Profit and loss account
Profit and loss account is the second part of income statement. It is a nominal account in nature. A business entity is interested in knowing not only the gross profit or loss but also the net profit earned or net loss incurred during the year. Hence, profit and loss account is prepared to ascertain the net profit or net loss during the year. Profit and loss account contains all the items of indirect expenses and losses and indirect incomes and gains in addition to gross profit or gross loss pertaining to the accounting period. The difference is net profit or net loss. According to Prof. Carter, “A Profit and Loss Account is an account into which all gains and losses are collected, in order to ascertain the excess of gains over the losses or vice-versa”.
Profit and loss account is prepared for the following purposes:
The profit and loss account discloses the net profit available to the proprietor or net loss to be borne by him. Ascertainment of profitability helps in planning for the growth and efficiency of a business enterprise. Inter-firm comparison and intra-firm comparison of profit and loss account items help in assessing efficiency in comparison with other enterprises and other departments of the same enterprise respectively.
The net profit of the current year can be compared with the profit of the previous years. It helps to know whether the business is conducted efficiently or not.
Profit and loss account helps in comparing various expenses with the expenses of the previous years. The percentage of individual expenses to net sales can be calculated and compared with the similar ratios of previous years. Such a comparison will be helpful in taking effective steps for controlling unnecessary expenses.
A balance sheet can be prepared only after ascertaining the net profit or loss through profit and loss account. Net profit or loss is shown in the balance sheet. Thus, it facilitates preparation of balance sheet.
The amount of gross profit or gross loss brought down from the trading account is the first item in the profit and loss account. All the indirect expenses and losses are debited to profit and loss account. Indirect expenses include office and administrative expenses, selling expenses, distribution expenses, etc. As the profit and loss account is a nominal account, all the indirect expenses and losses are shown on the debit side and all the indirect incomes and gains are shown on the credit side.
Items shown on the debit side of profit and loss account are as follows:
If trading account discloses gross loss, it is shown on the debit side of the profit and loss account.
Expenses which are not connected with purchase of goods are indirect expenses, i.e., expenses incurred in administration, office, selling and distribution of goods are indirect expenses.
Expenses incurred for office and administration such as salary of office employees, office rent, lighting, postage, printing, legal charges, audit fee, depreciation and maintenance of office equipment, etc. are classified as office and administrative expenses.
Expenses incurred for selling, promotion of sales and distribution of goods such as advertisement charges, commission to salesmen, carriage outwards, bad debts, godown rent, packing charges, etc., are classified as selling and distribution expenses.
The expenses such as interest on loan, repair charges, depreciation, charity, loss on sale of fixed assets and abnormal losses such as loss due to fire, theft, etc. not covered by insurance are shown under this category.
The first item on the credit side of profit and loss account is the gross profit brought down from the trading account if there is gross profit.
All items of indirect incomes and gains are shown on the credit side of the profit and loss account. Income from investments, rent earned, discount received, commission earned, interest earned and dividend received are indirect incomes. Profit on sale of fixed assets and investments are examples of gains.
After debiting indirect expenses and losses and crediting all indirect incomes and gains, if the total of the credit side of the profit and loss account exceeds the debit side, the difference is termed as net profit. On the other hand, if the total in the debit side exceeds the credit side, the difference is termed as net loss. Net profit or net loss is transferred to the capital account.
The expenses which are not related to the business are not shown in the profit and loss account. Examples are personal expenses of the proprietor such as domestic and household expenses of the proprietor, income-tax and life insurance premium of the proprietor, etc. These expenses are classified as drawings by the proprietor and are deducted from capital on the liabilities side of the balance sheet if they are paid out of business funds
Only revenue receipts and revenue expenses are shown in the trading and profit and loss account. Capital receipts, capital gains, capital expenditure and capital losses are not shown in trading and profit and loss account. That part of capital items that relate to that accounting period only are shown. For example, depreciation on fixed assets. Purchase of fixed asset is a capital expenditure. But depreciation is a revenue item which relates to the use of the fixed asset in the current accounting period.
From the following information, prepare profit and loss account for the year ended 31st March, 2018.
From the following information, prepare profit and loss account for the year ended 31st December, 2017.
From the following particulars, prepare profit and loss account for the year ended 31st December, 2017.