Live Support

Accounting Business
Create a Profit & Loss Statement for Small Businesses

How to Create a Profit & Loss Statement for Small Businesses

Are you earning money or losing it? You must manage your money as a small company owner. Understanding the cash inflows and outflows can help you assess the company’s financial situation and identify areas for growth.

But how does it work? The Profit and Loss Statement is a simple solution.

Here, we’ll go through how to make a profit and loss statement (P&L) for small businesses, how to use/read one, and provide an example of a P&L that you can easily follow.

Profit & Loss Statement

The term “profit and loss statement,” sometimes known as “p&ls,” refers to your gross sales less your cost less your fixed costs during a certain time, which might be monthly, quarterly, or yearly.

Profit & Loss Statement example

What is a Profit and Loss Statement?

What is a profit and loss statement

A financial report called an income or profit, and loss statement (P&L) summarises a company’s sales, expenses, and profits or losses for a given period.

Whatever name is given to this financial statement, it provides a snapshot of a company’s earnings and costs for a certain period.

P&L statement importance stems from three main factors:

  1. Keeps you informed of the state of your company’s overall health.
  2. Simplifies tax season.
  3. It helps to sanction a credit line or loan.

P&L statement importance

online bookkeeper

Not sure where to start when it comes to profit and lose statement genration?

Get Expert Advice Now!


Key components of a profit and loss statement for small businesses


Income or revenue refers to your operating income or the money you make from your main lines of business, such as the sale of goods or services. Each P&L statement begins with a breakdown of sales revenue for the specified time.

Cost of goods sold (COGS)

Direct costs, also known as the cost of goods sold, are expenses solely attributable to the creation or marketing of a commodity or service.

These expenses cover direct labor expenditures and the price of the materials needed to make the product. Your direct expenses would include the price of buying the product from your supplier if you don’t make the one that you sell.

Basic COGS Formula = (Beginning Inventory + Purchases) – Ending Inventory = COGS

COGS Example – A website offers high-end kitchen tables for sale to customers. It has five tables worth $1,000 apiece in inventory as of January 1, 2019. Afterward, the website ordered ten more tables from its supplier during the year. Three tables remained unsold in the website’s inventory as of December 31. The cost of goods sold for the company is $12,000.

$5,000 + $10,000 -$3,000 = $12,000 (COGS)


Any expense incurred to run the business is included in the expense section of a profit and loss statement for small businesses.

Additional expenses may be included; however, they will differ greatly depending on the particular firm. Examples include paying taxes, electricity, and employee compensation.

Expenses can be calculated using the following formula:

Total Expenses = Net Revenue – Net Income.

Expenses Example- Equity in a business increases from $200,000 to $800,000. It has a $1,200,000 total reported revenue. To determine the company’s total costs, we must evaluate its net income, as shown below.

Net income = $800,000 – $200,000 = $600,000

Total expenses = $1,000,000 – $ 600,000 = $400,000

Gross Profit

A company’s money after deducting its expenses for manufacturing, distributing, and offering its products or services is known as gross profit. As explained, gross profit is total sales less the cost of products sold for a firm.

Gross Profit Formula: Revenue – Direct Costs = Gross Profit

Gross Profit Example: A company paid a supplier $100 for each of the 100 bicycles the company bought, for a total of $10,000 in direct expenditures. The company made $395 from each sale, which amounted to $39,500 in sales. Your total revenue would be $29,500.

Net Profit or Loss

The net amount equals a company’s profit or loss for the period after determining any taxes owed and deducting them from pre-tax income. This establishes the “bottom line” of the P&L statement and demonstrates if and how lucrative your company is.

Net Income = Total Revenue – Total Expenses.

Example: A candy manufacturing business spent $39,500 creating the candy, leaving a gross profit of $35,500. Operating income for the business was $23,000 after operating costs of $12,500. After deducting interest expenditure of $1,500 and adding interest income of $1,700, the candy company arrived at a net income before taxes of $23,200.

Types of Profit and Loss (P&L) Statements

Different types and formats of profit and loss statements exist. The net revenue amount is constant no matter the kind. However, the format significantly influences the type of information you may learn from the income statement.

Single Step Income Statement

A single-step income statement shows the revenue, costs, and eventual profit or loss that a firm has made. Due to the fact that they do not need to account for gross profit or cost of items sold individually, Small service businesses can adopt the single-step model.

Single Step Income Statement

Multi-Step Income Statement

An income statement with many steps summarises a company’s revenues, costs, and total profit or loss for a certain reporting period. It is a more thorough substitute for the single-step income statement that computes a company’s net income using several equations.

