written by Khatabook | August 31, 2021

Profit and Loss Account & Statement

A Profit and Loss Account, also referred to as a Profit and Loss Statement plays a crucial role in the Financial Statements of any given entity for any business. Irrespective of the profit-motive, a non-profit organisation also prepare an Income and Expenditure Account to evaluate its performance. It is a Statement for a given period. It shows the revenue of the entity and the costs incurred to earn that revenue, ultimately revealing whether the business is in Profit or Loss.

What are the types of Profit and Loss Account

In accounting parlance, the Profit and Loss a/c is a Nominal Account. Every Account is prepared using the double effect in  Debit’ and ‘Credit.’  That means one of the accounts is debited, and the other is credited considering the golden rules of accounting. Now let’s first understand the basics of accounting before proceeding. 

Accounts are of three types as below based on their representation. Every account type has its own set of accounting rules described as follows:

Sr. No.

Type of account


Golden Rules of Accounting


Personal Account

This Account is for people. 

They may be debtors, creditors, or any other person to whom money is due or receivable.

For Example, Ram A/c

Debit: The receiver.

Credit: The giver


Real Account

This account caters to objects.

For Example, Cash A/c, Bank A/c, Furniture A/c.

Debit: What comes in.

Credit: What goes out.


Nominal Account

These accounts represent the revenue or expenses.

For Example, Sales A/c, Loss on sale A/c, Bad Debt A/c.

Debit: The expenses and Losses.

Credit: The Incomes and Gains.

According to the above rules, the Statement of Profit and Loss is prepared based on debiting the Expenses and Losses and Crediting the Incomes and Gains.

System of Accounting

Accounting revolves around two systems of accounting. One is the Cash System, and the other is the Accrual System.

  • Cash System of Accounting: 

Under this system, transactions are recorded as and when cash flow occurs. That means an expense is booked only when cash is paid, and an income is booked only when cash is received. Cash Flow matters to record the transactions, and accordingly, Profit and Loss for a given period are calculated. This may defer figures showing incorrect information in the financials.

  • Accrual System of Accounting

Most of the entities, especially Public and Private Companies, entities performing Tax Audits, Entities to comply with GAAP and IFRS are required to follow the Accrual System of accounting. Under this system, transactions are recorded as and when they occur, irrespective of the timing of the cash flow. For example, if an invoice is issued, the transaction is recorded, even if a sale is made on a credit basis. This attributes the income and expenditure to given periods and avoids deferment of transactions. The Accrual System of accounting is the most widely used in current scenarios.

Components of Profit and Loss Account

The P and L account are based on two components: 

  • Trading Account
  • Profit & Loss Account Statement

Sr. No.




Trading Account



Debit Side



Opening Stock

This is the opening balance of the inventories lying with the entity at the start of the given period. The figure can be taken from the Balance Sheet of the earlier period where it is shown as Closing Stock. This may consist of the Raw Materials, Consumable stocks, Work-in-progress stock, and Finished Goods stock.



It consists of Purchases made by the entity during the given period for selling purposes. These are the purchases of goods intended for sale during the period or shortly but not assets purchased for investment purposes.


Purchase Return

Purchase returns are the goods purchased but returned due to any damages or defects or rejected goods. Such are shown as a deduction from purchases in the Trading Account.


Freight or Transport  Expenses

Any freight or Transport Expenses directly attributable to the Inventory are shown as a debit in the Profit and Loss account


Credit Side




Sales consist of the revenue earned through the sale of goods or services in the ordinary course of business. Any sale of assets or scrap that is not a regular trading activity is not considered here.


Sales Return

These are the goods that are rejected after the sale by our customers. They are shown as a deduction from Sales.


Closing Stock

This is the figure depicting the closing value of the inventories lying in hand at the end of the period. It is calculated as Opening Stock Purchases – Cost of Goods Sold.



Profit and Loss Account



Debit Side



Salaries and Wages

These are the employment expenses paid to workers and administrative staff.


Marketing Expenses

Expenses relating to advertisement and Sales promotion are considered.


