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# Vertical Financial Statement Analysis MCQ Quiz With Detailed Answer

When conducting vertical financial statement analysis, which financial statements are typically used?

a) Income statement and balance sheet

b) Balance sheet and cash flow statement

c) Cash flow statement and income statement

d) Income statement and statement of retained earnings

Correct Answer: a) Income statement and balance sheet

Explanation: Vertical financial statement analysis is a method of analyzing financial statements that list each line item as a percentage of a base figure within the statement. The income statement and balance sheet are the two most common financial statements used for vertical analysis.

The income statement shows a company's revenues, expenses, and profits over a period of time. Vertical analysis of the income statement can help investors and analysts understand the company's profitability and cost structure. For example, investors can compare the company's gross profit margin, operating profit margin, and net profit margin to industry averages to see how well the company is performing relative to its peers.

The balance sheet shows a company's assets, liabilities, and equity at a specific point in time. Vertical analysis of the balance sheet can help investors and analysts understand the company's financial structure and leverage. For example, investors can compare the company's debt-to-equity ratio and current ratio to industry averages to see how well the company is managing its finances.

Vertical analysis can also be performed on the cash flow statement, but this is less common. The cash flow statement shows a company's cash inflows and outflows over a period of time. Vertical analysis of the cash flow statement can help investors and analysts understand the company's liquidity and ability to generate cash.

Therefore, the correct answer is (a), income statement and balance sheet.

In vertical analysis, if accounts payable is 20% of total liabilities, what does this percentage indicate?

a) Liquidity of the company

b) Debt ratio

c) Current liabilities composition

d) Asset turnover

Correct Answer: c) Current liabilities composition

Explanation: The percentage of accounts payable to total liabilities indicates the proportion of a company's current liabilities that are owed to its suppliers. It is a measure of the company's short-term debt burden. A higher percentage of accounts payable to total liabilities indicates that the company relies more on its suppliers for financing its operations. This can make the company more vulnerable to economic downturns, as its suppliers may become less willing to extend credit to the company.

The other answer choices are not accurate:

• (a) Liquidity of the company: Liquidity is the ability of a company to convert its assets into cash quickly. Accounts payable is not a direct measure of liquidity.

• (b) Debt ratio: The debt ratio is a measure of a company's overall debt burden. It is calculated by dividing total liabilities by total assets. Accounts payable is only one component of total liabilities.

• (d) Asset turnover: Asset turnover is a measure of how efficiently a company is using its assets to generate sales. It is calculated by dividing net sales by total assets. Accounts payable is not directly related to asset turnover.

If a company's interest expense is 10% of its total revenue, what does this percentage represent in vertical analysis?

a) Debt ratio

b) Operating profit margin

c) Interest coverage ratio

d) Cost structure

Correct Answer: c) Interest coverage ratio

Explanation: The interest coverage ratio is a measure of a company's ability to meet its interest payments. It is calculated by dividing earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) by interest expense. A higher interest coverage ratio indicates that a company has more earnings available to cover its interest payments, and is therefore less likely to default on its debt.

In vertical analysis, the interest coverage ratio can be calculated as a percentage of total revenue. This can be helpful to investors and analysts because it allows them to compare the company's interest coverage ratio to other companies in the same industry. A company with a higher interest coverage ratio relative to its peers is generally considered to be less risky.

Here is an example:

Company A

Income Statement

Year 2023

Total Revenue \$100,000

EBIT \$20,000

Interest Expense \$10,000

Vertical Analysis of Income Statement

Year 2023

Total Revenue 100.0%

EBIT 20.0%

Interest Expense 10.0%

Interest Coverage Ratio (EBIT / Interest Expense) 2.0

As you can see, the interest coverage ratio in vertical analysis is 2.0%. This means that for every \$1 of interest expense, the company has \$2 of EBIT available to cover it.

When using vertical analysis on the income statement, which item is typically expressed as a percentage of total revenue?

a) Net income

b) Earnings per share

c) Cost of goods sold

d) Gross profit

Explanation: Vertical analysis is a financial statement analysis technique that expresses each line item on an income statement as a percentage of total revenue. This allows for easy comparisons between companies in the same industry, as well as over time.

Gross profit is the difference between net sales and cost of goods sold. It represents the amount of money a company has left over after covering the direct costs associated with producing its goods or services.

