Financial Accounting Concepts

What is an Income Statement? Components and Elements

An income statement is a financial statement that shows a company’s revenues and expenses for a specific period of time.

The Income Statement analyses the success of a company’s activities; it provides investors and creditors with the information they need to determine a business’s profitability and creditworthiness.

When total sales surpass total expenses, a business has realised net income. A business incurs a net loss when its overall expenses exceed its total revenues.

A business can acquire resources through its operations. The income statement comprises revenues, expenses, and net income, and it displays the outcomes of a company’s operations for a specific period (e.g., one year, one quarter, and one month).


Revenue is the total amount of money that a company brings in during a given period. It is typically listed at the top of the income statement, followed by the expenses incurred during the same period.

It represents the total amount of sales before any expenses are deducted and is sometimes referred to as gross sales or sales revenue.

Revenue is a source that often results from the sale of products or services and is documented when earned. For instance, the sale of rollerblades by a merchant would be considered revenue.


Expenses are the costs incurred by a firm over a particular period of time in order to generate revenues over the same period. For example, in order to sell a product, a manufacturing company must purchase the necessary raw materials.

Additionally, the same corporation must pay individuals to manufacture and market the goods. Additionally, the corporation must compensate the individuals that operate the business. These are all forms of expenses that a business may incur in the course of routine operations.

A corporation incurs a loss when it incurs an expense outside of its normal activities. Expenses incurred as a result of one-time or incidental transactions constitute losses. For instance, destroying office equipment in a fire would represent a loss.

Assets and Expenses

Both incurring expenses and obtaining assets require the use of financial resources (i.e., cash or debt). So, when is an acquisition considered an asset rather than an expense?

Assets versus expenses

A purchase is considered an asset if it provides the organisation with a future economic advantage, whereas expenses solely pertain to the current period. For instance, the monthly payment given to employees for services they have already rendered would be deemed an expense.

In contrast, the purchase of a piece of manufacturing equipment would be recognised as an asset because it will likely be used to make a product for more than one accounting period.

Net income

The difference between the total revenue and expense amounts for a particular period (such as a month or year), assuming higher revenue is profit.
We will now refer to profit as net income. The following is a key calculation in determining a business’s operating results in dollars:

Revenue – Expenses = Net Income

Net income is found by taking all expenses for a month (or year) and taking all income for that month (or year) away (or year). This is called a nett loss when total expenses for a month (or year) are more than total income for the same time period.

Net income is a number that business people are very interested in because it shows how well a company did over a certain period.

Income Statement and Ratios

There are a number of different income-statement ratios. Still, some of the most important include gross margin, operating margin, net margin, return on assets (ROA), and return on equity (ROE).

Gross margin is a measure of a company’s profitability. It is calculated by taking a company’s gross profit (revenue minus cost of goods sold) and dividing it by its revenue. A higher gross margin indicates a more profitable company.

Operating margin is a measure of a company’s profitability after taking into account its operating expenses. It is calculated by taking a company’s operating income (income from operations minus operating expenses) and dividing it by its revenue. A higher operating margin indicates a more profitable company.

Net margin is a measure of a company’s profitability after taking into account all its expenses, including interest and taxes. It is calculated by taking a company’s net income (income from operations minus all expenses) and dividing it by its revenue. A higher net margin indicates a more profitable company.

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