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Common Size Financial Statement Analysis MCQ with Answer and Detailed Explanation

Mastering Common Size Financial Statement Analysis: MCQs with Answers and Explanations


In common size financial statement analysis, what is the purpose of converting financial data into percentages?

A) To compare financial statements of different companies

B) To analyze the relative size of each line item within a single financial statement

C) To calculate the net income of a company

D) To assess the liquidity position of a company

Answer: B) To analyze the relative size of each line item within a single financial statement

Explanation: The purpose of converting financial data into percentages in common size financial statement analysis is to analyze the relative size of each line item within a single financial statement. So the answer is (B).


Common size financial statements express each line item as a percentage of a base figure, such as total revenue, total assets, or total liabilities and equity. This makes it easier to compare the relative importance of different line items and to identify trends over time.


For example, a common size income statement would show each line item as a percentage of net sales. This would allow you to see how much of each dollar of sales goes towards costs such as cost of goods sold, operating expenses, and taxes.


Common size financial statements are also useful for comparing companies of different sizes. By expressing all line items as a percentage of a common base figure, you can compare companies that have different levels of revenue or assets.


Here is an example of a common size income statement:

Common Size Income Statement (For the Year Ended 12/31/2023)


Net Sales - 100.0%

Cost of Goods Sold - 60.0%

Gross Profit - 40.0%

Operating Expenses - 20.0%

Net Income - 20.0%

This income statement shows that Company A's cost of goods sold is 60% of net sales, its operating expenses are 20% of net sales, and its net income is 20% of net sales. Common size financial statement analysis is a valuable tool for financial analysts and investors. It can be used to assess a company's financial performance, identify trends, and compare companies to each other.

If a company's common size income statement shows that the cost of goods sold (COGS) is 40%, what does this mean?

A) COGS represents 40% of total expenses

B) COGS represents 40% of total revenue

C) COGS has decreased by 40%

D) COGS is equal to 40% of the company's net income

Answer: B) COGS represents 40% of total revenue

Explanation:

If a company's common size income statement shows that the cost of goods sold (COGS) is 40%, it means that COGS represents 40% of total revenue. So the answer is (B).


In common size financial statement analysis, each line item is expressed as a percentage of a base figure, such as total revenue. This makes it easier to compare the relative importance of different line items and to identify trends over time.


So, a COGS of 40% means that for every dollar of sales, the company spends 40 cents on the cost of goods sold. This includes the cost of materials, labor, and other direct costs associated with producing the goods that the company sells.


A COGS of 40% is relatively high for some industries, but it is normal for others. For example, a company that sells food products might have a COGS of over 40%, since the cost of ingredients is a major expense.


It is important to note that a common size income statement does not show the total amount of COGS. It only shows the COGS as a percentage of total revenue. To calculate the total amount of COGS, you would need to multiply the COGS percentage by the total revenue.


For example, if a company has a COGS percentage of 40% and total revenue of $100 million, then its total COGS would be $40 million.


COGS is an important metric for businesses to track, as it can have a significant impact on profitability. By understanding their COGS, businesses can identify ways to reduce costs and improve their bottom line.

A company's common size income statement shows that research and development expenses have increased from 10% to 15% over the past year. What does this indicate?

A) An improvement in cost control

B) A decrease in innovation

C) An increase in profitability

D) A higher level of investment in research and development

Answer: D) A higher level of investment in research and development

Explanation: The fact that a company's research and development expenses have increased from 10% to 15% over the past year indicates a higher level of investment in research and development. So the answer is (D).


Research and development expenses are those incurred by a company in the creation of new products or processes. These expenses can include the cost of labor, materials, and equipment used in the research and development process.


Companies that invest heavily in research and development are typically seeking to develop new products or services that will give them a competitive advantage in the market. They may also be investing in new technologies that will help them to reduce costs or improve efficiency.


An increase in research and development expenses is not necessarily a good thing or a bad thing. It depends on the company's overall strategy and goals. However, it does indicate that the company is committed to innovation and is willing to invest in its future.


Here are some of the potential benefits of investing in research and development:

  • Developing new products or services that can increase sales and revenue

  • Improving the quality of existing products or services

  • Reducing costs through the development of new technologies

  • Increasing efficiency and productivity

  • Gaining a competitive advantage in the market

Of course, there are also some risks associated with investing in research and development. For example, the company may not be successful in developing new products or services that are commercially viable. Additionally, the company's competitors may also be investing in research and development, so the company may not be able to maintain its competitive advantage.

