Importance of Financial Statement Analysis

Why are Financial Statements Important for Business?

Akash, a tech entrepreneur, initially overlooked the importance of conducting a thorough financial statement analysis and instead focused solely on his venture's overall strategy and vision. This resulted in missed opportunities and unexpected challenges due to a lack of understanding of his venture’s financial health.

However, it became a turning point for him when he acknowledged this gap in his approach. He understood why financial statements are important and realised that the numbers provided valuable insights into operational efficiencies, profitability, and potential areas for growth. 

In this article, let us understand the importance of financial analysis so that you don't lose out on opportunities like Akash did.

What is financial statement analysis?

Financial analysis involves analysing financial statements, ratios, and other data to make informed decisions. Key indicators include:

  • Growth trends.
  • Profitability compared to industry standards.
  • Liquidity for short-term obligations.
  • Leverage for operations and expansion.
  • Asset management efficiency.

This analysis plays an important in investment decisions by identifying the strengths and weaknesses of a company's financial standing.

Also read: Tax Form 1120 - What It Is? Your Complete Guide.

Objectives of financial statement analysis

  • Examine historical performance: Scrutinise sales patterns, debt-equity ratio, profit margins, cash flow, ROI, and operational costs to inform investment choices. 
  • Evaluate present condition: Assess operational efficiency and income potential. 
  • Anticipate future profitability: Predict earnings and gauge insolvency risk using financial statement analysis. 
  • Assess credit risk: Assist banks and authorities in loan evaluations by assessing creditworthiness. 
  • Mitigate fraud risk: Strengthen fraud detection capabilities.
  • Streamline decision-making: Provide support for well-informed business and investment decisions.
  • Uncover discrepancies: Identify and rectify financial irregularities promptly.

Financial statement analysis methods

Financial statement analysis involves multiple techniques that help understand a company's financial health and performance. In the United States, financial statements are based on generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), which require companies to produce the balance sheet, the income statement, and the cash flow statement. 

Financial statement analysis commonly involves several techniques: horizontal, vertical, fundamental, technical, and ratio. Horizontal analysis compares line item values across multiple years, while vertical analysis examines how line items impact other aspects of the business and its proportions. 

Ratio analysis uses key ratio metrics to calculate statistical relationships. While fundamental analysis evaluates a company's intrinsic value based on earnings and economic conditions, technical analysis relies on statistical trends like moving averages to interpret market behaviours. These methods provide valuable insights into a company's financial health and performance.

Why are financial statements important?

For top management

Assessing important metrics

Examining a company's financial statements can provide valuable insights into its financial health and operations. This allows stakeholders to evaluate its profitability, ability to meet short-term obligations and long-term stability.

Key ratios, including net profit margin, current ratio, and debt-to-equity ratio, offer important information regarding the company's efficiency and overall financial well-being.

Additionally, comparing the company's performance with industry benchmarks and competitors assists in determining its market position and value. Financial analysis helps identify potential risks and make informed decisions about investments, cost-cutting measures, and other strategies to improve financial performance.

Plans, decisions, and management

Financial statement analysis helps management gain insight into how to utilise organisational resources best, assess its financial health, and measure its overall success. It also allows them to evaluate individual performance and the effectiveness of internal controls.

Through the analysis of financial data, management can identify potential risks and opportunities, make well-informed decisions, devise effective strategies, and allocate resources more effectively. Financial statement analysis enables businesses to pinpoint areas where they can categorise expenses, trim them and boost profitability.

Identifying red flags

Through financial statement analysis, potential risks and red flags can be identified. By analysing trends, anomalies, and ratios, readers can spot warning signs of financial distress, such as decreasing profits, high levels of debt, or irregular cash flows. This valuable information can help management make informed decisions to avoid potential pitfalls.

For finance manager

The finance manager evaluates the company's financial statements to gauge how well the management performs and how efficiently the operations are running. This assessment also allows them to scrutinise the company's financial health and identify areas of strength and weakness.

Additionally, they analyse the company's asset holdings and easily ascertain its liabilities and current cash reserves. They also calculate the company's debts. Armed with these insights, the finance manager can make informed decisions for the company.

For trade payables

Why are financial statements important? It helps trade payables to assess a company's ability to meet its short-term and long-term commitments. It also helps in evaluating the company's potential to settle any immediate debts and fulfil other claims from creditors within a short timeframe.

For lenders

Through conducting a company's financial analysis, lenders can assess its creditworthiness, long-term solvency, and potential for survival in the future. This analysis allows lenders to make educated decisions about extending credit, including how much to lend and what terms and conditions to apply.

It also helps determine the company's ability to generate cash flow for interest and principal payments and its likelihood of future success. This information assists lenders in assessing credit risk and making informed decisions about granting loans.

For investors

Investors rely on financial statement analysis to evaluate a company's profit potential, growth prospects, and financial stability. This analysis helps them identify promising companies that can generate favourable returns on investment while avoiding risky investments.

To protect their investments and ensure profitability, investors need access to the company's annual report, which can reveal any potential bankruptcy or failure to meet debt obligations. If such issues arise, investors may take necessary actions to prevent losses, such as assisting the company in paying off its debts.

Studying financial statements can also offer valuable insights into a company's past performance, future potential for growth, and competitive advantages.


Understand the importance of financial statements to drive strategic decisions, from fine-tuning operations to seizing investment opportunities. But wait, there's more! Don't forget about the crucial role of tax planning and compliance in this equation. Taxes can make or break a company's cash flow, bottom line, and overall success. 

That's where Inkle Tax comes in with tools that streamline tax compliance, maximise deductions, and minimise liabilities—all while staying on top of the latest tax laws and regulations. 

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