Therefore, when using vertical analysis on the income statement, gross profit is typically expressed as a percentage of total revenue. This gives analysts a good understanding of how efficiently a company is converting its sales into gross profit.

The other answer choices are not typically expressed as a percentage of total revenue in vertical analysis:

• Net income is the bottom line of the income statement and represents the amount of money a company has left over after all expenses have been paid.

• Earnings per share (EPS) is a measure of a company's profitability per share of outstanding stock. It is calculated by dividing net income by the number of shares outstanding.

• Cost of goods sold is the direct cost of producing a company's goods or services. It is typically expressed as a percentage of net sales.

What is the primary purpose of vertical financial statement analysis?

a) Assessing a company's profitability

b) Evaluating a company's liquidity

c) Comparing financial data over time and across companies

d) Estimating a company's market value

Correct Answer: c) Comparing financial data over time and across companies

Explanation: The primary purpose of vertical financial statement analysis is to compare financial data over time and across companies. It is also known as common-size analysis.

Vertical analysis is performed by expressing each line item on a financial statement as a percentage of a base figure. The base figure is typically the total assets for the balance sheet, net sales for the income statement, or net cash flow from operating activities for the cash flow statement.

Once the financial statements have been expressed in percentage terms, it is much easier to compare the financial performance of different companies, even if they are of different sizes. Vertical analysis can also be used to track a company's financial performance over time to identify trends and areas for improvement.

Therefore, the correct answer is c) Comparing financial data over time and across companies.

The other options are not the primary purpose of vertical financial statement analysis:

• a) Assessing a company's profitability: While vertical analysis can be used to assess a company's profitability, it is not the primary purpose. Vertical analysis can be used to identify trends in profitability, but it does not provide a complete picture of a company's profitability.

• b) Evaluating a company's liquidity: Vertical analysis can also be used to evaluate a company's liquidity, but it is not the primary purpose. Liquidity ratios are more commonly used to evaluate liquidity.

• d) Estimating a company's market value: Vertical analysis is not used to estimate a company's market value. Market value is typically estimated using discounted cash flow analysis or other valuation methods.

In vertical analysis, what does it mean if a company's common stock as a percentage of total equity is decreasing over time?

a) The company is becoming less profitable

b) The company is relying more on debt financing

c) The company is experiencing declining sales

d) The company's liquidity is improving

Correct Answer: b) The company is relying more on debt financing

Explanation: Vertical analysis is a method of financial statement analysis in which each line item is listed as a percentage of a base figure within the statement. Thus, common stock as a percentage of total equity can be calculated by dividing common stock by total equity and multiplying by 100%.

If a company's common stock as a percentage of total equity is decreasing over time, it means that the company is relying more on debt financing to fund its operations. This is because total equity is the sum of common stock and retained earnings, and retained earnings is the cumulative net income of a company that has not been paid out in dividends. A decrease in common stock as a percentage of total equity can be caused by a number of factors, such as:

• The company issuing new debt to finance growth or acquisitions

• The company repurchasing its own shares

• The company experiencing losses that reduce retained earnings

It is important to note that a decrease in common stock as a percentage of total equity is not necessarily a bad thing. In some cases, it may be a sign of healthy growth, as the company is using debt to finance new investments. However, it is important to monitor this trend over time to ensure that the company's debt levels are sustainable.

The other options are not necessarily correct:

• a) The company is becoming less profitable: A decrease in common stock as a percentage of total equity does not necessarily mean that the company is becoming less profitable. It is possible for a company to have a high debt-to-equity ratio and still be profitable.

• c) The company is experiencing declining sales: A decrease in common stock as a percentage of total equity does not necessarily mean that the company is experiencing declining sales. It is possible for a company to have a high debt-to-equity ratio and still be growing its sales.

• d) The company's liquidity is improving: Liquidity refers to a company's ability to meet its short-term obligations. There is no clear relationship between a company's debt-to-equity ratio and its liquidity.

In vertical analysis, if a company's accounts receivable is 15% of total assets, what does this percentage represent?

a) Profitability

b) Asset turnover

c) Liquidity

d) Solvency

Explanation: Accounts receivable is a current asset, which means that it is expected to be converted into cash within one year. Therefore, accounts receivable is a measure of a company's liquidity, or its ability to meet its short-term obligations.

