# What Is The Difference Between Vertical Analysis And Horizontal Analysis?

The lower portion of the chart shows how each of the company’s products contributed to the company’s total sales for the year. A common size income statement is an income statement in which each line item is expressed as a percentage of the value of sales, to make analysis easier. This shows that the amount of cash at the end of 2018 is 141% of the amount it was at the end of 2014. By doing the same analysis for each item on the balance sheet and income statement, one can see how each item has changed in relationship to the other items. Common-size financial statements often incorporate comparative financial statements that include columns comparing each line item to a previously reported period.

Although you use total assets as the basis of vertical analysis of the balance sheet, you can also change the denominator based on where you are on the balance sheet. You use total liabilities to compare all liabilities and total equity to compare all equity accounts. For example, short-term debt is \$50,000 and total liabilities are \$200,000. Comparing these numbers to historical figures can help you spot sudden shifts. Horizontal AnalysisHorizontal analysis interprets the change in financial statements over two or more accounting periods based on the historical data. It denotes the percentage change in the same line item of the next accounting period compared to the value of the baseline accounting period.

## Example Of Vertical Analysis Formula

For example, when a vertical analysis is done on an income statement, it will show the top-line sales number as 100%, and every other account will show as a percentage of the total sales number. Quality analysis is not done by using vertical analysis of financial statements as there is no consistency in the ratio of the elements. For example, by showing the various expense line items in the income statement as a percentage of sales, one can see how these are contributing to profit margins and whether profitability is improving over time. It thus becomes easier to compare the profitability of a company with its peers. Horizontal analysis involves taking the financial statements for a number of years, lining them up in columns, and comparing the changes from year to year. The vertical method is used on a single financial statement, such as an income statement, and involves each item being expressed as a percentage of a significant total.

• Fixed AssetsFixed assets are assets that are held for the long term and are not expected to be converted into cash in a short period of time.
• Liquidity is the ability of the firm to pay off the current liabilities with the current assets it possesses.
• QuickBooks Online is the browser-based version of the popular desktop accounting application.
• By doing the same analysis for each item on the balance sheet and income statement, one can see how each item has changed in relationship to the other items.
• The horizontal method is a comparative, and presents the same company’s financial statements for one or two successive periods in side-by-side columns.
• A ratio can show a relationship between two items on the same financial statement or between two items on different financial statements (e.g.balance sheet and income statement).

The vertical analysis of the balance sheet will result in a common-size balance sheet. The percentages on a common-size balance sheet allow you to compare a small company’s balance sheets to that of a very large company’s balance sheet.

## What Is Vertical Analysis?

For example, accountants, financial advisors, investment bankers, managers and executives all need to know how to analyze important financial documents. Knowing what a vertical analysis is and how to use vertical analysis in the workplace can help you prepare for such roles. It can also help you better understand the meaning of the numbers in financial documents in your personal life. In this article, we discuss what vertical analysis is and how vertical analysis works, with examples.

For instance, if a most recent year amount was three times as large as the base year, the most recent year will be presented as 300. If the previous year’s amount was twice the amount of the base year, it will be presented as 200.

In year one, the cost of goods sold was only 25% of the company’s overall total sales, but in year two the percentage increased to 30%. This means the company needs to reduce its cost of goods sold while trying to increase or maintain its total sales amount to increase its gross and net profits in year three. Financial statement analysis is the process of analyzing a company’s financial statements for decision-making purposes.

Peggy James is a CPA with over 9 years of experience in accounting and finance, including corporate, nonprofit, and personal finance environments. She most recently worked at Duke University and is the owner of Peggy James, CPA, PLLC, serving small businesses, nonprofits, solopreneurs, freelancers, and individuals. It is useful information with horizontal format but please update this article along with vertical format because it’s new corporate trend of presenting accounting statement .. The more periods you have to compare, the more robust your data set will be, and the more useful the insights gathered. QuickBooks Online is the browser-based version of the popular desktop accounting application. It has extensive reporting functions, multi-user plans and an intuitive interface.