Depreciation Expenses

These are non-cash expenses showing the amount of wear and tear of assets attributable to its revenue capacity. These tend to reduce the value of assets.


Outstanding expenses

Any outstanding expenses that are incurred but yet to be paid are shown as an expense of the period.


Rents and Royalties

The rents paid for properties and equipment used for business and Royalties paid for patents and trademarks are also considered a cost to the company.


Bad Debts

Any amounts earlier shown as receivable and later couldn’t be recovered are written off by debiting the Profit and Loss a/c.


Other Operating Expenses

Along with the above expenses, other expenses like Repairs and Maintenance, Property Taxes, Interest on Loans and Debt Funds, Travel Expenses, Legal charges, Bank Charges.


Non-Operating expenses

These are one-time expenses incurred for the business.

For Example, Preliminary Expenses, Loss on Sale of Assets, Loss on Fire or Theft, Loss of Foreign Exchange, etc.


Credit Side



Operating Income

Income earned from core business activities is said to be operating income.


Non-Operating Income

One-time Incomes from Investments like Dividend, Interest, gains from the sale of assets, gains on Foreign Exchange.

Also Read: What is Inventory Management Software System?

How is the Profit and Loss account prepared?

The traditional system of book-keeping consisted of some steps to prepare the financial statements:

  1. Journal: A journal entry was recorded to represent the transaction showing the Debit and the Credit accounts and the amount involved and a short narration to describe the transaction. Each entry was numbered manually for reference called a Folio number which was used to track the transaction. 
  2. Ledger: A ledger is a T-shaped account consisting of the Debit side on the left half and the Credit side on the Right half. Entries in the journal are posted in the ledger accounts. Each separate account has a separate ledger. The ledgers are closed at the end of the given period. The Real and Personal Account Balances are reflected in the Balance Sheet, and the Nominal Accounts are transferred to the Profit and Loss account.
  3. Trial Balance: A Trial balance is a statement showing all the debit and credit balances as a list to ensure that each entry has been recorded correctly. Here, the sum of the debits must match the credits.
  4. Balance Sheets: All the Personal and Real Accounts aren’t closed, and their balances are shown in the Balance Sheet. Unlike, Profit and Loss Account, a Balance Sheet is prepared as on a given date. Also, the balance of the Profit & Loss Account is transferred to the Balance Sheet. A Balance Sheet consists of Assets presented on the right side and Liabilities presented on the left.

All nominal Accounts are closed and transferred to the Profit and Loss Account. They do not consist of any carrying balances to be carried forward to the next period. These are settled by transferring balances to the P & L Account. The net Balances show the profits or losses.

In ERP systems of book-keeping and accounting, only journal entries are required to be recorded. The rest of the entries are done automatically by the system. All reports are generated by the system in the most efficient manner. 

Regarding the structure of the P&L Account, the credits represent the income, and the debits represent the expenses. Where there is a credit balance, it shows a profit. That means, Income over Expenditure. Where there is a debit balance, it offers a loss. That means, Expenditure over Income.

Refer to two Sample Profit and Loss Statements below to know the format and structure.


ABC Company

Prop.: XYZ


Address: 12/8D, Secunderabad, Telangana, 500060


Profit and Loss Account for the year ended 31/03/2020

AY 2020-21



Amount (in Rs)



Amount (in Rs)


To Opening Stock



By Sales



To Purchases



By Service Charges



To Direct Costs



By Closing Stock



To Transport



By Discount Received




To Gross Profit c/d








To Bank Charges



By Gross Profit b/d



To Petrol Charges



By Dividend Income



To Rent Paid




To Depreciation 




To Repairs & Maintenance



To Telephone Charges




To Electricity Charges




To Miscellaneous Charges



To Net Profit c/d








As per information on a given date,


ABC Company




Date: 10/01/2021




Place: Secunderabad




DEF Technologies Limited

Statement of Profit and Loss for the year ended 31st March 2020.






