An income statement is a financial document that summarizes a company’s revenue and expenses during a specific period of time. It is a useful tool that provides an overview of your finances and can help you understand how your business is performing. Here is a guide to income statements, including examples, guidance, and definitions.

Income Statement Examples

Income statements can vary in their presentation and format depending on the industry and company. Below are some example income statements:

• Small business income statement: This statement reports income and expenses in a straightforward format, with a bottom line arriving at the company’s profit or loss.

• Manufacturer’s income statement: This statement includes a cost of goods sold line, which reflects the cost associated with any manufacturing process.

• Retailer’s income statement: This statement includes a sales line, which reflects the total amount of sales generated during the reporting period.

Guidance for Creating an Income Statement

Creating an income statement for your business can help you better understand the financial health of your company. Here are some tips for creating an accurate and effective income statement:

• Create a realistic budget and track your actual results each month.

• Review all revenue sources, including sales, investment income, and other income.

• Review all expenses, such as overhead costs, taxes, marketing costs, and overhead costs.

• Compare budgeted and actual results for each category.

• Summarize the results and assess the overall financial health of your business.

• Present the results in a simple and easy-to-understand format.

Income Statement Definitions

Here are some key definitions to help you better understand income statements and what they report:

Revenue: Money earned through sales, investments, and other sources.

Expenses: Money spent on goods and services to generate revenue.

Profit/Loss: The total amount of money gained or lost during the reporting period.

Operating Income: Revenue minus the operating costs of running a business.

Net Income: The total amount of money after taxes and other deductions.

Cash Flows: The amount of money coming in and going out of a business during a certain period.


An income statement is an important financial document that can provide valuable insight into the performance of your business. By understanding the definitions, creating a plan, and tracking your results, you can use an income statement to make informed decisions that benefit your business.