What are Three Major Financial Statements?

Three Major Financial Statements

Financial statements act as a report card for a business. The three major financial statements are prepared as a summary of figures and facts showing the financial condition of a business.

They are not only used to show how a business uses its funds committed by the shareholders and the lenders, but also to see where the business stands in terms of its financial position.

  • Profit & Loss Account or Income Statement
  • Balance Sheet or Statement of Financial Position 
  • Cash Flow Statement or Statement Accounting for Variations in Cash


Profit & Loss Account or Income Statement

After the preparation of a trading account, a profit & loss account is prepared to determine the net profit earned or net loss incurred due to the operations of a business. It is an important final account of a business which shows the summarized view of revenues and expenses for a particular accounting period.

In the horizontal form of a P&L account, Gross profit or Gross loss, whatever is determined from the trading account, is transferred accordingly. The debit side will have all expenses and the credit side – all receipts, both arising out of day-to-day activities.

The difference between the two sides of this account is either net profit or net loss, which is then transferred to the capital account.


(Sample Format of a P&L Account)

Dr. Cr.
To Trading A/C (Gross Loss)By Trading A/C (Gross Profit)
To RentBy Commission Earned
To Depreciation By Bad Debts Recovered 
To Bad Debts By Interest Earned 
To Printing & Stationery By Dividends on Share
To SalariesBy Example Income 1^
To Legal Cost 
To Example Expense 1^By Capital A/C (Net Loss)*  
To Capital A/C (Net Profit)*  

*Either of the two will appear. ^Any head can be used instead of the example.


Balance Sheet or a Statement of Financial Position 

After the preparation of trading and P&L account, a balance sheet is to be prepared. It is a statement that shows a detailed listing of assets, liabilities, and capital demonstrating the financial condition of a company on a given date.

It is not only required to be prepared according to the companies act but also needed to ascertain the financial position of a business.

The liabilities and capital are shown on the left-hand side, whereas the assets are shown on the right-hand side. According to the accounting equation Assets = Capital + Liabilities, the total of the Left-hand side should always be equal to the right-hand side in a balance sheet.


(Sample Format of a  Balance Sheet)

CapitalLand & Building
Reserves & SurplusPlant & Machinery
Outstanding ExpensesFurniture
Trade CreditorsSundry Debtors
Bills PayableB/R
  Misc. Investments


Cash Flow Statement or Statement Accounting for Variations in Cash

A Cash Flow Statement is a financial statement which is mandatory to be prepared according to the law along with the other two financial statements.

Cash flow statement shows the movement of cash and cash equivalents, it is an in-depth inflow and outflow for a given period of time. The statement shows the net cash flow from operating, investment and financing activities.

A cash flow statement depicts the sources and uses of a company’s cash and equivalents, which is very important information for stakeholders.


(Sample Format of a  Cash Flow Statement)

 Cash Flow Statement Indirect Method Amt
 Cash flows from operating activities 
 Net profit before taxation 
 Adjustments for, 
 Investment income 
 Interest expense 
 Foreign Exchange Loss 
 Operating profit before working capital changes 
 Working capital changes: 
 Add Decrease/Less Increase in Sundry Debtors 
 Add Decrease/Less Increase in Inventories 
 Less Decrease/Add Increase in Sundry Creditors 
 Cash flow from operations 
 Interest paid 
 Income taxes paid 
 Cash flow from extraordinary items 
 1. Net cash from operating activities 
 Cash flows from investing activities 
 Purchase of fixed asset 
 Proceeds from sale of equipment 
 Investment income 
 Dividends Received 
 2. Net cash spent in investing activities 
 Cash flows from financing activities 
 Proceeds from issue of share capital 
 Proceeds from long-term borrowings 
 Payment of long-term borrowings 
 Interest & dividends paid 
 3. Net cash used in financing activities 
 Net increase in cash and cash equivalents 1+2+3 
 Add Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of the period 
 Cash and cash equivalents at end of the period 


Short Quiz for Self-Evaluation



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