Overall, the decision of how much to invest in research and development is a complex one that should be made on a case-by-case basis. However, an increase in research and development expenses is generally seen as a positive sign, as it indicates that the company is committed to innovation and is willing to invest in its future.

In common size analysis, if the common size percentage of "Income Tax Expense" is decreasing over the years, what could be a possible reason?

A) Increased tax rates

B) Decreased profitability

C) Enhanced tax planning strategies

D) A rise in tax evasion

Answer: C) Enhanced tax planning strategies

Explanation: The most likely reason why a company's common size percentage of "Income Tax Expense" is decreasing over the years is enhanced tax planning strategies. So the answer is (C).

Common size analysis expresses each line item on a financial statement as a percentage of a base figure, such as total revenue or total assets. This makes it easier to compare the relative importance of different line items and to identify trends over time.


A decreasing common size percentage of income tax expense means that the company is paying less income tax as a percentage of its profits. This can be due to a number of factors, including:

  • Enhanced tax planning strategies: Companies can use a variety of tax planning strategies to reduce their tax liability. These strategies can include taking advantage of tax deductions and credits, deferring income, and accelerating expenses.

  • Decreased profitability: If a company's profits decrease, then its income tax expense will also decrease. This is because income tax is calculated as a percentage of profits.

  • Increased tax rates: If a country's tax rates increase, then companies will pay more income tax. However, this would lead to an increase in the common size percentage of income tax expense, not a decrease.

Therefore, the most likely reason for a decreasing common size percentage of income tax expense is enhanced tax planning strategies.


Here are some examples of tax planning strategies that companies can use to reduce their tax liability:

  • Taking advantage of tax deductions and credits: There are a number of tax deductions and credits available to businesses. Companies can reduce their tax liability by taking advantage of these deductions and credits.

  • Deferring income: Companies can defer income to a later year when they expect to be in a lower tax bracket. This can reduce their tax liability in the current year.

  • Accelerating expenses: Companies can accelerate expenses to the current year when they expect to be in a higher tax bracket. This can reduce their tax liability in future years.

What is the primary goal of common size financial statement analysis?

A) To calculate the company's profitability

B) To assess the company's liquidity

C) To compare financial statements across different companies

D) To identify trends and relationships within a company's financial data

Answer: D) To identify trends and relationships within a company's financial data

Explanation: The primary goal of common size financial statement analysis is to identify trends and relationships within a company's financial data. So the answer is (D).


Common size financial statement analysis expresses each line item on a financial statement as a percentage of a base figure, such as total revenue or total assets. This makes it easier to compare the relative importance of different line items and to identify trends over time.


For example, a common size income statement would show each line item as a percentage of net sales. This would allow you to see how much of each dollar of sales goes towards costs such as cost of goods sold, operating expenses, and taxes.


Common size financial statement analysis can also be used to compare companies of different sizes. By expressing all line items as a percentage of a common base figure, you can compare companies that have different levels of revenue or assets.


Here are some of the benefits of using common size financial statement analysis:

  • Identify trends in a company's financial performance over time

  • Compare a company's financial performance to its competitors

  • Identify areas where a company can improve its efficiency or profitability

  • Assess a company's financial risk

How does common size analysis aid in financial statement comparisons between companies?

A) By standardizing financial data for different-sized companies

B) By providing a measure of a company's profitability

C) By focusing solely on the bottom-line net income

D) By emphasizing short-term liquidity ratios

Answer: A) By standardizing financial data for different-sized companies

Explanation: Common size analysis is a technique used to compare financial statements of companies of different sizes by expressing each line item as a percentage of a common base figure. This base figure is typically total revenue for the income statement and total assets for the balance sheet.


By converting financial statement data to percentages, common size analysis allows investors and analysts to compare companies of different sizes on a more equal footing. This is because the percentages eliminate the impact of the different sizes of the companies. For example, a company with $100 million in revenue may have $5 million in net income, while a company with $1 billion in revenue may have $50 million in net income. However, if both companies have a net income margin of 5%, then they are both equally profitable.