Sales and revenues:


Revenues from Operating Activities



Total sales and revenues




Operating costs:


Cost of goods sold



Selling and administrative expenses



Research and development expenses



Interest expense of Financial Products



Other operating (income) expenses



Total operating costs



Operating profit



Interest expense excluding Financial Products



Other income (expense)



Consolidated profit before taxes



Provision for income taxes



Profit attributable to common shareholders



Profit per common share



These statements are presented along with Notes to Accounts to explain every line of Item in detail or to add any relevant explanations.

Objectives of PL account 

The primary purpose of a Profit and Loss account is to check whether the business earns a profit or a loss for a given period. It is a crucial part of any financial statement; the figures depicted therein are used for calculating various ratios for analysis purposes. Investors, other stakeholders, etc., require this statement to consider their decision-making. Many reports for the management’s analytical study are prepared by taking this account as the base. Future strategies are framed based on the performance of the entity that is revealed through this statement.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Income Statement

  • Advantages:
  • Assists in easy comparison of financial statements to make quick decisions.
  • It helps to track the cost centres and expenses related to the cost centres.
  • The accrual system of accounting helps relate data to specific periods and keep track of financial transactions periodically.
  • It makes it easy to extract data for various tax and statutory compliances and audit purposes.
  • Various accounting analyses like the operating leverage, Financial leverage, Operating margins, Interest coverage ratios, Earnings per share, diluted earnings per share, etc., can be calculated.
  • Disadvantages
  • It is a time-consuming process.
  • It includes cash and non-cash expenses. Hence, a Cash Flow statement and a Fund Flow Statement are to be studied simultaneously to better picture the entity profitability.

Also Read: What are Debit, Credit Note and their Formats?

To Conclude

Profit and Loss Account or Income and Expenditure Statement shows the performance of an entity for a given period in a nutshell. It shows the number of costs borne by the entity to earn the stated revenue over that period. It is the most sought-after statement that the higher management considers to formulate strategies and evaluate actions plans in the past. The Credit Balance reveals a profit, whereas; a debit balance reveals loss. Various analyses like variance analysis, ratio analysis, financial management decisions, costing decisions, pricing decisions, budget controls, etc., are prepared out of these statements. When viewed in conjunction with the Balance Sheet and Cash Flow Statement, the Profit and Loss Account can give tough insights into the profitability of any entity.

Now you can make your accounting process easier with Biz Analyst. With this application, you can stay connected with your business and make smart data-driven decisions. With Biz Analyst you can access Tally ERP on mobile so you can create data entries, maintain proper cash flow, analyse your sales and even increase your sales team productivity.


Q: Are the balances of Items in the Profit and Loss account carried forward?


The nominal Accounts transferred to the Profit and Loss Account are the balances closed, and those accounts start afresh in every new period. Their balances are not carried forward to the next accounting period.

Q: Is the Receipt and Payments account similar to the Income and Expenditure Account?


A non-profit organisation prepares a Receipts and Payments account to show the cash flows. It depicts the cash inflow and outflow in the given period.

However, the statement of Income and Expenditure is prepared on an accrual basis. That means, even if cash is paid in advance, it won’t be considered an expense unless the costs accrue to the entity. Similarly, cash not yet paid or outstanding doesn’t mean the expenses are not accrued to the entity.

Q: What should not be included in Profit and Loss A/c?


Accounts that are not nominal, like Drawings by the proprietor, amount spent on Investments in assets and their sale values, Cash withdrawn and deposited, etc. Only the income or expenditure, Gain or loss portion, of any transaction, is transferred to the Profit and Loss account. For example, if an asset valued at 20,000 is sold for 15,000. Here there is a loss of 5,000. So only the portion of the loss of 5,000 is debited to the Profit Loss account, and not the entire income of 15,000 is to be credited to the account.

Q: Who prepares a Trading account?


A manufacturer or a merchant prepares a Trading account to show the income from core business activities.

Q: What is the formula for calculating Profit or Loss through Profit and Loss A/c?


The Credit side of P&L A/c represents Income, and the debit side represents Expenditure. 

Where the Credit side is excess, there is a profit which is calculated as, 

Profit = Income – Expenditure.

Where the Debit side is excess, there is a loss which is calculated as,

Loss = Expenditure – Income.

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