Horizontal Analysis Definition

Horizontal Analysis

The analysis computes the percentage changes in each income statement amount at the far right. The statements for two or more periods are used in horizontal analysis.

  • By understanding how your company performs over time, you can make more informed decisions about allocating your resources.
  • Trend percentages make comparisons to a selected base year or period.
  • This high percentage means most of your Assets are liquid, and it may be time to either invest that money or use it to purchase additional Plant Assets.
  • In the end, compared to your competitors’ 15.3 percent increase, your humble 2.7 percent gain in GOP leaves a bitter aftertaste.
  • Horizontal Analysis – analyzes the trend of the company’s financials over a period of time.

On the other hand, the sales decline was $25,000 ($500,000 to $475,000). The decrease in sales has a bigger impact on the net income decline, when dollars are considered. Horizontal is helpful for shareholders to check their performance and also to improve their weak areas.

How Horizontal Analysis Works

The main use of vertical analysis is to calculate the financial ratios which in turn are key metrics in evaluating company performance. Once the ratios are calculated, they can be easily compared with ratios in similar companies for benchmarking purpose. Horizontal analysis is a process used by financial analysts to observe trends in the growth of a business. Learn how to apply horizontal analysis methods, and how a balance sheet and income statement are used in this process.

  • The analysis is commonly used by internal company management and investors.
  • Vertical analysis is also known as common size financial statement analysis.
  • By comparing data sets side-by-side, you can identify upward or downward trends in revenue, expenses, and net sales.
  • Horizontal vertical analyzed to a shareholder that if no change occurs into a financial statement of the business they should fix their future and also make more investment for a high gain of profits.
  • The percentage change cannot be computed if base year figure is zero.

Calculate the percentage of each item as a percentage of sales or total assets but dividing the amount of the selected item with sales/total assets and multiplying it by 100. Form the table above we can understand that there was no change in the share capital but the reserve and surplus was increased by 44%. Other liabilities increased by 38%, liquidity increased by 18%, investment, net fixed asset and other assets by 18%, 56% and 15% respectively. https://www.bookstime.com/ is the comparison of historical financial information over a series of reporting periods, or of the ratios derived from this financial information. The intent is to see if any numbers are unusually high or low in comparison to the information for bracketing periods, which may then trigger a detailed investigation of the reason for the difference. For the income statement, the items of the statement are divided by revenue. Horizontal Analysis can be used to misguide or manipulate the outside parties.

What Is Vertical Analysis?

In that case, you can use this data to predict how much revenue your company will generate in the future. All financial analysis relies on comparing or relating data in a way that enhances the utility or practical value of the information. Ratios are expressions of logical relationships between items in the financial statements from a single period. A ratio can show a relationship between two items on the same financial statement or between two items on different financial statements (e.g. balance sheet and income statement). Trend percentages make comparisons to a selected base year or period.

Horizontal Analysis

This indicates the company is performing well but it should use the cash in settling the current liabilities or invest it to maximize the return. Vertical analysis, which is also known as common-size analysis, is similar to horizontal analysis and can be performed on the same financial documents. However, financial analysts perform vertical analysis vertically inside of a column rather than horizontally across time periods.

For the balance sheet, the items of the sheet are divided by total assets. If you’re looking to invest in a company, horizontal analysis can be a helpful tool in your decision-making process. Understanding how the company has changed over time can better comprehend its potential future performance. However, always consider other factors, as no single tool can give you a perfect prediction of what will happen in the future. With a Horizontal Analysis, also, known as a “trend analysis,” you can spot trends in your financial data over time. The vertical analysis of a balance sheet results in every balance sheet amount being restated as a percent of total assets.

The analysis is commonly used by internal company management and investors. Individuals who want to invest in a certain firm have to make up their minds on whether to sell their current shares or buy more. When it comes to management, it identifies which moves to make so that it can improve its company’s future performance. Generally, the technique helps in understanding the performance of a business to be able to make informed decisions. Financial statement analysis can be used to evaluate a company’s liquidity, solvency, profitability, and overall financial position. Analyzing a company’s financial statements investors and comparing company performance with other companies in the same industry helps analysts to make informed decisions about whether or not to invest in the company.

Horizontal Analysis Vs Vertical Analysis: What’s The Difference?

Peggy James is a CPA with over 9 years of experience in accounting and finance, including corporate, nonprofit, and personal finance environments. She most recently worked at Duke University and is the owner of Peggy James, CPA, PLLC, serving small businesses, nonprofits, solopreneurs, freelancers, and individuals. There are two horizontal analysis methods- Dollar Analysis and Percentage Analysis. Year 1 sales revenues are considered our base, which is why we have an index of 100.

