Income statement

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In business administration and accounting, the income statement is a method for determining the economic success of a company within a certain accounting period .


The success of a company is shown in its fulfillment of the company 's goal of maximizing profit or covering costs . "Success" or "result" are neutral terms in business administration that can mean both an annual surplus and an annual deficit . Subtotals up to the final result for the annual surplus / annual deficit also count as income statements.

The standardization of the basic terms of the income statement ( expense , success , revenue , income , costs or performance ) goes back to Erwin Geldmacher , who in 1929 criticized their inconsistent use in business administration. For him, operational success is the difference between profit and costs.

Types of income statement

Income statements can be based on the commercial income statement ( profit and loss statement ), the imputed (operating income statement ), the tax balance sheet or a cash flow statement :

Type of income statement positive result negative result
Profit and Loss Account Annual surplus or retained earnings Annual deficit or balance sheet loss
Operating income statement Operating profit Operating loss
Tax balance tax profit tax loss
Cash flow statement Excess payment Payout surplus

In the statement of operations as a current income statement with the operating result of the proper goal-oriented one accounting period determines success in which those costs and revenues are compared with that for production program includes as the tangible goal of the company. Their result is the operating profit or operating loss. Tax profit and tax loss are the results of the tax balance sheet, which takes account of tax regulations when determining profit by comparing business assets . Tax profit or loss is the difference between the business assets at the end of the financial year and those at the end of the previous financial year.

There is also the short-term income statement . There are no material differences between the income statement and the short-term income statement. The latter can compare expenses and income and is carried out over billing periods shorter than a year, such as quarterly, monthly or even daily. The short-term income statement was already discussed at the beginning of the business research. Eugen Schmalenbach published three essays between 1909 and 1914 with important suggestions for the introduction of a short-term income statement. The short-term income statement combines cost unit time accounting with revenue accounting by comparing costs and revenues and calculating the profit for the period from the balance. Some authors also call the short-term income statement recalculation . The main purpose of post-calculation, however, is to determine the costs of a cost bearer afterwards. It lacks the revenue statement that is made within the short-term income statement.

While the revenues are the starting point in the retrograde income statement and successive costs are deducted from it (as in the contribution margin accounting ), in the progressive income statement the focus is on the costs, which are successively compared with the revenues.

In internal accounting , cost and performance accounting is a comparison of revenues and costs. For public companies, in addition to the comparable expense and income statement, measures such as the social balance sheet are used by comparing social benefits and social costs .

economic aspects

According to Wolfgang Kilger , the computational instrument for determining and analyzing the sources of success is , in addition to cost accounting, the income statement. Income statements enable a success analysis , whereby both a cost control and a control of the earnings situation can be carried out. This allows possible weak points such as bottlenecks , unproductive work or inefficiencies to be discovered . Cost and income management are based on their results .

Individual evidence

  1. Ulrich Döring / Dietmar Jacobs, income statement , in: Wolfgang Lück (ed.), Lexikon der Betriebswirtschaft, 2004, p. 179 f.
  2. Erwin Geldmacher, Basic Concepts and Systematic Outline of Business Accounting , in: ZfhF , 1929, p. 6 f.
  3. Erwin Geldmacher, Basic Concepts and Systematic Outline of Corporate Accounting , in: ZfhF, 1929, p. 7 f.
  4. Ottmar Schneck (Ed.), Lexikon der Betriebswirtschaft , 1998, p. 216
  5. Hans-Ulrich Küpper / Gunther Friedl , operating income statement , in: Wolfgang Lück (ed.), Lexikon der Betriebswirtschaft, 2004, p. 75 f.
  6. Brigitte Knobbe-Keuk, Accounting and Corporate Tax Law , 1993, p. 17
  7. ^ Theodor Beste, The Short Term Income Statement , 1962, p. 27
  8. Verlag Dr. Th. Gabler (Ed.), Gablers Wirtschafts-Lexikon , Volume 3, 1984, Sp. 2616
  9. Eugen Schmalenbach, monthly balance sheets without inventory , in: ZfhF, 1909, pp. 500–504; ders., Monthly Profit Calculation, in: ZfhF, 1912, pp. 181–195; ders., The goods account as a non-mixed account , in: ZfhF, 1914, pp. 540–544
  10. Hans-Ulrich Küpper / Gunter Friedl, short-term income statement , in: Wolfgang Lück (ed.), Lexikon der Betriebswirtschaft, 2004, p. 180
  11. Herbert Preiser, Fundamentals of operational accounting in mechanical engineering companies , 1923, p. 13 f.
  12. Reinhold Sellien / Helmut Sellien (eds.), Gablers Wirtschafts-Lexikon , 1988, Sp. 1053
  13. Wolfgang Kilger, Short-term Income Statement , 1962, p. 7