Profit and Loss Statement - P&L

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DEFINITION of 'Profit and Loss Statement - P&L'

A financial statement that summarizes the revenues, costs and expenses incurred during a specific period of time - usually a fiscal quarter or year. These records provide information that shows the ability of a company to generate profit by increasing revenue and reducing costs. The P&L statement is also known as a "statement of profit and loss", an "income statement" or an "income and expense statement".

BREAKING DOWN 'Profit and Loss Statement - P&L'

The statement of profit and loss follows a general form as seen in this example. It begins with an entry for revenue and subtracts from revenue the costs of running the business, including cost of goods sold, operating expenses, tax expense and interest expense. The bottom line (literally and figuratively) is net income (profit). Many templates can be found online for free, that can be used in creating your profit and loss, or income statement.

The balance sheet, income statement and statement of cash flows are the most important financial statements produced by a company. While each is important in its own right, they are meant to be analyzed together.

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