re looking to create EBIT (earnings before income taxes), you can create a separate section for taxes. Being able to see the performance in operating items and non-operating items is a benefit if your operating items performed well. Hence, the potential investors and creditors will gain better clarity of your company’s financial footing, which helps boost your chances of getting funding and bank loans.

The single-step income statement is the simplest income statement format, calculating revenue totals and subtracting expenses to arrive at net income. The third section is the non-operating head, which lists all business incomes and expenses that are not related to the principal activities of the business. An example of a non-operating expense is a lawsuit claim paid by the company as compensation to an aggrieved party after losing in a court case.

Step 6: Calculate operating expenses

If your operating income was a loss of $50 and your non-operating was a positive$100, your net income would still have been a positive $50. However, operating income can show the health of the business and when that item is decreasing or goes negative, it may raise red flags to stakeholders. Although the multi-step income statement comes with greater detail, it is not perfect. With a multi-step, you can see how well the business is performing in its main business activities and how it is performing in its other activities. Someone like a bank would want to see more detail about the business to determine your financial performance and stability. Finally, when arriving at net income, you are able to see what the business’s core activities produced and what the effect of non-core activities had net income.

  • The users will know the profit earned from the primary activities of buying and selling goods and how it differs from the non-operating activities.
  • In comparison to the single step income statement, the multi-step income statement is more complex and computes the net income using a three-step process.
  • The gross margin is then compared to the company’s past gross margins and other comparable entities’ gross margins to determine how efficiently the company is performing.
  • Moving forward, you should be able to compute the company’s Net Income before tax by adding the sum of operating income with non-operating income.
  • Single-step income statements are easier to prepare and require less calculations.

When assessing a business’s financial performance, you’ll need more than just a single-step income statement. Right after computing the total operating income, the other revenues and expenses section is the revenue and expense incurred from non-operating activities. A multiple-step income statement is a better and detailed substitute to the single step bookkeeping spreadsheet income statement that calculates the net income of the business using just a single equation. In comparison to the single step income statement, the multi-step income statement is more complex and computes the net income using a three-step process. The cost of goods sold is separated from the operating expenses and listed in the gross margin section.

Multi-Step Income Statement

This is a key figure for investors, creditors, and internal management because it shows how profitable the company is at selling its goods or making its products. On the other hand, some investors may find single-step income statements to be too thin on information. The absence of gross margin and operating margin data can make it difficult to determine the source of most expenses and can make it harder to project whether a company will sustain profitability.

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