The percentage of accounts receivable to total assets represents the portion of a company's total assets that is tied up in accounts receivable. A higher percentage of accounts receivable to total assets indicates that a company has a lower proportion of its assets in liquid form.

The other options are not directly related to accounts receivable:

• a) Profitability: Profitability is a measure of how well a company is generating profits. Accounts receivable does not directly measure profitability.

• b) Asset turnover: Asset turnover is a measure of how efficiently a company is using its assets to generate sales. Accounts receivable does not directly measure asset turnover.

• d) Solvency: Solvency is a measure of a company's ability to meet its long-term obligations. Accounts receivable is a current asset, so it is not directly related to solvency.

When using vertical analysis to assess a company's profitability, which financial statement item is most relevant?

a) Total assets

b) Total liabilities

c) Gross profit

d) Common stock

Explanation: When using vertical analysis to assess a company's profitability, the most relevant financial statement item is c) Gross profit.

Gross profit is calculated by subtracting the cost of goods sold from net sales. It is a measure of the profit that a company generates from its core operations.

Vertical analysis is performed by expressing each line item on a financial statement as a percentage of a base figure. The base figure for assessing profitability is typically net sales.

Therefore, the percentage of gross profit to net sales, also known as the gross profit margin, is the most relevant financial statement item to consider when using vertical analysis to assess a company's profitability.

The other options are not as directly relevant to profitability:

• a) Total assets: Total assets is a measure of a company's total resources. It does not directly measure profitability.

• b) Total liabilities: Total liabilities is a measure of a company's total debts. It does not directly measure profitability.

• d) Common stock: Common stock is a measure of a company's ownership. It does not directly measure profitability.

What is the primary limitation of vertical financial statement analysis?

a) It does not provide insights into a company's liquidity.

b) It does not consider changes in financial performance over time.

c) It relies solely on percentage comparisons.

d) It cannot be used for intercompany comparisons.

Correct Answer: a) It does not provide insights into a company's liquidity.

Explanation: The primary limitation of vertical financial statement analysis is that it does not provide insights into a company's liquidity.

Vertical analysis, also known as common-size analysis, is a method of financial statement analysis in which each line item is expressed as a percentage of a base figure within the statement. This allows for easy comparisons of financial data over time and across companies of different sizes.

However, vertical analysis does not provide any information about a company's ability to meet its short-term obligations. Liquidity is a measure of a company's ability to convert its assets into cash quickly enough to meet its liabilities as they come due.

To assess a company's liquidity, it is necessary to consider other financial ratios, such as the current ratio and the quick ratio. These ratios compare a company's current assets to its current liabilities.

The other options are not primary limitations of vertical financial statement analysis:

• b) It does not consider changes in financial performance over time: Vertical analysis can be used to track changes in financial performance over time by comparing the percentages of different line items from one period to the next.

• c) It relies solely on percentage comparisons: While vertical analysis does rely on percentage comparisons, it is important to note that these comparisons can be very useful for identifying trends and areas for improvement.

• d) It cannot be used for intercompany comparisons: Vertical analysis can be used for intercompany comparisons, as long as the companies are in the same industry and use the same accounting principles.

In vertical analysis, why is it important to choose a consistent base (e.g., total revenue or total assets) for comparisons?

a) To manipulate financial data

b) To make the analysis more complex

c) To ensure meaningful comparisons

d) To simplify calculations

Answer: c) To ensure meaningful comparisons

Explanation: When performing vertical analysis, it is important to choose a consistent base figure for comparisons. This is because vertical analysis is used to identify trends and changes in financial performance over time and across companies.

If a different base figure is used for each period or company being compared, it will be difficult to make meaningful comparisons. For example, if a company's total assets increase by 10% from one year to the next, but its revenue only increases by 5%, this may not be a cause for concern if the company is simply investing in new assets. However, if the company's revenue decreased by 10% while its total assets increased by 10%, this would be a more concerning trend.

Choosing a consistent base figure for comparisons allows for more accurate and meaningful analysis of financial performance. The most common base figures used in vertical analysis are total assets and net sales.

The other options are not correct:

• a) To manipulate financial data: Vertical analysis is not used to manipulate financial data. It is a legitimate method of financial analysis that is used by investors and analysts to assess a company's financial performance.

