Profit and Loss account

15/04/2020 3 By indiafreenotes

A profit and loss statement (P&L), or income statement or statement of operations, is a financial report that provides a summary of a company’s revenues, expenses, and profits/losses over a given period of time.  The P&L statement shows a company’s ability to generate sales, manage expenses, and create profits. It is prepared based on accounting principles that include revenue recognition, matching, and accruals, which makes it different from the cash flow statement.

Profit & Loss Account Revenues

The account through which annual net profit or loss of a business is ascertained, is called profit and loss account. Gross profit or loss of a business is ascertained through trading account and net profit is determined by deducting all indirect expenses (business operating expenses) from the gross profit through profit and loss account. Thus profit and loss account starts with the result provided by trading account.

The particulars required for the preparation of profit and loss account are available from the trial balance. Only indirect expenses and indirect revenues are considered in it. This account starts from the result of trading account (gross profit or gross loss). Gross profit is shown on the credit side of the profit and loss account and gross loss is shown on the debit side of this account. All indirect expenses are transferred on the debit side of this account and all indirect revenues on credit side.  If the total of the credit side exceeds the debit side, the result is “net profit” and if the total of the debit side exceeds the total of the credit side, the result is net loss. As the net profit or net loss of a certain accounting period is determined through profit and loss account.

Structure of the Profit and Loss Statement

A company’s statement of profit and loss is portrayed over a period of time, typically a month, quarter, or fiscal year.

The main categories that can be found on the P&L include:

  • Revenue (or Sales)
  • Cost of Goods Sold (or Cost of Sales)
  • Selling, General & Administrative (SG&A) Expenses
  • Marketing and Advertising
  • Technology
  • Interest Expense
  • Taxes
  • Net Income

Only the revenue or expenses related to the current year are debited or credited to profit and loss account. The profit and loss account starts with gross profit at the credit side and if there is a gross loss, it is shown on the debit side.

Profit and Loss Account Format

Particulars Amount Particulars Amount
To Gross loss b/d To Gross profit b/d
Management expenses: Income:
To salaries By Discount received
To office rent, rates, and taxes By Commission received
To printing and stationery Non-trading income:
To Telephone charges By Bank interest
To Insurance By Rent received
To Audit fees By Dividend received
To Legal charges By Bad debts recovered
To Electricity charges Abnormal gains:
To Maintenance expenses By Profit on sale of machinery
To Repairs and renewals By Profit on sale of investments
To Depreciation By Net Loss
(transferred to Capital A/c)
Selling distribution expenses:
To Salaries
To Advertisement
To Godown
To Carriage outward
To Bad debts
To Provision for bad debts
To Selling commission
Financial expenses:
Bank charges
Interest on loan
Discount allowed
Abnormal losses:
To Loss on sale of machinery
To Loss on sale of investments
To Loss by fire
To Net Profit
 (transferred to capital a/c)
                                                             TOTAL                                                             TOTAL

Sequence of Expenses in Profit and Loss Account

There is no hard and fast rule as to the order in which the items of expenses are shown in profit and loss account. Generally, the items of expenses are shown in the following sequence:

Office and Administration Expenses:

 These are the expenses with the management of the business e.g. salaries of manager, accountant and office clerks, office rent, office stationary, office electric charges, office telephone etc.

Selling and Distribution Expenses:

These are the expenses which are directly or indirectly connected with the sale of goods. These expenses vary with the sales i.e. they increase or decrease with the increase or decrease of sale of goods. Examples are advertisements, carriage outward, salesmen’s salaries and commission, discount allowed, traveling expenses, bad debts, packaging expenses, warehouse rent etc.

Financial and Other Expenses:

All other expenses excepting those mentioned above are considered under this class.

Features of Profit and Loss Account:

  • This account is prepared on the last day of an account year in order to determine the net result of the business.
  • It is second stage of the final accounts.
  • Only indirect expenses and indirect revenues are shown in this account.
  • It starts with the closing balance of the trading account i.e. gross profit or gross loss.
  • All items of revenue concerning current year: Whether received in cash or not and all items of expenses: Whether paid in cash or not are considered in this account. But no item relating to past or next year is included in it.