Multi-Step Income Statement

Comparative Income Statement

‘Multiple years’ results are listed in adjacent columns in this style of the income statement. Financial experts appreciate this style, which is frequently used in quarterly and yearly reports.

Comparative Income Statement

Common Size Analysis Income Statement

Each line item is shown as a percentage of a specified statistic, usually revenue, in the Common Size Analysis P&L Statement. This income statement helps compare a company’s performance to similarly situated but larger competitors.

Common Size Analysis Income Statement

You may also read: Understanding the Gross Profit Margin, Definition, Formula and Example

How to read a profit and loss statement

How to read a profit and loss statementStudying a P and L statement may help you identify how your company is changing over time and when it has been most lucrative, even though it might appear like an intimidating pile of figures. Additionally, it can assist you in finding any possible problems with your cash flow.

When evaluating a P&L, bear the following points in mind.

profit and loss statement infographic Look at your bottom line.

The last line of your P&L shows whether your earnings were higher than your spending or vice versa.

Review your sources of income and spending.

It’s a good idea to look more closely at your income sources and costs after knowing whether your firm has generated any profit.

Check your numbers.

To determine if your profit or loss is a pattern or an aberration, it’s critical to compare your P&L statement to earlier intervals.

You may assess your progress toward your objectives by looking at the percentage change in each area.

After you’ve made your comparisons, you’ll be better able to determine what is not working for your company and whether you need to make any adjustments in the future.

Double-check your calculations

Double-check your calculations if you’re using an Excel spreadsheet to create and evaluate your P&L statement to ensure you didn’t forget anything or unintentionally alter a formula.

Manual data entry might occasionally result in errors that have an impact on your revenue. Reviewing your earlier statements might be helpful at this stage as well.

Structure of the Profit and Loss Statement

A month, quarter, or fiscal year is often the time covered by a company’s statement of profit and loss.

The P&L’s principal categories are as follows:

  1. Revenue
  2. Net Income
  3. Cost of Goods
  4. Taxes
  5. Marketing and Advertising
  6. Interest Expense
  7. Technology/Research & Development
  8. Selling, General & Administrative Expenses

How to write a profit and loss statement

How to write a profit and loss statement

The monthly Profit & Loss (P&L) statement is useful to many small business owners. Understand how to read your P&L.

Track Your Income

Revenue is the sum you make from selling goods and providing services. This will represent your overall operational income. Enter and keep track of the numbers as you get paid.

Calculate the cost of sales.

These are not the regular, set costs (such as rent, salary, etc.), but rather the expenses that change according to how much revenue you are generating. The price of products sold may also be used to refer to this.

These varying expenses may include inventory, raw materials for manufacture, and extra employees you hire to handle a busy time.

Calculate Your Gross Profit

To get the gross profit of your activities for that specific period, subtract the cost of sales (those variable operational expenditures) from your total revenue.

Total Up Your Expenses

These are the fixed costs necessary to operate your firm. They don’t significantly change from month to month or fluctuate depending on how many sales you make. Examples include costs for rent, employees, advertising, leasing equipment, and phones. Divide any annual expenditures, such as insurance, by twelve to determine your monthly outlay.

Figure Out Your Operating Income

Subtract your overhead expenses from your gross earnings. Your operating income is the outcome.

Add in more income and/or expenses.

This would be money flowing in or going out that has nothing to do with how the firm is run. These expenditures would be financing charges and interest paid on loans, while revenue would be interest or profits from firm investments.

Your total pre-tax income, often known as your net profit, is the result of adding or deducting these from your operating income.

Net Profit: The Final Figure

This is the most significant overall figure and the major factor used to calculate all the line items mentioned above. This figure will indicate whether you are in black or red after covering your costs.

How often are profit and loss statements calculated?

Profit and loss statements are often created weekly, quarterly, or annually. When asking for a small company loan, companies frequently need to present a history of their profits and losses for several years. The same is true when a firm is looking for investors to sell; interested parties want to examine P&Ls for several years to determine the business’s direction.

No need to create and submit a P&L to the IRS for tax law reasons. But the tax return is the P&L, showing the business’s earnings and annual outlays. However, there are discrepancies between the P&L and the tax return since not all costs are deductible on the return.

How Profit and Loss (P&L) Statements Work?

How Profit and Loss (P&L) Statements Work

A business plan’s most well-known financial statement is often the P&L statement, which breaks down a company’s profit or loss.

