Financial Statements: List of Types and How to Read Them

financial statements are typically prepared in the following order

Closing entries are entered in the same journal that was used for the general entries during the month. The first closing entry is journalized right after the last general entry. Closing entries must be posted to the ledgers to impact the revenue, expense, and Retained Earnings account balances.

Stated another way, the company credited Accounts Payable when it received the product or service and later debited it when it paid the cash to the vendor. By 6/30, the two Accounts Payable entries negate one another (one credit and one debit to the same account for the same amount), resulting in a zero balance in that account on 6/30. If the Accounts Payable lines are crossed out in the journal since they wash out to zero, notice you are ultimately left with a debit to Supplies Expense and a credit to Cash. Both parties have received what they are due from the transaction by 6/30.

How to Adjust Inventory Entries

Your cash flow statement shows you how cash has changed in your revenue, expense, asset, liability, and equity accounts during the accounting period. Your income statement, also called a profit and loss statement (P&L), reports your business’s profits and losses over a specific period of time. You can use an income statement to summarize business operations for a certain time frame (e.g., monthly, quarterly, etc.).

  • Financial statements are also read by comparing the results to competitors or other industry participants.
  • This is done by closing out the revenue and expense ledger balances and resetting their balances to zero.
  • Once the current cycle is completed, the same recording and reporting activities are then repeated in the next period of time of equal length.
  • Prepare your cash flow statement last because it takes information from all of your other financial statements.
  • (There would be more, but we will just use five for the example.) These are posted to the ledgers on the right.
  • Last, financial statements are only as reliable as the information being fed into the reports.

Then, list out any expenses your company had during the period and subtract the expenses from your revenue. The bottom of your income statement will tell you whether you have a net income or loss for the period. Your balance sheet is a big indicator of your company’s current and future financial health. You can also use your balance sheet to help you make guided financial decisions. This is done mainly for the sake of clarity because these notes can be quite long, and if they were included in the main text they would cloud the data reported in the financial statement.


That report would indicate that it cost the company $1,000 in rent during July, which is clearly not true. The problem is that the $500 in June became a part of the July running total. The Retained Earnings account is not closed out; instead, revenue and expense accounts are closed out into it. The statement of owner’s equity is a summary of the business financial statements are typically prepared in the following order owner’s investment in the business. It shows any capital the owner put into the business, any withdrawals made as a salary, and the net income or net loss from the current period. This is one reason the income statement has to be prepared first because the calculations from that statement are needed to complete the owner’s equity statement.

This information is useful to analyze to determine how much money is being retained by the company for future growth as opposed to being distributed externally. Below is a portion of ExxonMobil Corporation’s income statement for fiscal year 2021, reported as of Dec. 31, 2021. Primary expenses are incurred during the process of earning revenue from the primary activity of the business. Expenses include the cost of goods sold (COGS), selling, general and administrative expenses (SG&A), depreciation or amortization, and research and development (R&D). The following video summarizes the four financial statements required by GAAP. Your cash flow might be positive, meaning that your business has more money coming in than going out.

Order of Financial Statements

Cash from operations includes any changes made in cash accounts receivable, depreciation, inventory, and accounts payable. These transactions also include wages, income tax payments, interest payments, rent, and cash receipts from the sale of a product or service. The first financial statement that is compiled from the adjusted trial balance is the income statement.

financial statements are typically prepared in the following order