Common size analysis can also be used to compare a company's financial performance over time. By tracking changes in the percentages over time, investors and analysts can identify trends in the company's performance and assess its financial health.


Here are some examples of how common size analysis can be used to compare financial statements between companies:

Income statement:

  • Compare the percentage of revenue that each company spends on different expenses, such as cost of goods sold, operating expenses, and interest expense.

  • Compare the percentage of revenue that each company generates as net income.

Balance sheet:

  • Compare the percentage of total assets that each company has invested in different types of assets, such as cash, inventory, and property, plant, and equipment.

  • Compare the percentage of total liabilities that each company has financed with debt.


When analyzing common size financial statements, what does a higher common size percentage for "Operating Expenses" indicate?

A) Improved profitability

B) Increased operational efficiency

C) Lower cost control

D) A higher level of debt

Answer: C) Lower cost control

Explanation:

A higher common size percentage for operating expenses indicates that a company is spending a larger portion of its revenue on operating expenses. This could be due to a number of factors, such as:

  • Increased competition: In competitive industries, companies may need to spend more on marketing and sales to attract and retain customers.

  • Rising costs: Companies may also experience higher operating expenses due to rising costs of labor, materials, and other inputs.

  • Inefficiencies: In some cases, a higher common size percentage for operating expenses may indicate that a company is not efficiently managing its costs.

Improved profitability, increased operational efficiency, and a higher level of debt are all positive factors for a company. Therefore, a higher common size percentage for operating expenses is typically seen as a negative sign.


It is important to note that common size analysis should be used in conjunction with other financial ratios to get a complete picture of a company's financial performance. For example, if a company has a high common size percentage for operating expenses but also has a high net profit margin, then it may be able to absorb the higher operating expenses and still be profitable.


Here are some tips for analyzing common size financial statements:

  • Compare the common size percentages of different companies in the same industry to get a sense of how each company is performing relative to its peers.

  • Track the common size percentages of a company over time to identify trends in its performance.

  • Look for any significant changes in the common size percentages and investigate the underlying causes of those changes.

  • Use other financial ratios in conjunction with common size analysis to get a more complete picture of a company's financial performance.

Why is it important to perform trend analysis in common size financial statement analysis?

A) To identify absolute values of financial data

B) To understand the impact of inflation on financial statements

C) To assess how financial performance changes over time

D) To calculate the company's market capitalization

Answer: C) To assess how financial performance changes over time

Explanation: Trend analysis in common size financial statement analysis is important because it allows investors and analysts to see how a company's financial performance changes over time. This can be done by comparing the common size percentages of different line items on the income statement and balance sheet over a period of years.


For example, an investor might compare the common size percentage of revenue that a company spends on operating expenses each year to see if the company is becoming more or less efficient. Or, an analyst might compare the common size percentage of a company's debt to equity over time to see if the company is becoming more or less leveraged.


Trend analysis can also be used to identify trends in a company's industry. For example, if all of the companies in a particular industry are experiencing a decline in the common size percentage of their net income margin, then this could be a sign of industry-wide problems.


Overall, trend analysis is a valuable tool for assessing how a company's financial performance changes over time and for identifying trends in a company's industry.


Here are some of the benefits of performing trend analysis in common size financial statement analysis:

  • Identify trends in financial performance: Trend analysis can help investors and analysts identify trends in a company's financial performance over time. This can be useful for assessing the company's overall health and its prospects for the future.

  • Compare performance to peers: Trend analysis can also be used to compare a company's performance to that of its peers. This can help investors and analysts identify companies that are outperforming or underperforming their industry.

  • Identify potential problems: Trend analysis can also be used to identify potential problems in a company's business. For example, if a company's operating expenses are increasing as a percentage of revenue, this could be a sign of inefficiencies or problems with cost control.

How can common size financial statement analysis help in detecting potential financial irregularities or fraud?

A) By identifying fluctuations in revenue

B) By analyzing the composition of expenses

C) By focusing on the company's cash flows

D) By examining the CEO's compensation

Answer: B) By analyzing the composition of expenses

Explanation: Common size financial statement analysis can help in detecting potential financial irregularities or fraud by analyzing the composition of expenses. This means looking at the percentage of revenue that is spent on different types of expenses, such as cost of goods sold, operating expenses, and interest expense.