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The company’s sales have grown over this time period, but net income is down sharply in year three. Salaries and marketing expenses have risen, which is logical, given the increased sales. However, these expenses don’t, at first glance, appear large enough to account for the decline in net income. Vertical analysis (also known as common-size analysis) is a popular method of financial statement analysis that shows each item on a statement as a percentage of a base figure within the statement. All financial analysis relies on comparing or relating data in a way that enhances the utility or practical value of the information. For example, when analyzing a particular company, it is helpful to know that they had a net income of \$100,000 for the year, but it is even more helpful to know that, in a previous year, they only had \$25,000 in net income.

## Methods Of Analyzing A Financial Statement

Where the income statement can be compared with previous years, and the net income can be compared where it helps to compare and understand the percentage of rising or loss of income percentage. Vertical analysis states financial statements in a comparable common-size format (i.e., percentage form). One of the advantages of common-size analysis is that it can be used for inter-company comparison of enterprises with different sizes because all items are expressed as a percentage of some common number. When you compare these percentages to prior year numbers, you can see trends and develop a clearer understanding of the financial direction your company is headed in. If investment in assets is rising but owner’s equity is shrinking, you are either taking too much in owner’s withdrawals or your profitability is dropping. The latter could mean you are not using your assets wisely and need to make operational changes.

It is a relatively more potent tool than horizontal analysis, which shows the corresponding changes in the finances of a particular unit/ account/department over a certain period of time. Combining this information with other information about the company, such as where they focused their marketing efforts each year, can help you determine the best ways for the company to increase its total sales and profit margins. However, it is important to remember that you can still use vertical analysis to compare a line item’s percentages from one quarter or year to another.

## Example Of Vertical Analysis Of A Balance Sheet

As more information is added, such as the total amount of sales, the number of assets, and the cost of goods sold, the initial information becomes increasingly valuable, and a more complete picture of a company’s financial activity can be derived. The above vertical analysis example shows the net profit of the company where we can see the net profit in both amount and percentage.

### What are the benefits of horizontal and vertical analysis?

Horizontal analysis usually examines many reporting periods, while vertical analysis typically focuses on one reporting period. Horizontal analysis can help you compare a company’s current financial status to its past status, while vertical analysis can help you compare one company’s financial status to another’s.

To compete effectively and strategically, it’s important for businesses of all sizes to make use of the tools at their disposal. Both horizontal and vertical analysis each have a role to play in a company’s financial management, business process management, and overall strategic and competitive planning. By doing this, we’ll build a new income statement that shows each account as a percentage of the sales for that year. As an example, in year one we’ll divide the company’s “Salaries” expense, \$95,000 by its sales for that year, \$400,000.

## Other Uses And Benefits Of A Vertical Analysis

In a vertical analysis, each item is expressed as a percentage of a significant total. This type of analysis is especially helpful in analyzing income statement data. Ratios are expressions of logical relationships between items in the financial statements from a single period.

Account analysis is a process in which detailed line items in a financial transaction or statement are carefully examined for a given account. An account analysis can help identify trends or give an indication of how an account is performing. The vertical analysis of a balance sheet results in every balance sheet amount being restated as a percent of total assets. So, for example, when analyzing an income statement, the first line item, sales, will be established as the base value (100%), and all other account balances below it will be expressed as a percentage of that number.

Such payments like rent, insurance and taxes have no direct connection with the mainstream business activities. Top-down budgeting refers to a budgeting method where senior management prepares a high-level budget for the company. The company’s senior management prepares the budget based on its objectives and then passes it on to department managers for implementation. A company’s management can use the percentages to set goals and threshold limits.

After squaring the differences and adding them up, then dividing by the total number of items, we find that the variance is \$5,633,400. Taking the square root of that, we get the standard deviation, which is \$750,600. This method is particularly useful for both internal analysis to identify areas of growth and external analysis by investors or lenders who want to see demonstrable growth before committing their resources to your business. In ABC Company’s case, we can clearly see that costs are a big reason profits are declining despite the company’s robust sales growth. What we don’t know, and what we can’t know from the vertical analysis, is why that is happening. The vertical analysis raises these questions, but it cannot give us the answers.