• b) To make the analysis more complex: Vertical analysis is a relatively simple method of financial analysis. It does not require any complex calculations or formulas.

• d) To simplify calculations: Vertical analysis does not simplify calculations. In fact, it requires some additional calculations to convert each line item on a financial statement into a percentage of the base figure.

When conducting vertical analysis, why is it useful to compare a company's data to industry averages?

a) To identify accounting errors

b) To gauge relative performance

c) To determine historical trends

d) To calculate profitability ratios

Correct Answer: b) To gauge relative performance

Explanation: Vertical analysis, also known as common-size analysis, is a financial ratio analysis technique that expresses each line item on a financial statement as a percentage of a base amount. This base amount is typically total sales on the income statement, total assets on the balance sheet, or net cash flow from operating activities on the cash flow statement.

Comparing a company's vertical analysis results to industry averages can help investors and analysts gauge the company's relative performance. For example, if a company's cost of goods sold is 60% of sales, while the industry average is 55%, the company may be at a competitive disadvantage. Conversely, if a company's gross profit margin is 40%, while the industry average is 35%, the company may be more efficient than its competitors.

Vertical analysis can also be used to identify trends over time. For example, if a company's cost of goods sold has been increasing as a percentage of sales over the past few years, this may indicate that the company is facing rising input costs or is losing market share to more efficient competitors.

Vertical analysis is a valuable tool for financial statement analysis, but it is important to note that it is only one piece of the puzzle. Investors and analysts should also consider other factors, such as the company's competitive landscape, economic conditions, and management team, when making investment decisions.

In vertical analysis, what does it mean if a company's property, plant, and equipment as a percentage of total assets is decreasing over time?

a) The company's liquidity is improving.

b) The company is becoming more efficient.

c) The company is increasing its use of long-term debt.

d) The company's profitability is declining.

Correct Answer: b) The company is becoming more efficient.

Explanation: Property, plant, and equipment (PP&E) are long-term assets that a company uses to generate revenue. A decreasing percentage of PP&E as a percentage of total assets over time indicates that the company is becoming more efficient in using its assets to generate revenue. This could be due to a number of factors, such as:

• The company is selling off excess PP&E.

• The company is investing in new technologies that are more efficient.

• The company is outsourcing some of its operations, which reduces its need for PP&E.

• The company is improving its business processes, which allows it to generate more revenue with less PP&E.

A decrease in PP&E as a percentage of total assets is generally seen as a positive development, as it indicates that the company is becoming more efficient. This can lead to higher profitability and improved cash flow.

The other answer choices are incorrect:

• (a) Liquidity is a measure of how easily a company can convert its assets to cash. A decrease in PP&E as a percentage of total assets does not necessarily mean that the company is becoming more liquid.

• (c) Long-term debt is a type of financing that a company uses to fund its long-term investments. A decrease in PP&E as a percentage of total assets does not necessarily mean that the company is increasing its use of long-term debt.

• (d) Profitability is a measure of how well a company is using its resources to generate profit. A decrease in PP&E as a percentage of total assets could lead to increased profitability, but it is not guaranteed.

Which financial statement would typically include items like net income and earnings per share when conducting vertical analysis?

a) Income statement

b) Balance sheet

c) Cash flow statement

d) Statement of retained earnings

Explanation: The income statement is a financial statement that shows a company's revenues and expenses over a period of time. Net income and earnings per share are both calculated based on the information on the income statement.

• Net income is the amount of profit that a company has left after all expenses have been paid.

• Earnings per share (EPS) is a measure of how much profit a company has generated per share of its outstanding common stock.

The other financial statements do not typically include net income and earnings per share:

• The balance sheet shows a company's assets, liabilities, and equity at a specific point in time.

• The cash flow statement shows a company's cash inflows and outflows over a period of time.

• The statement of retained earnings shows how a company's retained earnings have changed over a period of time.

