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Multi-Step Income Statement: What Is It and Do You Need One? 2023

In this article, we explain in details the definition of the multi-step income statement with examples, and also explain the type of business that uses the multi-step approach. For instance, interest expense is a non-operating cost since the item pertains to the financing activities of a company rather than any of its specific operating activities. There may be a couple of entries or many, depending on the size and complexity of the business. Multi-step by Sales Contribution Multi-Step Income Statement is used when it is necessary to show the contribution of different products or services from a company’s total revenue. To artificially boost their margins, management could move spending out of the cost of products sold and into operations. It’s usually a good idea to look at comparative financial accounts over time to see trends and detect misplaced spending.

  • An insurance payout paid to the company’s account as settlement proceeds for damage or loss of a company’s asset can also be considered non-operating income.
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  • If you’re a sole proprietor, freelancer, or consultant, a single-step income statement is sufficient.

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Types of businesses that would benefit from using this type of report

Net income also is sometimes referred to as net profit, earnings, or the bottom line. Many companies prepare quarterly and annual income statements based on the calendar. Others use a fiscal year with start and end dates that don’t align with the calendar.

  • The absence of gross margin and operating margin data can make it difficult to determine the source of most expenses and can make it harder to project whether a company will sustain profitability.
  • Larger businesses, particularly manufacturers and multi-product businesses, use multi-step statements because they’re more informative and useful than a single-step statement.
  • Investors use gross profit to evaluate the profitability of core business operations and the company’s overall health.
  • Within primary operations, two key subtotals are for cost of goods sold (COGS), which determines gross profit, and selling, general, and administrative (SG&A) costs, which determines operating profit.
  • The primary distinction of this kind of presentation is categorizing costs into direct (non-operational costs) or indirect (operational costs).

The important subtotals on the multiple-step income statement are convenient for the reader/user of the income statement. After all operational expenditures have been paid, this is the amount of money the firm generated by selling its products. If you operate as a freelancer, consultant, or sole proprietor, then you should be able to get by with a single-step income statement. At the top section of this income statement, to compute the gross margin, subtract the cost of good from the net sales.

Our goal is to deliver the most understandable and comprehensive explanations of financial topics using simple writing complemented by helpful graphics and animation videos. This team of experts helps Finance Strategists maintain the highest level of accuracy and professionalism possible. At Finance Strategists, we partner with financial experts to ensure the accuracy of our financial content. The Multi-Step Income Statement is very efficient when analyzing a company’s performance. On the other hand, Single-Step Income Statements are typically used when there is only one product or service available.

What are the Components of a Multi-Step Income Statement?

Multi-step income statements break down operating expenses and operating revenues versus non-operating expenses and revenues. This process separates expenses and revenues directly related to the business’s operations from those not directly related to its operations. Multi-step income statements typically include subtotals for operating activities and for non-operating activities, or those outside of the business’s primary operations. Within primary operations, two key subtotals are for cost of goods sold (COGS), which determines gross profit, and selling, general, and administrative (SG&A) costs, which determines operating profit. The multi-step income statement shows important relationships that help in analyzing how well the company is performing. For example, by deducting COGS from operating revenues, you can determine by what amount sales revenues exceed the COGS.

Multi-Step Income Statement Calculation Example

A simple multiple step income statement separates income, expenses, gains, and losses into two meaningful sub-categories called operating and non-operating. Multi-step income statements are income statements that split the total revenue and expenses into two categories; operating and non-operating. These statements provide an in-depth look at the overall financial performance of a business during a set period. Everything on the statement is listed into different categories so it’s easier for business owners and readers to understand the core business operations and the success – or failure – of those operations. A multi-step income statement includes much of the information found in a single-step format, but it makes use of multiple equations to determine the profit, or net income, of a business.

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. The selling and administrative expense sections are added together to compute the total operating expenses. This total expense line is subtracted from the gross profit computed in the first section to arrive at the company’s operating income. An example of the multi-step income statement is attached as an Excel file where we start with the sales turnover of $200,000 and arrive at a gross profit of $150,000 by deducting the cost of gold sold off the value of $50,000.

Start by adding the operating revenues to the document, which is how much money you generate through selling goods and services across the period. The non-operating and other section lists all business revenues and expenses that don’t relate to the business’ principle activities. For example, our retailer isn’t in the business of receiving insurance proceeds. If a tree hit the building and the insurance company paid out a small settlement, the income would not be reported with total sales. It would be reported in the non-operating and other section because it doesn’t have anything to do with sales. The selling and administration expenses from operating activities are captured in the second section of a multi-step income statement.

Typically, Multi-Step Income Statements should be prepared and reviewed on a regular basis. This can help ensure that entities are accurately tracking their financial performance marketable securities and making necessary adjustments to maximize efficiency. The Multi-Step Income Statement allows for more in-depth analysis compared to a Single-Step Income Statement.


This is because those companies are under more scrutiny from the public and their private investors. These companies are required to create a multi-step income statement that differentiates between their primary and non-primary activities. A single-step income statement focuses on reporting the net income of the business using a single calculation. A multi-step income statement is more detailed and calculates the gross profit and operating income of the business using multiple calculations and an itemized breakdown. The siloed breakdowns in multiple-step income statements allow for deeper analysis of margins and provide more accurate representations of the costs of goods sold.

This is useful information when making financial decisions regarding their firm, such as investing in new equipment. An insurance payout paid to the company’s account as settlement proceeds for damage or loss of a company’s asset can also be considered non-operating income. It contains all business earnings and costs unrelated to the company’s primary and core activities. The running expenditures of selling and administration are recorded in the second component of a multi-step income statement. Moving forward, you should be able to compute the company’s Net Income before tax by adding the sum of operating income with non-operating income. The Revenue account shows the revenue generated by normal business activities that includes any deductions and discounts given to customers.

Types of Businesses that Use a Multi-Step Income Statement

If you’re a sole proprietor, freelancer, or consultant, a single-step income statement is sufficient. The single-step income statement is easier to prepare and provides the information you need. The single-step income statement is the easiest income statement format to prepare, focusing mainly on net income. The third and final component of the multi-step income statement is net income (the “bottom line”), which represents the net profitability of a company per accrual accounting standards. After all sources of income and expenses are tallied, and taxes are deducted, the result is net income or net loss.