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Financial Analysis

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Operating Statement: Meaning, Pros, Cons & More

Unlock profit potential by understanding what is an operating statement, why it matters and achieve your goals with data driven metrics

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Published on 26 Sep 2023

what is an operating statement

In the world of finance, understanding the various types of financial statements is essential. One such statement is the operating statement, also known as the income statement. This article will delve into the details of what an operating statement is, its components, and its significance in financial analysis.

Operating Statement
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Operating Statement Definition

An operating statement, also referred to as an income statement, is a financial statement that provides a comprehensive overview of a company’s revenue, expenses, and net income for a specific period. It serves as a snapshot of a company’s financial performance during that period and is prepared in accordance with established accounting policies.

The primary purpose of an operating statement is to measure a company’s profitability by subtracting expenses from revenue. It is often prepared on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis, enabling stakeholders to assess the financial health and performance of a company over time.

Read more: How to Calculate Operating Income: A Comprehensive Guide

Components of an Operating Statement

To understand an operating statement, it is crucial to examine its key components: the income section and the expenses section.

Income Section

The income section of an operating statement showcases the company’s revenue streams. It typically includes two types of income: gross rent and other income. Gross rent refers to the rental income received from tenants for occupying space, while other income encompasses additional sources such as parking fees, late fees, pet fees, and laundry services.

The goal of an investor or business owner is to maximize income while maintaining tenant satisfaction and market competitiveness. Monitoring market rental rates and occupancy levels helps determine the optimal time to raise rents or introduce additional fees, thereby increasing the total income.

Read more: Operating Income Vs Gross Profit – Understanding the Differences

Expenses Section

The expenses section of an operating statement outlines the costs incurred by the company in its day-to-day operations. It includes various expenses such as taxes, insurance, management fees, utilities, maintenance/repairs, landscaping, and reserves. These expenses are essential for managing and maintaining the property or business.

It is crucial to note that not all expenses may appear on the operating statement, as some may be directly paid by the tenants in the case of triple net lease properties. Therefore, it is essential for investors to be aware of all expenses associated with the property, who bears the cost, and how these expenses may change over time.

Read more: How to Categorize Expenses: A Comprehensive Guide on Business Expenses

Interpreting Financial Reports: Operating Statement vs. Income Statement

The terms “operating statement” and “income statement” are often used interchangeably. While they serve a similar purpose of assessing a company’s profitability, there is a subtle difference between the two.

An operating statement focuses solely on the company’s operating activities, excluding non-operating income or expenses. On the other hand, an income statement includes both operating and non-operating activities, providing a more comprehensive view of the company’s overall financial performance.

When interpreting financial reports, it is essential to consider the specific context and purpose of the analysis. Both operating statements and income statements play a crucial role in evaluating a company’s financial health and performance.

Read more: Operating Profit vs Net Profit Explained

The Role of the Operating Statement in Finance

Operating statements play a vital role in finance and provide valuable insights to various stakeholders, including investors, lenders, and business owners. Here are some key roles and benefits of operating statements:

  1. Performance Evaluation: Operating statements allow investors and business owners to evaluate the financial performance of a company over a specific period. By comparing operating statements from different periods, one can identify trends, assess growth, and make informed decisions.
  2. Investment Decision-making: For investors considering investing in a company, operating statements provide essential information about the company’s profitability and financial stability. It helps investors assess the potential return on investment and make informed decisions.
  3. Financial Planning and Forecasting: Operating statements serve as a basis for financial planning and forecasting. By analyzing historical data and trends, companies can project future revenues, expenses, and cash flows. This information is crucial for setting realistic goals, budgeting, and making strategic business decisions.
  4. Benchmarking and Performance Comparison: Operating statements enable benchmarking and performance comparison against industry peers. By analyzing the financial performance of similar companies, businesses can identify areas of improvement, competitive advantages, and potential risks.

How to Analyze an Operating Statement

Analysis of Operating Statement
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Analyzing an operating statement requires a systematic approach to derive meaningful insights. Here are some key steps to consider when analyzing an operating statement:

  • Review Revenue Streams: Examine the sources of revenue and assess their consistency and growth potential. Identify any significant changes or trends that may impact the company’s financial performance.
  • Evaluate Expense Categories: Analyze different expense categories and their proportion to total revenue. Look for any abnormal or unexpected expenses that may require further investigation. Compare expenses to industry benchmarks to assess cost efficiency.
  • Calculate Key Ratios: Calculate key financial ratios, such as gross profit margin, operating margin, and net profit margin. These ratios provide insights into the company’s profitability, efficiency, and overall financial health.
  • Compare with Industry Standards: Benchmark the company’s operating statement against industry standards and competitors. This comparison helps identify areas where the company may be underperforming or outperforming its peers.
  • Identify Trends and Variances: Analyze trends in revenue, expenses, and net income over multiple periods. Identify any significant variances and investigate the underlying causes. This analysis helps identify areas of improvement and potential risks.
  • Consider Non-Financial Factors: While operating statements provide valuable financial insights, it is essential to consider non-financial factors that may impact the company’s performance. Factors such as market conditions, industry trends, and regulatory changes can significantly influence financial outcomes.

Importance of Financial Statements

Financial statements, including operating statements, hold immense importance in the world of finance. They provide a comprehensive view of a company’s financial performance, stability, and growth potential. Here are some key reasons why financial statements are crucial:

  1. Decision-making: Financial statements provide essential information for decision-making by investors, lenders, and business owners. They help assess the financial health of a company, evaluate investment opportunities, and make informed business decisions.
  2. Transparency and Accountability: Financial statements promote transparency and accountability in financial reporting. They provide stakeholders with accurate and reliable information about a company’s financial performance, ensuring transparency in operations.
  3. Compliance: Financial statements are essential for regulatory compliance. Companies are required to prepare and disclose financial statements in accordance with accounting standards and regulatory requirements.
  4. Investor Confidence: Financial statements play a significant role in building investor confidence. They provide insights into the company’s financial stability, profitability, and growth potential, influencing investor decisions and attracting potential investors.
  5. Strategic Planning: Financial statements serve as a foundation for strategic planning and goal setting. They help companies set realistic financial targets, allocate resources effectively, and make informed strategic decisions.
  6. Risk Assessment: Financial statements aid in assessing financial risks and vulnerabilities. By analyzing financial ratios, trends, and variances, companies can identify potential risks and take necessary measures to mitigate them.

Read more: Statement of Operation | Example & Definition


Understanding an operating statement and other financial statements is essential for effective financial analysis and decision-making. Operating statements provide valuable insights into a company’s revenue, expenses, and profitability, enabling stakeholders to evaluate its financial health and performance.

By analyzing operating statements, investors and business owners can make informed investment decisions, assess financial risks, and plan for future growth. Financial statements, including operating statements, play a crucial role in promoting transparency, accountability, and strategic planning within organizations.

In the fast-paced world of finance, tools like Crossval are revolutionizing financial modeling, saving time, and improving accuracy. With Crossval’s AI-powered platform, businesses can streamline their financial processes, focus on value-added analysis, and make data-driven decisions with ease. Embrace the power of operating statements and innovative financial tools like Crossval to unlock your company’s true potential.

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