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Multi-Step Income Statement Accounting Explained

single step vs multi step income statement

The small businesses that do not have complex business operations can prepare single-step income statements because it is a time-savvy process. Unlike single-step financial gain or loss statements, a multiple-step financial statement offers elaborate data regarding the margin and operative profit of an organization. Operative sections of the report typically involved revenues and expenses.

  • This gives you how much operating income your business can generate while managing fixed operating costs.
  • In layman’s terms, you earned a sale, the customer received something of value, and there is a receipt to prove that it was done correctly.
  • The multi-step income statement shows important relationships that help in analyzing how well the company is performing.
  • Single-step statements are simpler to create and provide a quick overview of your financial performance.

This total expense line is subtracted from the gross profit computed in the first section to arrive at the company’s operating income. An income statement is an essential financial document that reports a business’s profits, revenue, and expenses over a period of time. These income statements are helpful for assessing the health and growth of a company and are normally reported with other metrics such as a company’s balance sheet and cash flow statement. The multi-step income statement categorizes operating and non-operating incomes and expenses. The users will know the profit earned from the primary activities of buying and selling goods and how it differs from the non-operating activities. Both a single step and multi step income statement have advantages for reporting.


Although Bob and his donut shop are still a small business and would not have otherwise been required to create a multi-step statement, he wants to take out a bank loan of $25,000. The bank has requested that Bob must present the income statement in a multi-step format to get a better picture of his business. Often smaller companies will choose to use a single-step income statement due to its ease and simplicity. The selling expenses are the costs that a company incurs for selling its product or services to the customer. These include freight charges, sales personnel salaries, marketing expenses, etc. that are directly attributable to the sale.

The income statement includes revenue, other income, COGS, Operating Expense, and non-operating expenses. There are a few subtotals that contain the gross profit, operating margin, EBIT, and Net Income. For a single-step income statement, all-expense are combined, there is only one subtotal which is the net income. Single-step income statements compute net income with a single equation making them easier to use, and yet they still allow a business to see its profits or losses.

Single-step Vs Multi-step Income Statement

Secondly, multi-step income statements require a lot of time and energy to prepare. As such, a business must have a professional accountant on its payroll to prepare such a statement. law firm bookkeeping The other option is to hire an accountancy firm, which is an expensive affair. All businesses are required to prepare financial statements for either internal or external use.

  • Some basic differences between single-step vs. multi-step income statement are mentioned below with definitions and examples.
  • In this section, you are finding your operating income after essential expenses.
  • Notice that net income is the bottom line but it includes a provision for income taxes and also interest expense.
  • Then, any expenses and losses are added up and are subtracted from the revenue/gains, to calculate the net income.
  • Nonoperating revenues and expenses appear at the bottom of the income statement because they are less significant in assessing the profitability of the business.

The straightforward nature of the income statement enables the user to catch a glimpse of what the businesses’ finances are in a given accounting period. Shareholders of a company find the single-step income statement quite useful because their major focus is the bottom line (net income). They rarely need to know the details of expenses because, eventually, any anomaly will reflect in the bottom line.

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