Horizontal Analysis

If interest expense is $50,000 it will be presented as 5% ($50,000 divided by $1,000,000). The restated amounts result in a common-size income statement, since it can be compared to the income statement of a competitor of any size or to the industry’s percentages.

Colgate Horizontal Analysis

This type of analysis reveals trends in line items such as cost of goods sold. Vertical analysis is the financial statement in which all items of a financial statement are presented in percentages. In vertical analysis, balance sheet items Horizontal Analysis and income statement items are expressed in percentage. All balance sheet accounts are presented as a percentage of the total assets and all income statement items are presented as a percentage of sales (Ott, Riddiough, & Yi, 2009).

Horizontal Analysis

Horizontal analysis is used to indicate changes in financial performance between two comparable financial quarters including quarters, months or years. On the other hand, vertical analysis is used in the comparison of a financial item as a percentage of the base figure, commonly total liabilities and assets. Also referred to as trend analysis, this is the comparison of financial information such as net income or cost of goods sold between two financial quarters including quarters, months or years. Often expressed in percentages or monetary terms, it provides insights into factors that significantly affect the profitability of an organization. For instance, in the year 2015, organization A had 4 million turnover as compared to year the 2014 whereby the turnover was 2 million.

Examples Of Horizontal Analysis

The first two columns show income statement amounts for two consecutive years. The amount and percentage differences for each line are listed in the final two columns, respectively. Ratios such as earnings per share, return on assets, and return on equity are similarly invaluable. These ratios make problems related to the growth and profitability of a company evident and clear. Horizontal analysis compares account balances and ratios over different time periods. For example, you compare a company’s sales in 2014 to its sales in 2015. An investor can see if a business is expanding and becoming more valuable or becoming less efficient and less valuable.

  • This analysis also gives a better picture of the performance metrics of the company and if it’s improving or on a decline.
  • Yet another advantage of this form of data presentation is when trends can be compared to those of competitors or industry averages, to see how well an organization’s performance compares with that of other entities.
  • On the other hand, comparability constraint dictates that a company’s financial statements and other documentation be such that they can be evaluated against other similar companies within the same industry.
  • Tabitha graduated from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology with a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce, whereby she specialized in Finance.

As opposed, the vertical analysis is used to compare the results of one company’s financial statement with that of another, of the same industry. Further, vertical analysis can also be used for the purpose of benchmarking. In horizontal analysis, the items of the present financial year are compared with the base year’s amount, in both absolute and percentage terms. On the contrary, in vertical analysis, each item of the financial statement is compared with another item of that financial statement.

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The 2 million increase in turnover is a positive indication in terms of performance with a 50% increase from the year 2014. For a better picture of performance, the analysis should be expressed as a percentage as opposed to currency. A good way to do some ratio and trend analysis work is to prepare both horizontal and vertical analyses of the income statement. Both analyses involve comparing income statement accounts to each other in dollars and in percentages. The dollar and percentage changes of the items of balance sheet, schedule of current assets, or the statement of retained earnings are computed in the similar way.

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Therefore, total net sales are the Oral, Personal & Home Care, andPet Nutrition Segment. Financial Modeling And ForecastingFinancial modeling refers to the use of excel-based models to reflect a company’s projected financial performance. Let us assume that we are provided with the income statement data of ABC Co. We need to perform a horizontal analysis of the income statement of this company. To illustrate, consider an investor who wishes to determine Company ABC’s performance over the past year before investing. Assume that ABC reported a net income of $15 million in the base year, and total earnings of $65 million were retained. The company reported a net income of $25 million and retained total earnings of $67 million in the current year.


The trend percentages method is the same as horizontal analysis, except that in the former, comparisons are made to a selected base year or period. Trend percentages are useful for comparing financial statements over several years, because they reveal changes and trends occurring over time.

What Is The Difference Between Vertical Analysis And Horizontal Analysis?

We take the actual revenues for Year 2 and divide by actual revenues for Year 1 ($21,862/$18,627). Now we can compare our index in Year 2 to the index in Year 1 ( ), which equals 27. Show bioTammy teaches business courses at the post-secondary and secondary level and has a master’s of business administration in finance. By understanding how your company performs over time, you can make more informed decisions about allocating your resources. If you’re looking for a comprehensive guide to horizontal analysis, you’ve come to the right place.

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