Multi-Step Income Statement An In-Depth Financial Reporting Guide

multi step income statement

Multi-step income statements provide a more detailed analysis of a company’s revenue and costs, classified by operational and non-operating revenue, for greater insight into the company’s financial health. An income statement is one of the three major financial statements that report a company’s financial performance over a specific accounting period. A single-step income statement offers a simplified snapshot of a company’s revenue and expenses. This straightforward document merely conveys a company’s revenue, expenses, and bottom-line net income. All revenues and gains are totaled at the top of the statement, while all expenses and losses are totaled at the bottom. This simplified approach makes record-keeping easier for both the accountantswho prepare the statements and the investors who read them. Shareholders need only focus on the net income figure, to gauge a company’s overall vitality.

multi step income statement

Add the final number as a line item under the cost of goods sold and title it Gross Profit. Net Income is the income earned after other revenues are added and other expenses are subtracted. One clear advantage of the single-step format is that it’s an easy statement to prepare. Its focus on net income is also particularly useful when a user is making an assessment that depends on net income, or the bottom line.

What Types Of Businesses Prepare Single Step vs Multi-step Income Statement

This is a key figure for investors, creditors, and internal management because it shows how profitable the company is at selling its goods or making its products. On the other hand, a multi-step income statement follows a three-step process to calculate the net income, and it segregates operating incomes and expenses from the non-operating incomes. It separates revenues and expenses from activities that are directly related to the business operations from activities that are not directly tied to the operations. Simpler business structures, such as sole proprietorships and partnerships, have the option of using either the single-step or the multi-step format. The total operating expense of the business stands at $19,000, and thus to arrive at the operating income, we deduct the operating expense from the gross profit to arrive at a value of $131,000. The total non-operating values are then added, which brings us to an estimated sum of $33,000.

multi step income statement

Before comparing the two, we first have a look at the term income statement. Neil Kokemuller has been multi step income statement an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007.

What Businesses Use Multi-Step Income Statements?

In short, this approach makes it easier to understand the financial results of a business. The purpose of an income statement is to provide users with information about a business’s profitability over a specific reporting period. However, there are two formats that can be used to prepare an income statement—the single step format and the multi step format—and many small business users wonder which format their businesses should be using. While both formats have advantages and disadvantages, your choice of format depends on what you intend to use your income statement for. Most publicly-traded companies use multiple-step income statements, which categorize expenses as either direct costs (also known as non-operational costs), or indirect costs . Direct costs refer to expenses for a specific item, such as a product, service, or project. Contrarily, indirect costs are generalized expenses that go towards a company’s broader infrastructure, and therefore cannot be assigned to the cost of a specific object.

Company Operating ExpensesOperating expense is the cost incurred in the normal course of business and does not include expenses directly related to product manufacturing or service delivery. Therefore, they are readily available in the income statement and help to determine the net profit. Other income and expenses like interest, lawsuit settlements, extraordinary items, and gains or losses from investments are also listed in this section. Unlike the operating section, the non-operating section is not split into subcategories. It simply lists all of the activities and totals them at the bottom. This sample multi-step income statement from Accounting Coach shows the layout of a multi-step income statement with the separation between operating and non-operating activities. The single-step income statement offers a straightforward accounting of the financial activity of your business.


Generally, businesses that use multi-step income statements are large, complex companies. Most small businesses and sole proprietorships can get by with just a single-step income statement, since their operations and accounting tend to be straightforward.

  • The single-step income statement offers a straightforward accounting of the financial activity of your business.
  • An example of a multi step income statement is Arrow Electronics, Inc.’s Consolidated Statements of Operations for the calendar years ended December 31, 2021, 2020, and 2019.
  • This separates revenues and expenses that are directly related to the business’s operations from those that are not directly tied to its operations.
  • The Multi-Step Income Statement is very efficient when analyzing a company’s performance.
  • The multi-step income statement provides detailed reporting of your company’s revenues and expenses using multiple steps to arrive at net income.
  • This enables you to analyze how much of net income for the period derived from normal business activities.

Another measurement available from the multi-step income statement is operating income. Like gross profit, operating income provides business owners with more detailed information on company profitability rather than focusing solely on net income. One of the biggest differences between a single-step income statement and a multi-step income statement is the ability to calculate gross profit. This metric is important for business owners that need more detailed information on both business profitability and financial performance. Next, add your total operating expenses to the operating activities section. This would include cost of goods sold, as well as costs such as advertising expenses, salaries and administrative expenses, including office supplies and rent. The publicly traded company most commonly utilizes multi-step income statements.

Choosing a Single-Step vs. Multi-Step Income Statement

Throughout this series of financial statements, you can download the Excel template below for free to see how Bob’s Donut Shoppe uses the multi-step income statement to evaluate the performance of his business. The final step for preparing your multi-step income statement is determining your net income. This is done by subtracting other revenue and expense totals from your operating income. Subtract the cost of goods sold from your sales revenue in order to arrive at your gross profit or gross margin. This number tells you how efficient and profitable your core business is. It is an important figure for the creditors, investors, and internal management as it depicts how profitable a company is at selling the goods or making the products. In the bottom section of your income statement, below your operating activities, create a section for your non-operating activities.

As an example, let’s suppose a clothing manufacturing company has an overall net profit for a year. However, looking into the breakdown as provided by a multi-step income statement, the investor or creditor can see that the company is not doing so well on its core business operations. The net income becomes diluted because the company has made a gain from selling real estate and recording it as non-operating revenue.

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