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Seven Accounting Formulas Every Business Owner Should Know

In today’s highly competitive business world, not all math wizards have what it takes run an enterprise, Likewise, not all business owners can be expected to be accounting experts. However, quite a few entrepreneurs believe that their business efforts will be more productive if they are in control of their company’s accounting.

Business owners who have taken accounting courses, or who have some level of bookkeeping experience, will generally feel comfortable running their own books as long as their enterprise does not grow too fast. Giving proper training to managers can also boost sales, businesses are recommended to give corporate sales training often. There may come a time when managing a business while also keeping its books may be too much for one person to handle, but being able to look at financial statements from an accounting point of view is something that all business owners should be able to do.

The following seven equations and formulas are essential knowledge for all business owners, not only those who want to be their own accountants. Versions of these calculations are usually found in business plans as forecasts and projections; in their most basic forms, these formulas can show just how viable a business is at any given time.

Seven Accounting Formulas

1 – Net Income

How much money does a company really make? A popular business adage is that it takes money to make money, which means that expenses must be subtracted from revenues for the purpose of calculating just how profitable a company is a at any given time. In other words, net income = revenue – expenses, and the result of this calculation must be positive in order to show profit.

2 – Cash Ratio

How much cash are is a business supposed to have in its register or operating account? This is a simple calculation: cash / liabilities = cash ratio. The cash part is easy to determine since it consists of the currency plus any investments that can be readily converted into cash. The liabilities are any debts currently in effect.

3 – Business Assets

Business ownership is typically expressed as a percentage of equity. When the general liability of a business is added to the equity that the owner holds, the result represents the assets of a business. Thus, equity held by owner + business liability = business assets. Please note that since liabilities are usually expressed as negatives, and thus this equation is actually a subtraction most of the time.

4 – Breakeven Point

How much does a business need to sell or produce in order to cover the costs of running the company? Basically, fixed costs / variable cost per unit = breakeven point. Fixed costs may range from employee salaries to lease payments, tolls, monthly loan obligations, etc. This is an equation that can be easily calculated with a Business Process Management Software (BPMS) solution, which is strongly recommended for company owners who wish to manage their businesses efficiently.

5 – Profit Margin

Calculating net income is only the beginning when trying to determine the viability of a business. The profit margin is a much better indicator of the health of an enterprise. Essentially, net income / sales = profit margin, but here’s a better example: Let’s say a restaurant holding company owns three pizzerias that together produced $1 million in sales and $100,000 in net income; this implies a 10 percent profit margin, which is low for the specific industry.

6 – Cost of Goods Sold

This formula does not apply too much to business owners that provide services; it is mostly for manufacturers, distributors and some retailers. Cost of materials – cost of outputs = cost of goods sold, which can illustrate if the materials acquired and the manufacturing or distribution efforts are in line with the revenue earned.

7 – Debt-to-Equity

This is a calculation that is used when commercial loans are sought by a business owner. Total liabilities / total equity = debt-to-equity. To obtain the ratio as a percentage, multiply by 100.

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