Multi-Step Income Statement Overview, Components, Pros

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Gross profit is used by creditors to show the company’s ability to meet arising debt obligations and to pay back outstanding credit. Users can gain insights into how a company’s primary business activities generate revenue and affect costs compared to the performance of the non-primary business activities. A multi-step income statement is an alternative to the single-step income statement. Learn the advantages of each form also find the rights report for to business.

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When she’s not writing, Barbara likes to research public companies and play social games including Texas hold ‘em poker, bridge, and Mah Jongg. Hence, the potential investors and creditors will gain better clarity of your company’s financial footing, which helps boost your chances of getting funding and bank loans. In any business, customers can return the goods as the product might be broken, faulty, or may malfunction. Such transactions are what you observe under Sales Return and Allowances account. Users may want to know how is the current margin against the previous period and industry averages. PwC refers to the US member firm or one of its subsidiaries or affiliates, and may sometimes refer to the PwC network.

What is a multi-step income statement?

This metric is important for business owners that need more detailed information on both business profitability and financial performance. A multi-step income statement is ideal for large, complex businesses that use a long list of incomes and expenses. AMPERE very small business like one sole proprietorship is further likely to prepare a single step income statement. Many small company and greater companies prepare multi-step income statements. Many non-operating gains or losses are non-recurring, which leaves room for accounting manipulation. A company may record a high non-operating income to hide its poor performance on core operations.

operating expenses

The header of your multi-step income statement conveys important information to readers. It states the name of your company, it identifies the document as an income statement and it defines the reporting period covered by the document. In the final step, the net income is calculated by computing all the non-operating expenses and gains. These expenses or incomes are not related to the company’s normal business activity.

What is the first step to preparing a multi-step income statement?

However, the chart of accounts example might generate some income from interest income that it deposits in the banks. The income statement for a merchandiser is expanded to include groupings and subheadings necessary to make it easier for investors to read and understand. We will look at the income statement only as the other statements have been discussed previously. This gives more insight into how effectively the business is generating a profit from its main activities.

The gains or losses arising out of these items are disclosed separately in the financial statement of the company. The sales account is the total amount of sales derived from selling the company’s goods and services. Other items that normally include the other income include the income that the entity generates from sales of fixed assets or other one-off income-generating activities.

How to Prep a Multi Step Income Statement: Example, Pros & Summary

Below is a video explanation of how the statement works, the various items that make it up, and why it matters so much to investors and company management teams. There are situations where intuition must be exercised to determine the proper driver or assumption to use. Instead, an analyst may have to rely on examining the past trend of COGS to determine assumptions for forecasting COGS into the future. Depreciation and amortization are non-cash expenses that are created by accountants to spread out the cost of capital assets such as Property, Plant, and Equipment (PP&E). An example of a multi-colored step income statement are Arrow Electronics, Inc.’s Solid Statements by Operator for the calendar yearning terminated December 31, 2021, 2020, both 2019.

The format of the multi-step income statement contains Non-Operating Head as the third section. The non-operating and the other head list all kinds of business incomes and expenses unrelated to a business’s principal activities. For instance, a retailer is not into the insurance business, and a car hits their store. The insurance company paid an amount out of the settlement so that proceeds received from the insurance company will not be considered in total sales; rather, it will be a non-operating income.

These might include the cost of goods for resale, property rental, and the price of consumables like printer ink and stamps. When it comes to financial statements, each communicates specific information and is needed in different contexts to understand a company’s financial health. This sample multi-step income statement from Accounting Coach shows the layout of a multi-step income statement with the separation between operating and non-operating activities. It is an important figure for the creditors, investors, and internal management as it depicts how profitable a company is at selling the goods or making the products.

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It helps the user understand the performance of the primary business activities of the company in comparison to the non-primary activities of the business. Preparing the multi-step income statement is beneficial for medium to big corporations to keep track of their income. As the revenue and expenses are segregated into operating and non-operating accounts, it provides greater insight into the company’s financial performance. As you can see in the example below, in the multiple-step income statement, sales revenues are deducted by the cost of goods sold to get gross profit. The multiple-step income statement is the template that use to prepare an income statement by recording the operating income and operating expenses separately from non-operating income and non-operating expenses. Income statement reports show financial performance based on revenues, expenses, and net income.


Single-step income statements report the revenue, expenses, and profit of a business during a specific period. Single-step income statements can be used to get a simple view of your business’s net income. These take minimal time to prepare and do not show operating vs. non-operating costs. Another measurement available from the multi-step income statement is operating income. Like gross profit, operating income provides business owners with more detailed information on company profitability rather than focusing solely on net income. One of the biggest differences between a single-step income statement and a multi-step income statement is the ability to calculate gross profit.

Calculate Interest and Taxes

This calculation is useful for business owners and investors as it shows the net profitability of a business, and how efficient a company is at generating net income. After calculating income for the reporting period, determine interest and tax charges. To calculate the gross profit, subtract the cost of goods sold from the net sales. Add the final number as a line item under the cost of goods sold and title it Gross Profit. Once all the items of Non-operating head are totaled, the net income for the period is computed by deducting or adding the total of the non-operating head from or to the income from operations. Any Extraordinary ItemsExtraordinary Items refer to those events which are considered to be unusual by the company as they are infrequent in nature.

No headers The multi-step income statement is used to report revenue and expense activities for a merchandising business. It is an expanded, more detailed version of the single-step income statement. While single-step income statements are the simplest and most commonly used for small businesses, multi-step income statements are great for small businesses with several income streams. When deciding how you’d like to report your net income, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of both the single-step and multi-step income statements.

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Selling expenses are expenses a company incurs in selling and marketing efforts. Administrative expenses are expenses a company incurs in the overall management of a business. Examples include administrative salaries, rent and utilities on an administrative building, insurance expense, administrative supplies used, and depreciation on office equipment. In many cases, single-step income statements are sufficient for small businesses.

  • We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers.
  • Income statements, also called profit and loss statements, are one of the major financial statements prepared by businesses.
  • To understand a detailed multi step income statement for corporate accounting, consider its formulas on income statement sections.

Generally, businesses that use multi-step income statements are large, complex companies. Most small businesses and sole proprietorships can get by with just a single-step income statement, since their operations and accounting tend to be straightforward. The non-operating and other section lists all business revenues and expenses that don’t relate to the business’ principle activities. For example, our retailer isn’t in the business of receiving insurance proceeds. If a tree hit the building and the insurance company paid out a small settlement, the income would not be reported with total sales. It would be reported in the non-operating and other section because it doesn’t have anything to do with sales.


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