Horizontal Analysis of Financial Statements Definition and Examples

horizontal analysis

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. Let us assume that we are provided with the income statement data of ABC Co. We need to perform a horizontal analysis of the income statement of this company. The example from Safeway Stores shows a comparative balance sheet for 2018 and 2019 following a similar format to the income statement above. Using the comparative income statement above, you can see that your net income changed by $1,500 from 2017; a percentage increase of 5.3%, but what really stands out on the income statement is the 266% increase in depreciation expense. The comparative statement is then used to highlight any increases or decreases over that specific time frame. This enables you to easily spot growth trends as well as any red flags that may need to be addressed.

horizontal analysis

They can even have a complete picture of an operational result by analyzing financial statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement at the same time. With it, the company can assess its profitability and operational efficiency while also looking at what has been driving the company’s performance.

Disadvantages of Horizontal Analysis

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 . Your financial statements, including your balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement provide operational information and provide a clear picture of performance. These documents can also show a company’s emerging successes and potential weaknesses, based on metrics such as inventory turnover, profit margin, and return on equity. The comparative financial statements of Synotech, Inc., will serve as a basis for an example of horizontal analysis and vertical analysis of a balance sheet and a statement of income and retained earnings.

horizontal analysis

This may not be enough of a difference to make a change, but if they notice this deviates from industry standards, they may need to make adjustments, such as reducing the amount of cash on hand to reinvest in the business. The figure below shows the common-size calculations on the comparative income statements and comparative balance sheets for Mistborn Trading. The highlighted part of the figure shows the number used as the base to create the common-sizing. horizontal analysis looks at trends over time on various financial statement line items. For example, a business may compare sales from their current year to sales from the prior year. The trending of items on these financial statements can give a business valuable information on overall performance and specific areas for improvement. It is most valuable to do horizontal analysis for information over multiple periods to see how change is occurring for each line item.

Horizontal Analysis in Reporting Standards

This is because the beginning period will determine how the growth and trajectory appear. By selecting a beginning period with particularly inferior performance, analysts can sometimes create the impression that the business is doing better than it is.

  • Investors have to make the decision whether or not they want to invest or sell their current investment; while management needs to know what moves to make in order to improve the future performance of the company.
  • An alternative format is to simply add as many years as will fit on the page, without showing a variance, so that you can see general changes by account over multiple years.
  • These ratios make problems related to the growth and profitability of a company evident and clear.
  • The horizontal analysis evaluates trends Year over Year or Quarter over Quarter .
  • Dillon Jacobs is a passionate value investor who believes in the fundamental principles of investors like Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger, Ben Graham, Peter Lynch, and many more.

First, we need to take the previous year as the base year and last year as the comparison year. As we see, we can correctly identify the trends and develop relevant areas to target for further analysis. Pick a base year, and compare the dollar and percent change to subsequent years with the base year. Horizontal analysis shows a company’s growth and financial position versus competitors.

Analysis and Interpretation of Financial Statements

Exhibit 134 provides the information needed to analyze Synotech’s comparative statements of income and retained earnings. Such a statement merely combines the income statement and the statement of retained earnings. Columns and in Exhibit 134 show the dollar amounts for the years 2010 and 2009, respectively. Then examine Columns and which show the horizontal analysis that would be performed on the company’s comparative statements of income and retained earnings.

17,0007.4%A https://www.bookstime.com/ of Jonick’s 2018 and 2019 income statements appears above. The first two columns show income statement amounts for two consecutive years.

What is horizontal analysis?

The operation seems to have become more efficient, with all revenues increasing, except for Other Operated Departments, and all departmental expenses on the fall. Undistributed expenses show more mixed results, albeit the total has remained nearly stable. Of course, you will want to take a more detailed look at the revenues of Other Operated Departments, and A&G and P&M expenses, to understand why they show results that differ from the trend. Imagine that you are a prospective investor interested in Synotech, Inc. You have acquired the 2010 Annual Report of the company and want to perform some horizontal and vertical analyses of the financial statements.

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Other liabilities increased by 38%, liquidity increased by 18%, investment, net fixed asset and other assets by 18%, 56% and 15% respectively. Horizontal analysis is the comparison of historical financial information over a series of reporting periods, or of the ratios derived from this financial information. The intent is to see if any numbers are unusually high or low in comparison to the information for bracketing periods, which may then trigger a detailed investigation of the reason for the difference. The following analysis shows that the portion of the cost of sales has increased by over 4% comparing the records of 2017 and 2016.

How Horizontal Analysis Works

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. An absolute comparison involves comparing the amount of the same line of the item to its amounts in the other accounting periods. For example, comparing the accounts receivables of one year to those of the previous year. Let us now look at the horizontal analysis of Colgate’s income statement. First, we have Colgate’s income statement’s YoY growth rates from 2008 until 2015. Then, we calculate the growth rate of each of the line items concerning the previous year.

  • This type of analysis reveals trends in line items such as cost of goods sold.
  • You figured that the engine cost $5,000, you can say that it cost you 10% of the total amount.
  • Horizontal analysis also makes it easier to compare growth rates and profitability among multiple companies in the same industry.
  • For example, if the base year amount of cash is $100, a 10% increase would make the current accounting period’s amount $110, whereas a 10% decrease would be $90.
  • These give the analyst insight into how much the line-item value has changed from the base period to the period being analyzed.
  • Horizontal analysis looks at trends over time on various financial statement line items.

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