Income Statement Definition, Guide & Template Example

Income Summary Account: Definition and Example

Also known as general and administrative expenses, you need to pay them even if you don’t produce anything. They are essential for the smooth running of your business’ operations. Zoho Books, simplifies the process by handling debits and credits behind the scenes for you. It’ll also set you up with a standard chart of accounts that you or your accountant can modify. If an analysis is done of XYZ’s competitors and we compare margins of like companies in the same industry, then decisions of which company is the most profitable and which is being managed better can be made. This could provide information as to which companies would be the best investments for the securities firm. XYZ’s company value based on this income statement would be $938 million.

Income Summary Account: Definition and Example

Revenue AccountsRevenue accounts are those that report the business’s income and thus have credit balances. Revenue from sales, revenue from rental income, revenue from interest income, are it’s common examples. In the income statement for manufacturers, cost of goods manufactured is added to the finished goods inventory at the beginning of the inventory, resulting in total cost of goods available for sale. The finished goods inventory present at the end of the reporting period is subtracted from this amount to produce the cost of goods sold. Income and expenses on the income statement are recorded when a company earns revenue or incurs expenses, not necessarily when cash is received or paid.

Definition of Income Summary Account

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Vertical Analysis

Add up all the cost of goods sold line items on your trial balance report and list the total cost of goods sold on the income statement, directly below the revenue line item. Trial balance reports are internal documents that list the end balance of each account in the general ledger for a specific reporting period. Creating balance sheets is a crucial part of creating an income statement, as it’s how a company gathers data for their account balances. It will give you all the end balance figures you need to create an income statement. Within an income statement, you’ll find all revenue and expense accounts for a set period. Accountants create income statements using trial balances from any two points in time.

  • The information disclosed in an income statement covers a given period and the performance of a company is revealed in the Revenue, expenses, and profit before tax.
  • It is important to understand and measure the various levels of profitability on an income statement.
  • It helps analysts and research houses analyze, forecast, and perform corporate valuation in order to create future economic decisions in the company.
  • “Bottom line” is the net income that is calculated after subtracting the expenses from revenue.
  • These represent the resources expended, except for inventory purchases, in generating the revenue for the period.

The income summary, on the other hand, is a temporary account that compiles revenues and expenses. The details in the income statement are transferred to the income summary account where the expenses are deducted from the revenues Income Summary Account: Definition and Example to determine if the business made a profit or a loss. For the rest of the year, the income summary account maintains a zero balance. As you can see, the income and expense accounts are transferred to the income summary account.


It’s also important to remember that income statements cover a specific period. In contrast, the balance sheet provides a snapshot of what your business owns and owes at a single point of time. For service businesses, inventory includes supplies or spare parts — nothing for manufacture or resale. Retailers and wholesalers, on the other hand, account for their resale inventory under cost of goods sold, also known as cost of sales. This refers to the total price paid for the products sold during the income statement’s accounting period. Freight and delivery charges are customarily included in this figure.

Income Summary Account: Definition and Example

The income statement is also referred to as the profit or loss statement. Balance sheet accounts are permanent, and income statement accounts are temporary. The net amount of revenue and expenses transferred into the income summary account translates to a net profit or net loss. A net profit occurs when the income summary account has a credit balance. Likewise, a profit occurs when the credit side in the income summary account is higher than the debit side. The amount is often transferred into the retained earnings account.

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It forms one of the three vital financial statements of a company, the other two being the cash flow statement and the balance sheet. Total revenues include both your operating revenues and non-operating revenues . This happens during the closing process for companies that do not use an income summary account. When the income summary account is skipped, then the revenue and expense accounts are all closed out to the permanent retained earnings account.

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Apple beats but comes up light on iPhone sales and services.

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If you are using accounting software, the transfer of account balances to the income summary account is handled automatically whenever you elect to close the accounting period. It is entirely possible that there will not even be a visible income summary account in the computer records. It is also possible that no income summary account will appear in the chart of accounts. If the resulting balance in the income summary account is a profit , then debit the income summary account for the amount of the profit and credit the retained earnings account to shift the profit into retained earnings . This is the second step to take in using the income summary account, after which the account should have a zero balance.


At the end of the fiscal year, their balances are transferred to the income summary account or directly to retained earnings. Income statement accounts like revenue and expenses are nominal accounts. This account is zeroed out and closed at the end of the accounting period, and its credit balance is transferred to another temporary account called income summary.

  • The income statement is read from top to bottom, starting with revenues, sometimes called the “top line.” Expenses and costs are subtracted, followed by taxes.
  • Depreciation is the process of deducting the total cost of something expensive purchased for your business.
  • It works as a checkpoint and mitigates the errors in preparing financial statements by directly transferring the balance from revenue and expense accounts.
  • It’s frequently used in absolute comparisons, but can be used as percentages, too.
  • One way to identify what is a real account and what is a nominal account is to look at the amount of time that balances accumulate in the account.
  • The Income Statement approach is an approach by which the company estimates an allowance for uncollectible receivables as a percentage of the time period’s sales.

StakeholdersA stakeholder in business refers to anyone, including a person, group, organization, government, or any other entity with a direct or indirect interest in its operations, actions, and outcomes. Interest includes all interest payable for debts, both short-term and long-term. Schwab does not recommend the use of technical analysis as a sole means of investment research. The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice.

Revenue and Gains

The gross margin of a company is the funding source for other expenses other than the direct production cost or cost of sales. These expenses are listed individually here, but some income statements will bundle these and other similar expenses together into one broad category called “Selling, General & Administrative Expenses” (SG&A). Gross profit tells you your business’s profitability after considering direct costs but before accounting for overhead costs. Operating income is a company’s profit after deducting operating expenses such as wages, depreciation, and cost of goods sold. Reducing total operating expenses from total revenue leads to operating income of $69.92 billion ($168.09 billion – $98.18 billion). The first section, titled Revenue, indicates that Microsoft’s gross profit, or gross margin, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021, was $115.86 billion.

Income Summary Account: Definition and Example

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