Accounting in Business, Profits and Losses

By: James Murray

It might seem obvious, but in managing a business, it is important to understand how the business makes a profit. A company needs a good business model and a good profit model. A business sells products or services and earns a certain amount of margin on each unit sold. The number of units sold is the sales volume during the reporting period. The business subtracts the amount of fixed expenses for the period, which gives them the operating profit before interest and income tax.

It is important not to confuse profit with cash flow. Profit equals sales revenue minus expenses. A business manager should not assume that sales revenue equals cash inflow and that expenses equal cash outflows. In recording sales revenue, cash or another asset is increased. The asset accounts receivable is increased in recording revenue for sales made on credit. Many expenses are recorded by decreasing an asset other than cash. For example, cost of goods sold is recorded with a decrease to the inventory asset and depreciation expense is recorded with a decrease to the book value of fixed assets. Also, some expenses are recorded with an increase in the accounts payable liability or an increase in the accrued expenses payable liability.

Remember that some budgeting is better than none. Budgeting provides important advantages, like understanding the profit dynamics and the financial structure of the business. It also helps for planning for changes in the upcoming reporting period. Budgeting forces a business manager to focus on the factors that need to be improved to increase profit. A well-designed management profit and loss report provides the essential framework for budgeting profit. It is always a good idea to look ahead to the coming year. If nothing else, at least plug the numbers in your profit report for sales volume, sales prices, product costs and other expense and see how your projected profit looks for the coming year.

Profit and Loss, it might seem like a no-brainer to define just exactly what profit and loss are. But of course these have definitions like everything else. Profit can be called different things, for a start. It is sometimes called net income or net earnings. Businesses that sell products and services generate profit from the sales of those products or services and from controlling the attendant costs of running the business. Profit can also be referred to as Return on Investment, or ROI. While some definitions limit ROI to profit on investments in such securities as stocks or bonds, many companies use this term to refer to short-term and long-term business results. Profit is also sometimes called taxable income.

It is the job of the accounting and finance professionals to assess the profits and losses of a company. They have to know what created both and what the results of both sides of the business equation are. They determine what the net worth of a company is. Net worth is the resulting dollar amount from deducting a company's liabilities from its assets. In a privately held company, this is also called owner's equity, since anything that is left over after all the bills are paid, to put it simply, belongs to the owners. In a publicly held company, this profit is returned to the shareholders in the form of dividends. In other words, all liabilities have the first claim on any money the company makes. Anything that is left over is profit. It is not derived from one element or another. Net worth is determined after all the liabilities are deducted from all the assets, including cash and property.

Showing a profit, or a positive figure on the balance sheet, is of course the aim of every business. It is what our economy and society are built on. It does not always work out that way. Economic trends and consumer behaviors change and it is not always possible to predict these and what income they will have on a company's performance.

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James Murray is a successful writer and online gambling expert providing valuable tips and advice for those interested in gambling and online gambling strategies. His numerous articles found on the Internet ,provide useful and factual gambling information and insight. Some of his websites are,,

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