0 Comments March 6, 2023

Multi-Step Income Statement Formula + Calculator

single step vs multi step income statement

In short, a single-step income statement provides small businesses with the basic data that internal stakeholders may need to evaluate general business health. Multiple-step income statements On the other hand, a multiple-step income statement offers a more in-depth look at a company’s performance. Simpler business https://www.bookstime.com/ structures, such as sole proprietorships and partnerships, have the option of using either the single-step or the multi-step format. Small businesses and companies in the service industry prefer the single-step income statement. Complicating procedures with just a few revenue streams isn’t conducive in accounting.

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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. Simpler companies that are only concerned with their net income can use the single step method when preparing their income statements.

What’s a Multi-Step Income Statement?

Belle Wong, is a freelance writer specializing in small business, personal finance, banking, and tech/SAAS. Ask a question about your financial situation providing as much detail as possible. Our writing and editorial staff are a team of experts holding advanced financial designations and have written for most major financial media publications. Our work has been directly cited by organizations including Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Investopedia, Forbes, CNBC, and many others. Our goal is to deliver the most understandable and comprehensive explanations of financial topics using simple writing complemented by helpful graphics and animation videos.

The single-step income statement offers a straightforward accounting of the financial activity of your business. The difference between single-step vs. multi-step income statements will be the application of additional formulas resulting in additional steps. A multi-step income statement evaluates how a company earns a profit from its initial business activities. An income statement is an accounting document a company prepares to describe its business activities and updates over a given time. The single-step income statement is best for businesses that don’t have a lot of expenses and just want to keep track of how much revenue they’re bringing in. A single-step income statement is fairly straightforward and easy to complete, but there are some calculations that need to be finished before you can get the final number of your profit or loss.

What is a multi-step income statement?

LegalZoom provides access to independent attorneys and self-service tools. Use of our products and services is governed by our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Income statement accounts are set apart from other balance sheet accounts because they are nominal or temporary accounts. Balance sheet accounts are permanent because they are continuously being updated from year to year, like a running till. The Ascent is a Motley Fool service that rates and reviews essential products for your everyday money matters. Volatility profiles based on trailing-three-year calculations of the standard deviation of service investment returns.

A multi-step income statement includes much of the information found in a single-step format, but it makes use of multiple equations to determine the profit, or net income, of a business. Multi-step income statements break down operating expenses and operating revenues versus non-operating expenses and revenues. This process separates expenses and revenues directly related to the business’s operations from those not directly related to its operations. A single-step income statement offers a simple report of a business’s profit, using a single equation to calculate net income. A multi-step income statement, on the other hand, separates operational revenues and expenses from non-operational ones and follows a three-step process to calculate net income. Income statements, also called profit and loss statements, are one of the major financial statements prepared by businesses.

(A single-step or a multi-step income statement)

Skynova’s business templates can help you send, manage, and track invoices. Whether you opt for a multi-step or single-step income statement, you need granular data regarding income and expenses to draft this documentation. Skynova’s accounting software can help you track your financial data and be used to automatically generate financial reports, including income statements. This more specific breakdown allows for a more in-depth analysis of a business’s earnings, with a detailed comparative breakdown of gross, operating, and net profit margins.

Sales revenue comes from selling products or services, and interest income comes from investment activity. A multi-step income statement also focuses on revenue, expenses, and the profit or loss of a business. Still, it uses multiple equations to calculate the net income or yield of the company. The non-operating expenses section tallies accounts that are not related to day-to-day business. Operating income from the previous section is then added to non-operating items.


The single-step income statement is not commonly used, but it can be helpful when your business is just getting started and you’re not sure about how to complete an income statement. The single-step income statement is the easiest income statement format to prepare, focusing mainly on net income. The net income metric is inclusive of all costs – operating and non-operating costs – in contrast to the operating profit metric, which only accounts for operating costs (i.e. COGS and Opex).

single step vs multi step income statement

Also known as a profit and loss statement, the income statement provides an overview of revenues and expenses incurred during a specific period of time. Even though there is no reporting requirement, small businesses can also benefit their bottom line through financial reporting. The income statement is used to make business decisions and also to provide information to investors. It utilizes GAAP standards to track financial performance through gross margin, operating income and net income. A multi-step income statement breaks down expenses further than a single step by 3 formula steps.

Here’s the difference between the two main types of income statements companies use.

Single-step income statements are simple to prepare and display net income as the focus metric. It is a way to show investors and management outside of the financial field, a snapshot of profit and loss. The multi-step income statement provides detailed reporting of your company’s revenues and expenses using multiple steps to arrive at net income. Multi-step income statement items include revenue, cost of goods sold, and expenses, which are calculated to arrive at net income.

single step vs multi step income statement

First, you need to calculate net sales (the sum of a company’s sales minus returns, discounts, and allowances). It tells a company the revenue gained and the expenses incurred in a month, quarter, or year. This financial statement draws a straight line to the viability of a company’s operations by single step vs multi step income statement presenting an organized view of earnings. It’s also hard to break down your revenue into smaller amounts for specific products or services; the single-step statement only includes total revenue. The next step when preparing a multi-step income statement is to calculate the cost of goods sold.

Small businesses with a simple operating structure, including sole-proprietorships and partnerships, can choose between creating single-step or multi-step income statements. A single-step income statement is a straightforward overview of expenses and revenue. The single-step statement follows the single-step format of subtracting expenses from revenue, resulting in total net income or net loss on the literal bottom line of the document. Income statements are important because they offer a snapshot of business performance within a specified reporting period. Publicly traded companies are required to furnish this report to the public per U.S. Investors will commonly analyze income statements for the previous five years before investing in a public company.

  • It’s also perfect for businesses that are just starting out, as it provides basic numbers without spending too much time or effort on calculations.
  • It breaks down expenses and revenues that are directly related to the business’s operations versus those that aren’t.
  • Our writing and editorial staff are a team of experts holding advanced financial designations and have written for most major financial media publications.
  • What works best for each type of entity is different, so be sure to consult with a professional if you’re not sure what to do with the numbers on your income statement.
  • When assessing a business’s financial performance, you’ll need more than just a single-step income statement.
  • The second calculation subtracts the company’s operating expenses, such as office supplies and advertising costs, to arrive at the operating income.

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