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The profit and loss statement
The profit and loss statement or profit and loss account (also referred to as a profit and loss statement (P&L), statement of profit or loss, revenue statement, statement of financial performance, earnings statement, statement of earnings, operating statement, or statement of operations) is one of the financial statements of a company and shows the company’s revenues and expenses during a particular period.
It indicates how the revenues (also known as the “top line”) are transformed into the net income or net profit (the result after all revenues and expenses have been accounted for). The purpose of the income statement is to show managers and investors whether the company made money (profit) or lost money (loss) during the period being reported.
The profit and loss statement represents a period of time (as does the cash flow statement). This contrasts with the balance sheet, which represents a single moment in time.
Charitable organizations that are required to publish financial statements do not produce an income statement. Instead, they produce a similar statement that reflects funding sources compared against program expenses, administrative costs, and other operating commitments. This statement is commonly referred to as the statement of activities. Revenues and expenses are further categorized in the statement of activities by the donor restrictions on the funds received and expended.
The profit and loss statement can be prepared in one of two methods. The Single Step income statement totals revenues and subtracts expenses to find the bottom line. The Multi-Step income statement takes several steps to find the bottom line: starting with the gross profit, then calculating operating expenses. Then when deducted from the gross profit, yields income from operations.
Adding to income from operations is the difference of other revenues and other expenses. When combined with income from operations, this yields income before taxes. The final step is to deduct taxes, which finally produces the net income for the period measured.
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