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Understanding Financial Statements as a Trade Business Owner

Rhino Trade Insurance 04 August 2023

Understanding financial statements is essential for managing the financial well-being of your trade business. Financial statements give important details on the health, cash flow and position of your company's finances. 

This post seeks to give you the information and resources you need to understand and evaluate these common business documents, empowering you to make educated decisions and propel your business forward.

The Importance of Financial Statements

Your company's financial records act as a road map to assist you in evaluating its performance, pinpointing areas for improvement, and making tactical choices with the data you have at hand. By understanding and assessing financial statements, you can assess:

  • Profitability:

An income statement, also referred to as the profit and loss statement, shows revenue, costs, and net income. This information is used to assess profitability. You can use it to evaluate the profitability of your trade business and spot areas where you can cut costs or increase spending. 

  • Liquidity and solvency: 

The balance sheet provides an overview of the assets, liabilities, and shareholders' equity of your business at a certain point in time. You can use it to assess your solvency (ability to satisfy long-term obligations) and liquidity (ability to pay short-term obligations).

  • Monitor your cash flow: 

A report on cash flow gives you information about the money that your business is producing and using. You can better manage working capital, foresee financial shortages or surpluses, and decide on investments with the sound understanding that your business can handle the outlay.

What you find in a Financial Statement 

All trade businesses must become familiar with these elements in order to comprehend financial statements:

  • Income Statement: 

This statement covers all of the income, expenditures, profits, and losses for a given time frame, usually a month, quarter, or year. It gives a snapshot of your trade company's profitability and aids in spotting patterns and problem areas.

  • The balance sheet:

This shows the financial situation of your business at a particular point in time. It consists of obligations (like loans and accounts payable) and shareholders' equity in addition to assets (like cash, inventory, and equipment). The balance sheet displays your company's net worth.

  • Cash Flow Statement: 

This document shows how much money came in and went out over a specific time period. It divides cash flow into three categories: financing activities (acquiring or repaying capital), investing activities (purchasing or selling assets), and operational activities (routine business operations).

  • Shareholders Statement:

If your company has shareholders, the statement of shareholders' equity shows how the equity has changed over time. It covers the issuing and purchasing of shares, dividend payments, and retained profits.

Analysis and Ratios 

Financial ratios assist in analysing financial accounts and determining the success and financial stability of your trade business. Here are some important ratios to think about:

  • Liquidity Ratios: 

The ratios gauge your company's capacity to pay short-term debts. The quick ratio (liquid assets divided by current liabilities) and the current ratio (current assets divided by current liabilities) are frequent examples.

  • Profitability Ratios: 

These ratios evaluate the profitability of your business. These include return on assets (net income divided by total assets), net profit margins (net income divided by revenue), and gross profit margins (gross profit divided by revenue).

  • Efficiency Ratios: 

These ratios calculate how well your business utilises its resources and assets. Examples include the turnover of accounts receivable (net credit sales divided by average accounts receivable) and turnover of stock (cost of goods sold divided by average inventory).

  • Solvency Ratios: 

These ratios assess the long-term financial stability and debt-paying capacity of your business. They consist of the interest coverage ratio (profits before interest and taxes divided by interest expense) and the ratio of debt to equity (total debt divided by shareholders' equity).

Helping your Analysis 

Financial statements analysis can be aided by a variety of techniques. Common tools are:

  • Comparing financial accounts: From different time periods, comparing enables you to spot patterns, trends, and problem areas so that you can act. 
  • Common-size statements: You can assess the relative importance of several financial statement items by presenting them as percentages of a common base (such as revenue or total assets).
  • Horizontal analysis analyses: financial statement items across multiple periods to ascertain the size and direction of change, whereas vertical analysis expresses each line item as a percentage of a base item.
  • Accounting software and financial management solutions can be used to streamline the analysis process, give real-time data, and produce personalised reports.

Why Choose Rhino Trade Insurance?

For trade business owners to effectively understand their company's financial environment and make educated decisions, they must have a solid understanding of financial statements. Of course, having an accountant or bookkeeper is pretty important for this, but you should always try to understand as much as possible about the way your business finances work.

Learning to analyse these statements well can help you spot patterns, foresee problems, and seize chances to boost the long-term success and profitability of your firm.

Rhino Trade Insurance has developed some of the best insurance plans available for tradespeople of all types. Your company will be protected by our policies in a range of situations, such as accidents, legal fees, tool theft, and professional negligence.

Why don't you call us today? They can assist you in quickly setting up whatever you require. Call our team at 0116 243 7904, or make an online quote submission via our easy-to-use online tool.

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