If there are significant fluctuations in the composition of expenses from one year to the next, this could be a sign of fraud. For example, if a company's cost of goods sold suddenly increases significantly, this could be due to the company inflating its inventory levels. Or, if a company's operating expenses suddenly decrease significantly, this could be due to the company cutting corners on important costs, such as safety or R&D.


Common size financial statement analysis can also be used to compare a company's expenses to those of its peers. If a company's expenses are significantly higher than those of its peers, this could be a sign of inefficiency or fraud.


Here are some examples of how common size financial statement analysis can be used to detect potential financial irregularities or fraud:

  • Income statement:

    • Compare the percentage of revenue that each company spends on different expenses, such as cost of goods sold, operating expenses, and interest expense.

    • Look for any significant fluctuations in the composition of expenses from one year to the next.

    • Compare the percentage of revenue that each company generates as net income.


  • Balance sheet:

    • Compare the percentage of total assets that each company has invested in different types of assets, such as cash, inventory, and property, plant, and equipment.

    • Compare the percentage of total liabilities that each company has financed with debt.


It is important to note that common size financial statement analysis is not a foolproof way to detect fraud. However, it can be a valuable tool for identifying potential red flags that warrant further investigation.


In addition to common size financial statement analysis, there are a number of other techniques that can be used to detect fraud, such as:

  • Ratio analysis: Ratio analysis can be used to identify unusual relationships between different financial statement items.

  • Trend analysis: Trend analysis can be used to identify any significant changes in a company's financial performance over time.

  • Benford's Law: Benford's Law is a mathematical law that can be used to identify unusual patterns in financial data.

What does a common size balance sheet express as a percentage of total assets?

A) Income statement items

B) Liability items

C) Equity items

D) Both liability and equity items

Answer: D) Both liability and equity items

Explanation: A common size balance sheet expresses all balance sheet items as a percentage of total assets. This includes both liability and equity items.


Here is an example of a common size balance sheet:

Common Size Balance Sheet


Assets

Cash and equivalents - 10%

Accounts receivable - 20%

Inventory - 30%

Property, plant, and equipment - 40%

Total assets -100%


Liabilities

Accounts payable -15%

Short-term debt -10%

Long-term debt -20%

Total liabilities -45%


Equity

Common stock -30%

Retained earnings -25%

Total equity -55%


Total liabilities and equity -100%

As you can see, all of the balance sheet items are expressed as a percentage of total assets. This allows investors and analysts to compare companies of different sizes on a more equal footing.

Here are some of the benefits of using a common size balance sheet:

  • Identify changes in the composition of assets and liabilities: A common size balance sheet can be used to identify changes in the composition of a company's assets and liabilities over time. This can be helpful for assessing the company's risk profile and its ability to generate cash flow.

  • Compare companies of different sizes: A common size balance sheet can be used to compare companies of different sizes on a more equal footing. This is because the percentages eliminate the impact of the different sizes of the companies.

  • Identify potential problems: A common size balance sheet can be used to identify potential problems in a company's business. For example, if a company has a high percentage of debt relative to its equity, this could be a sign of financial distress.

How can common size analysis be useful for investors?

A) It predicts future stock prices

B) It assesses a company's long-term debt capacity

C) It helps evaluate a company's financial health and trends

D) It provides information on the company's market capitalization

Answer: C) It helps evaluate a company's financial health and trends

Explanation: Common size analysis is a useful tool for investors because it helps them evaluate a company's financial health and trends. By expressing all financial statement items as a percentage of a base figure, common size analysis allows investors to compare companies of different sizes on a more equal footing.


Here are some of the ways that common size analysis can be useful for investors:

  • Identify trends in financial performance: Common size analysis can help investors identify trends in a company's financial performance over time. This can be useful for assessing the company's overall health and its prospects for the future.

  • Compare performance to peers: Common size analysis can also be used to compare a company's performance to that of its peers. This can help investors identify companies that are outperforming or underperforming their industry.

  • Identify potential problems: Common size analysis can also be used to identify potential problems in a company's business. For example, if a company's operating expenses are increasing as a percentage of revenue, this could be a sign of inefficiencies or problems with cost control.

In common size analysis, what does a higher common size percentage for "Earnings Before Interest and Taxes (EBIT)" indicate?