When analyzing a company's income statement using vertical analysis, which line item should be the largest as a percentage of total revenue?

a) Cost of goods sold (COGS)

b) Operating expenses

c) Gross profit

d) Interest expense

Explanation: In vertical analysis, the income statement is expressed as a percentage of total revenue. This allows us to easily compare the different line items on the income statement and identify trends over time. Gross profit is the difference between revenue and COGS. It is a measure of how much profit a company is generating before operating expenses are taken into account. Operating expenses are all of the other expenses that a company incurs to generate revenue, such as selling and marketing expenses, administrative expenses, and general and administrative (G&A) expenses. Net income is the amount of profit that a company has left after all expenses have been paid. In most cases, gross profit will be the largest line item on the income statement as a percentage of total revenue. This is because COGS and operating expenses are typically smaller than revenue.

If a company's income tax expense is 15% of its total expenses, what does this percentage indicate in vertical analysis?

a) Efficiency in managing taxes

b) Operating efficiency

c) Tax evasion

d) Profitability

Correct Answer: a) Efficiency in managing taxes

Explanation: If a company's income tax expense is 15% of its total expenses, this means that the company is paying 15% of its revenue in income taxes. This is a relatively low percentage, which indicates that the company is efficient in managing its taxes.

The other options are not correct:

• Operating efficiency: Operating efficiency is a measure of how well a company is using its resources to generate revenue. It is not directly related to income tax expense.

• Tax evasion: Tax evasion is the illegal practice of avoiding paying taxes. A company that is evading taxes would not be reporting its true income or expenses, so its income tax expense would not be accurate.

• Profitability: Profitability is a measure of how much money a company makes after all expenses have been paid. Income tax expense is one of the company's expenses, so it does affect profitability. However, the percentage of income tax expense to total expenses is not a direct measure of profitability.

Overall, an income tax expense that is 15% of total expenses is a good sign. It indicates that the company is efficient in managing its taxes and is likely to be profitable.

In vertical analysis, when comparing two companies in the same industry, which financial statement item is most useful for evaluating differences in operating margins?

a) Net income

b) Operating profit margin

c) Gross profit margin

d) Earnings per share

Correct Answer: b) Operating profit margin

Explanation: Vertical analysis is a type of financial statement analysis that compares different line items on a financial statement over time or to industry benchmarks. When comparing two companies in the same industry, the operating profit margin is the most useful financial statement item for evaluating differences in operating margins. This is because the operating profit margin measures the percentage of revenue that a company generates in profit after paying for all of its operating expenses, such as cost of goods sold, selling and administrative expenses, and research and development expenses.

The other options are not as useful for evaluating differences in operating margins:

• Net income is a measure of a company's bottom line profitability, but it also includes the effects of non-operating expenses, such as interest expense and taxes. This can make it difficult to compare net income between two companies, especially if they have different capital structures or tax rates.

• Gross profit margin is a measure of a company's profitability after accounting for the cost of goods sold. However, it does not include the effects of operating expenses, such as selling and administrative expenses and research and development expenses. This can make it difficult to get a complete picture of a company's operational efficiency.

• Earnings per share (EPS) is a measure of a company's profitability per share. However, it is also affected by the company's capital structure, such as the number of shares outstanding. This can make it difficult to compare EPS between two companies with different capital structures.

When conducting vertical analysis on the balance sheet, what does it mean if a company's common stock as a percentage of total equity is increasing over time?

a) The company is becoming more profitable

b) The company is reducing its reliance on equity financing

c) The company's liquidity is decreasing

d) The company's leverage is increasing

Correct Answer: b) The company is reducing its reliance on equity financing

Explanation: When a company's common stock as a percentage of total equity is increasing over time, it means that the company is retaining more of its earnings and using less equity financing to grow its business. This can be a good thing, as it indicates that the company is generating enough cash flow to fund its own growth and is not having to rely on outside investors.

The other options are not correct:

• a) The company is becoming more profitable is not necessarily true. A company's profitability is measured by its net income margin, which is calculated by dividing net income by revenue. Common stock as a percentage of total equity is a measure of the company's capital structure, which is the mix of debt and equity that the company uses to finance its business.

• c) The company's liquidity is decreasing is also not necessarily true. Liquidity is a measure of how easily a company can convert its assets into cash. Common stock as a percentage of total equity is not directly related to liquidity.

• d) The company's leverage is increasing is the opposite of what is happening. Leverage is a measure of how much debt a company uses to finance its business. When a company's common stock as a percentage of total equity is increasing, it means that the company is using less debt and more equity to finance its business.