Profit and Loss statement for a small business operates as follows:

The top line, which represents the entry for revenue, is the starting point from which the bottom line, which includes operational expenditures, tax charges, interest expenses, cost of products sold, and other costs of running a company, is subtracted. Net income, also known as profit or earnings, is the difference, often known as the bottom line.

Comparing P&L Statements

Comparing income statements from several accounting periods is crucial. This is because trends in sales, spending on research and development (R&D), operational expenses, and net income are more important than the raw figures.

Investors might further assess a firm’s financial health by comparing its P&L statement to another similar-sized company in the same industry. For instance, doing so can show that one firm manages expenditures more effectively and has a higher potential for development than the other.

Example of a Profit and Loss (P&L) Statement

Company XYZ ltd is in the textile business and produces and sells various ready-to-wear items on the market. The firm has a policy of creating a monthly profit and loss statement and then, at the end of the fiscal year, a single profit and loss statement.

While the cost of products sold was only $60,000 in June 2019, the company made $100,000 on clothing sales. Additionally, the company earns $ 9,000 by selling the remaining fabric from creating the outfits and $ 4,000 in interest income.

On the expense side, the business pays $ 5,500 in rent for its space each month, $ 15,000 in compensation for manufacturing workers, $ 7,700 for yearly depreciation, and $ 9,000 for utilities.

Create the company’s profit and loss statement for June 2019, ending on June 31.

Statement of the Profit and Loss Account:

Statement of the Profit and Loss Account

The aforementioned Profit and Loss Statement for the firm XYZ Ltd. is created using the Single-Step Profit and Loss Statement technique, where all costs are recorded in the statement under a single, primary broad category without further subcategorization. It is quick and simple to build because there is no need for additional categorization, which also saves time. As a result, for the month that ended on June 31, 2019, the business produced a net profit of $15,800.


Where can I get profit and loss statement?

The P&L may be found in the yearly financial reports distributed to shareholders by law and issued by all publicly listed corporations.A company’s P&L statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement are all included in annual financial reports. On a company’s website, you may get financial statements.

Is profit and loss the same as income statement?

Yes, because it displays a business’s sales, costs, and profitability over time; profit and loss are also commonly referred to as an income statement.

Does a sole proprietor need a profit and loss statement?

Even if there is no legal necessity that you submit a profit and loss statement to any regulatory body, you should nevertheless think about doing so so that you are fully aware of the financial situation of your small business.

How do you prepare a profit and loss statement for a small business?
  1. Firstly, start by calculating revenue.
  2. Next, compute the cost of products sold.
  3. Subtract the cost of items sold from the revenue to calculate the gross profit.
  4. Determine operational expenditures
  5. To calculate operational profit, subtract operating expenditures from gross profit.
  6. Increase your operational profit by generating new revenue.
  7. Determine interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization.
  8. Finally, remove interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization from EBITDA to arrive at net profit.
Can an accountant do a profit and loss statement?

Yes, an accountant can prepare a profit and loss statement since he understands the major accounting policies. This knowledge not only helps accountants prepare financial statements but also helps management make decisions about amounts and disclosures.

Related Posts:

Top 7 Small Business Tax Saving Tips
What is an income statement? (Definition and Examples)
How to Approach Business Budgeting in the Wavering Times
Top 8 Payroll Tips For Small Business Owners

Meenal Lohani

MeenalMeenal Lohani is a versatile writer and researcher. Her love for knowledge is well represented in her rich work experience, from international publication to digital marketing. She has worked across various knowledge domains ranging from healthcare, technology, SEO, Fintech and e-commerce, to name a few. An avid reader, explorer, and a movie buff, she is never short of imagination and still professional to the core.

By : September 27, 2022
Comments Off on How to Create a Profit & Loss Statement for Small Businesses

Related Posts

Raise your Query

Local Bookkeeping Services In USA

Get the latest updates on accounting and bookkeeping topics

© 2023 Better Books Financials Inc, 3625 SR 419, STE 250, Winter Springs, Florida, 32708, United States

Disclaimer: The Intuit® logo, Intuit®, QuickBooks®, and ProAdvisor are registered logos, trademarks, and brand names of Intuit Inc. eBetterBooks is a Certified QuickBooks® ProAdvisor for certain Intuit® products, as per Intuit®’s terms. eBetterBooks is not affiliated with or endorsed by Intuit or QuickBooks; we are third-party independent service providers for accounting software & accounting services.