A) Higher operating efficiency

B) Lower profitability

C) Increased interest expenses

D) A decrease in total revenue

Answer: A) Higher operating efficiency

Explanation: A higher common size percentage for Earnings Before Interest and Taxes (EBIT) indicates that a company is generating more earnings from its operations relative to its revenue. This can be due to a number of factors, such as:

  • Increased sales volume

  • Higher margins on sales

  • Improved cost control

All of these factors can contribute to higher operating efficiency.


Here is an example of how to calculate common size EBIT:

EBIT = $100,000 Revenue = $1,000,000 Common size EBIT = (EBIT / Revenue) * 100 = (100,000 / 1,000,000) * 100 = 10%

In this example, the company has a common size EBIT of 10%. This means that it is generating 10 cents in EBIT for every dollar of revenue.


A higher common size EBIT is typically seen as a positive sign for a company. It indicates that the company is operating efficiently and generating good profits from its operations. However, it is important to note that common size EBIT should be considered in conjunction with other financial ratios, such as net profit margin and return on equity, to get a complete picture of a company's financial performance.


Here are some of the benefits of having a higher common size EBIT:

  • Higher profitability: Companies with higher common size EBIT are typically more profitable than companies with lower common size EBIT. This is because they are more efficient at generating earnings from their operations.

  • Increased competitiveness: Companies with higher common size EBIT are typically more competitive than companies with lower common size EBIT. This is because they are able to offer lower prices to their customers and still maintain profitability.

  • Greater financial flexibility: Companies with higher common size EBIT have greater financial flexibility than companies with lower common size EBIT. This is because they have more cash flow available to invest in new growth opportunities or to repay debt.

What is the main limitation of common size financial statement analysis?

A) It cannot be used for comparative analysis

B) It ignores the impact of inflation

C) It focuses only on short-term liquidity

D) It may not capture the qualitative aspects of financial data

Answer: D) It cannot be used for comparative analysis

Explanation: The main limitation of common size financial statement analysis is that it does not provide any benchmarks for comparison. This makes it difficult to determine whether the company's financial performance is good or bad.

Common size financial statement analysis expresses each line item on the financial statements as a percentage of a base amount, such as total assets or total revenue. This makes it easier to compare the relative composition of the financial statements over time, but it does not provide any context for how the company's performance compares to other companies in the industry or to the overall market.

To overcome this limitation, analysts often compare a company's common size financial statements to those of its competitors or to industry averages. However, this can be difficult to do if the company is in a niche industry or if there is a lack of reliable data from other companies.

Another limitation of common size financial statement analysis is that it does not capture the qualitative aspects of financial data. For example, common size analysis cannot tell you whether the company's accounts receivable are collectible or whether its inventory is obsolete.

To get a complete picture of a company's financial health, analysts need to consider both quantitative and qualitative data. Common size financial statement analysis is a useful tool, but it should not be used in isolation. So the answer is: A) It cannot be used for comparative analysis

If a common size balance sheet reveals that accounts payable is 10%, what does this mean about the company's financial obligations?

A) The company has no financial obligations

B) The company's accounts payable is 10% of total liabilities

C) The company owes 10% of its total assets

D) The company has paid off 10% of its total debt

Answer: B) The company's accounts payable is 10% of total liabilities

Explanation:A common size balance sheet is a financial statement that shows each item on the balance sheet as a percentage of total assets or total liabilities. This allows analysts to compare companies of different sizes and industries.


If a common size balance sheet reveals that accounts payable is 10%, this means that accounts payable is 10% of the company's total liabilities. This does not mean that the company has no financial obligations, owes 10% of its total assets, or has paid off 10% of its total debt.


Accounts payable is a current liability, which means that it is due within one year. It is the money that a company owes to its suppliers for goods and services that have been purchased but not yet paid for.

A higher percentage of accounts payable to total liabilities may indicate that the company has a lot of debt or is having difficulty paying its suppliers. However, it may also indicate that the company has a strong relationship with its suppliers and is able to negotiate favorable payment terms.


Overall, a common size balance sheet can be a useful tool for analyzing a company's financial obligations. However, it is important to consider other factors, such as the company's industry and competitive landscape, when interpreting the results.

If a company's common size income statement shows that operating expenses are 40%, and its net income margin is 15%, what is its common size percentage for net income?