What is the primary benefit of using vertical analysis alongside horizontal analysis when assessing a company's financial performance?

a) It provides a comprehensive view of a company's financial health.

b) It simplifies financial analysis.

c) It eliminates the need for financial ratios.

d) It focuses solely on year-over-year changes.

Correct Answer: a) It provides a comprehensive view of a company's financial health.

Explanation: Vertical analysis and horizontal analysis are two complementary types of financial statement analysis. Vertical analysis compares different line items on a financial statement to a common base, such as total assets or total revenue. This allows analysts to see the relative importance of each line item and to identify trends over time. Horizontal analysis compares the same line item on a financial statement to the same line item in a previous period. This allows analysts to see how the company's financial performance has changed over time.

Using vertical analysis alongside horizontal analysis provides a more comprehensive view of a company's financial health than either type of analysis on its own. Vertical analysis provides insights into the company's profitability, efficiency, and financial structure. Horizontal analysis provides insights into the company's growth trends and changes in its financial performance over time. By considering both vertical and horizontal analysis, analysts can get a better understanding of a company's overall financial health and prospects.

The other options are not correct:

• b) It simplifies financial analysis is not necessarily true. Vertical and horizontal analysis can be complex and time-consuming to perform. However, the insights that they provide can be very valuable for analysts.

• c) It eliminates the need for financial ratios is also not true. Financial ratios are often used in conjunction with vertical and horizontal analysis to provide even more insights into a company's financial performance.

• d) It focuses solely on year-over-year changes is not true. Horizontal analysis can be used to compare a company's financial performance to any previous period, such as a quarter ago, a year ago, or even several years ago.

In vertical analysis, how is each line item expressed on the income statement typically calculated?

a) As a percentage of the previous year's values

b) As a percentage of the total of all line items

c) As a percentage of total revenue

d) As a percentage of total equity

Answer: c) As a percentage of total revenue

Explanation: In vertical analysis, each line item on the income statement is expressed as a percentage of total revenue. This allows analysts to see the relative importance of each line item and to identify trends over time.

For example, to calculate the gross profit margin, analysts would divide gross profit by total revenue. This would give them a percentage that represents the amount of gross profit that the company generates per dollar of revenue.

Analysts can use vertical analysis to compare a company's financial performance to its own performance in previous periods, as well as to the performance of other companies in the same industry. This can help analysts to identify areas where the company is performing well or poorly, and to identify potential opportunities for improvement.

The other options are not correct:

• a) As a percentage of the previous year's values is a type of horizontal analysis, not vertical analysis.

• b) As a percentage of the total of all line items would not be very informative, as it would simply show that each line item is 100% of the total of all line items.

• d) As a percentage of total equity is not a common metric used in vertical analysis.

In vertical analysis, why is it essential to use consistent accounting standards when comparing financial statements of different companies?

a) To manipulate financial data

b) To ensure meaningful comparisons

c) To simplify calculations

d) To reduce transparency

Correct Answer: b) To ensure meaningful comparisons

Explanation: When comparing the financial statements of different companies, it is essential to use consistent accounting standards. This is because different accounting standards can produce different results, even for the same company. For example, one company may use the FIFO method to account for inventory, while another company may use the LIFO method. This difference in accounting methods can affect the company's cost of goods sold and, therefore, its gross profit margin.

If analysts were to compare the financial statements of these two companies without using consistent accounting standards, they would not be able to make a meaningful comparison of their profitability. This is because the differences in accounting methods would distort the results.

By using consistent accounting standards, analysts can ensure that they are comparing the financial statements of different companies on a level playing field. This allows them to make meaningful comparisons of the companies' profitability, efficiency, and financial structure.

The other options are not correct:

• a) To manipulate financial data is not the purpose of vertical analysis. Vertical analysis is a tool that analysts use to gain insights into a company's financial performance. Manipulating financial data would make it difficult for analysts to get an accurate picture of the company's financial health.

• c) To simplify calculations is not the primary purpose of using consistent accounting standards. However, using consistent accounting standards can make it easier for analysts to compare the financial statements of different companies.

• d) To reduce transparency is actually the opposite of what using consistent accounting standards does. Using consistent accounting standards increases transparency and makes it easier for investors and other stakeholders to understand a company's financial performance.