A) 25%

B) 15%

C) 60%

D) 10%

Answer: B) 15%

Explanation: The net income margin is calculated by dividing net income by revenue. Therefore, if net income margin is 15%, this means that net income is 15% of revenue.


Net income margin = Net income / Revenue

Net income = Net income margin * Revenue


In this case, we are given that operating expenses are 40% of revenue. This means that all other expenses, including net income, must be 60% of revenue.


Total expenses = 100%

Operating expenses = 40%

Other expenses (including net income) = 100% - 40% = 60%


Net income = 15%

Therefore, the common size percentage for net income is 15%.

Common size percentage for net income = Net income / Revenue

Common size percentage for net income = 15%


The other answer choices are incorrect:

A) 25%: This is too high. Net income cannot be more than revenue.

C) 60%: This is the total percentage for all other expenses, including net income.

D) 10%: This is too low. Net income margin is 15%, which means that net income is 15% of revenue.

In common size analysis, if "Depreciation and Amortization" represents 5% of total expenses, what does this suggest?

A) High depreciation costs

B) A decrease in total expenses

C) Improved asset management

D) A decline in profitability

Answer: A) High depreciation costs

Explanation: Depreciation and amortization are non-cash expenses that are recorded to account for the decline in the value of assets over time. Depreciation is recorded for tangible assets, such as equipment and buildings, while amortization is recorded for intangible assets, such as patents and trademarks.

A higher percentage of depreciation and amortization expenses to total expenses suggests that the company has a lot of assets that are depreciating or amortizing. This can be a sign of high depreciation costs, which can impact the company's profitability.


However, it is important to note that depreciation and amortization expenses are not necessarily a bad thing. They can be an important part of the company's investment strategy, as they allow the company to recover the cost of its assets over time. Additionally, a higher percentage of depreciation and amortization expenses to total expenses may also indicate that the company is investing in new assets, which can lead to future growth.


Overall, a common size analysis of depreciation and amortization expenses can be a useful tool for understanding the company's asset base and potential profitability. However, it is important to consider other factors, such as the company's industry and competitive landscape, when interpreting the results.


The other answer choices are incorrect:

  • B) A decrease in total expenses: Depreciation and amortization expenses are non-cash expenses, so they do not directly impact the company's cash flow. Therefore, a higher percentage of depreciation and amortization expenses to total expenses does not necessarily suggest a decrease in total expenses.

  • C) Improved asset management: A higher percentage of depreciation and amortization expenses to total expenses can be a sign of high depreciation costs, but it does not necessarily suggest improved asset management. In fact, it is possible that the company is not managing its assets efficiently, which is leading to high depreciation costs.

  • D) A decline in profitability: Depreciation and amortization expenses can impact the company's profitability, but a higher percentage of depreciation and amortization expenses to total expenses does not necessarily suggest a decline in profitability. As mentioned above, depreciation and amortization expenses can be an important part of the company's investment strategy.

If a common size balance sheet indicates that common equity is 70%, and total assets are $1,000,000, what is the value of common equity?

A) $700,000

B) $30,000

C) $300,000

D) $7,000

Answer: A) $700,000

Explanation: The common size balance sheet shows each item on the balance sheet as a percentage of total assets. In this case, we are given that common equity is 70% of total assets, which means that total assets are $1,000,000.


Common equity = 70% of total assets

Common equity = 70% * $1,000,000

Common equity = $700,000


The other answer choices are incorrect:

  • B) $30,000: This is too low. Common equity is 70% of total assets, so it must be more than $30,000.

  • C) $300,000: This is too low. Common equity is 70% of total assets, so it must be more than $300,000.

  • D) $7,000: This is too low. Common equity is 70% of total assets, so it must be more than $7,000.

What is the key benefit of using common size financial statements for internal analysis within a company?

A) It simplifies external reporting requirements

B) It allows for better communication with shareholders

C) It helps identify areas for internal improvement

D) It ensures compliance with tax regulations

Answer: C) It helps identify areas for internal improvement

Explanation: The key benefit of using common size financial statements for internal analysis within a company is C) It helps identify areas for internal improvement.


Common size financial statements are financial statements that have been converted to percentages, with a common base figure such as total assets or total revenue. This makes it easier to compare companies of different sizes and industries, and to identify trends over time.


For internal analysis, common size financial statements can be used to:

  • Identify areas where the company is spending too much money or not generating enough revenue

  • Compare the company's performance to its historical performance or to its competitors

  • Track the company's progress towards its financial goals

  • Identify areas where the company can improve its efficiency or profitability

For example, a company may use common size financial statements to identify that its operating expenses are too high as a percentage of revenue. This information could then be used to develop strategies to reduce operating expenses, such as negotiating better prices with suppliers or eliminating unnecessary expenses.


Common size financial statements can also be used to compare the company's performance to its competitors. This can help the company to identify areas where it is outperforming or underperforming its competitors. For example, a company may find that its gross profit margin is lower than its competitors' gross profit margin. This information could then be used to develop strategies to improve the company's gross profit margin, such as reducing the cost of goods sold or increasing the price of its products or services.


Overall, common size financial statements are a valuable tool for internal analysis. They can be used to identify areas where the company can improve its efficiency, profitability, and overall financial performance.


The other answer choices are incorrect:

  • A) It simplifies external reporting requirements: Common size financial statements are not typically used for external reporting purposes.

  • B) It allows for better communication with shareholders: Common size financial statements can be used for communication with shareholders, but they are not the only tool that can be used.

  • D) It ensures compliance with tax regulations: Common size financial statements are not used for tax compliance purposes.

In common size analysis, if the common size percentage of "Income Tax Expense" is very low, what could be a possible explanation?

A) High tax evasion

B) Efficient tax planning strategies

C) Decreased profitability

D) A decrease in the tax rate

Answer: B) Efficient tax planning strategies

Explanation: A low common size percentage of income tax expense could be a sign of efficient tax planning strategies. Tax planning strategies are used to reduce a company's tax liability without breaking the law. Some common tax planning strategies include:

  • Accelerating deductions: Deductions are expenses that can be subtracted from revenue to reduce taxable income. Accelerating deductions means taking them earlier rather than later. This can reduce the company's tax liability in the current year.

  • Deferring income: Deferring income means delaying it to a later year. This can reduce the company's tax liability in the current year by shifting the income to a later year, when it may be taxed at a lower rate.

  • Taking advantage of tax credits: Tax credits are amounts that can be subtracted directly from a company's tax liability. There are a variety of tax credits available, such as credits for research and development, energy efficiency, and hiring veterans.

A company can also reduce its tax liability by operating in a tax-efficient jurisdiction. Tax-efficient jurisdictions are countries or states with relatively low tax rates.

The other answer choices are incorrect:

  • A) High tax evasion: Tax evasion is the illegal practice of avoiding paying taxes. While tax evasion can reduce a company's tax liability, it is not a recommended practice.

  • C) Decreased profitability: A decrease in profitability can lead to a decrease in income tax expense, but it is not the only explanation for a low common size percentage of income tax expense.

  • D) A decrease in the tax rate: A decrease in the tax rate can lead to a decrease in income tax expense, but it is not the only explanation for a low common size percentage of income tax expense.

How can common size financial statement analysis assist creditors in evaluating a company's creditworthiness?

A) By providing information on market trends

B) By assessing the company's profitability

C) By highlighting the composition of liabilities

D) By evaluating the company's customer base

Answer: C) By highlighting the composition of liabilities

Explanation: Common size financial statement analysis can assist creditors in evaluating a company's creditworthiness by highlighting the composition of liabilities. This is because the common size balance sheet shows each item on the balance sheet as a percentage of total assets, including liabilities. This allows creditors to see how much of the company's assets are financed by debt and how much are financed by equity.


Creditors are interested in the composition of a company's liabilities because it can give them an indication of the company's risk profile. For example, a company with a high percentage of short-term debt is more likely to be at risk of default than a company with a high percentage of long-term debt.

In addition to the composition of liabilities, creditors may also use common size financial statement analysis to assess the company's profitability and liquidity. However, the composition of liabilities is one of the most important factors that creditors consider when evaluating a company's creditworthiness.


The other answer choices are incorrect:

  • A) By providing information on market trends: Common size financial statement analysis does not provide information on market trends.

  • B) By assessing the company's profitability: While common size financial statement analysis can be used to assess a company's profitability, this is not the primary purpose of this type of analysis.

  • D) By evaluating the company's customer base: Common size financial statement analysis does not provide information on a company's customer base.



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